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Javelin377
07-09-2012, 09:01
Recent threads and events have got me thinking about preparing for a week long power outage. I figure a week is reasonable, any more than that it's time to go into survival mode. My question is what should a week long power outage bag contain?

bdcochran
07-09-2012, 09:33
1. forget the bag concept. There isn't a bag large enough.

Consider what happens when there is a week long power outage and what is affected - perhaps:

1. electricity;
2. heat;
3. traffic lights;
4. businesses that rely upon electricity such as:
a. stores;
b. supermarkets;
c. any business with a refrigerator;
d. filling stations;
e. taxi services

Consider the time of year: which season.

Consider your family circumstances. I will tell a story. Shortly after 09/11/2001, a young man bravely announced that he would take to the hills and fight (ala Red Dawn). I asked him what he was going to do to support his wife and children. I also told him that I had just spent a week above the timberline with a group of people and there wasn't enough food there to support just one person.

So, there is no clean, clear cut answer to your question.

I will tell you this though. If you never were an Eagle Scout, brought up on a farm, or served in the US military service on the front lines, you probably don't have a clue as to the problems you will face.:wavey:

Toyman
07-09-2012, 10:09
My question is what should a week long power outage bag contain?

Well, pretty much a little of everything. However, if you have a closet/room/whatever with preps, you'll already have everything you need.

Do you already have TEOTWAWKI or PAW preps?

Javelin377
07-09-2012, 10:26
I live on/manage/partial owner of a 300 acre cattle farm. I've been trough about all you can imagine. I have water wells, gas wells, ect. His thought that the folks here were fairly knowing as far as preps. Jus thought I would ask.

kirgi08
07-09-2012, 11:33
tagged.

Brian Lee
07-09-2012, 12:35
It's not what the "bag" should contain.

It's what your garage should contain..... A portable generator.

DoctaGlockta
07-09-2012, 12:39
It's not what the "bag" should contain.

It's what your garage should contain..... A portable generator.

It might be a magic bag.

RED64CJ5
07-09-2012, 13:04
I don't have a "bag," per se, but I do have a box in my shop that is our "go-to" box for a major power outage. It has adequate extension cords of the proper length, tools specific for the generators, some glow sticks, some extra headlamps and flashlights. It's a box we open up annually to assess whether or not it's still viable.

Bren
07-09-2012, 13:53
Recent threads and events have got me thinking about preparing for a week long power outage. I figure a week is reasonable, any more than that it's time to go into survival mode. My question is what should a week long power outage bag contain?

A flashlight.

I don't flee my house when the power goes out:upeyes: - you may handle it differently. All I need for a power outage is a flashlight and that isn't a necessity. Then I can take the flashlight and go get a lantern and some candles and whatever.

Yes, I have been through week-long power outages, in the middle of winter, due to an ice strom that coated everything with so much ice it pulled down trees and power lines. So? I was still in a house.

quake
07-09-2012, 14:46
...My question is what should a week long power outage bag contain?

Not to sound facetious or sarcastic, but it really is one of those "it depends" things. My recommendation would be to think in terms of 'categories' - categories of things that you depend on now that you'd lose in a power outage. If you had to take care of your family and the herd without grid power, going through a list of "how would you do ________" kind of questions would be a good start; and when doing so, create a list of things that would be necessary.

On a cattle farm, water pumping might, or might not, be a huge concern; situation-specific things that only you'll know the answer to. Refrigeration (food & medications; both human and veterinary), cooking/cleaning/laundry, heating & cooling, water-pumping, septic pumps, mechanized feeding systems if you have those, stall manure-channel sweeps (common on dairy farms; don't know your setup), etc. Is it necessary to keep any electric fencing up & running; that's another thing that may be an important issue for you that wouldn't be a concern at all for a lot of folks.

Generator(s) is the first and easy answer, but do you need that generator's power to be portable (or distributed); or is a simple, fixed-place generator sufficient. If it needs to be portable, would a normal generator on a trailer with a substantial fuel tank be best, or would maybe a PTO-driven generator be better? On a dollar-per-watt basis, a PTO unit may be more cost-effective (since you're only buying a generator head, with no engine), but only if your needs are large. They also have the advantage of being transferrable between tractors. One tractor won't start; just hook the generator to a different tractor. With a normal all-in-one generator, you're stuck relying on it's one & only engine. Once you've gone the generator route, then you get into the accessories & maintenance items - fuel & fuel-storage additives, grid-tie-ins (or not), transfer switches or not, HEAVY extension cords of the right connection type, etc.

Some things, like electric fencing and battery charging, you may be better off going with a localized solar/battery setup, as a generator is usually overkill - and horribly inefficient - for those kind of needs.

Then there may be a bunch of those categories for which you can come up with a completely power-less alternative - is manual feeding an option if your automated feed systems are dead, etc.

All that said, it's a topic that's really difficult to determine someone else's needs for. Recommendations for food, water, shelter, defense, etc, are all fairly simple to come up with, but workarounds for gridpower failure are much more situation-specific in nature.

mac66
07-09-2012, 16:16
I think a week long power out kit is the same as any other week long emergency kit.

Water (usually the water stays on during a outage)
Food
Shelter
Light
Heat
Fuel for heating and cooking (if you have natural gas it generally will keep working during a power outage)
Appropriate clothing
Generator if need be

Having been through a couple outages in difference kinds of weathers I suggest the following...

Candles and gas/propane lanterns are good in the winter, they give off heat. Not so good in the summer, they give off heat. Use LED flashlights, lanterns in the summer and lightsticks for ambient lighting at night. They give off enough light at night to be able to move around once your eyes get used to less light.

michael e
07-09-2012, 16:30
I was without power for two weeks during IKE . I had candles, and flashlights, used gas grill to cook. I just went to my hunting stuff and got all the flashlights together, it sucked but managed. Now when I got power back the first thing I did was sit with the AC at 65 and tv on for a day.

Javelin377
07-09-2012, 17:00
The farm is completely self sufficient, barring any kind of disaster taking down fences. They are all on solar chargers. people been farming for years with no electricity.

My main concern is keeping my family comfortable in my house. Work goes on day to day no matter what. Might as well be comfortable while you are at home.

More than anything I want to know what goes in the bag that has flashlights, batteries, matches ect. I got the big problems covered.

TactiCool
07-09-2012, 17:23
I think a week long power out kit is the same as any other week long emergency kit.

Water (usually the water stays on during a outage)
Food
Shelter
Light
Heat
Fuel for heating and cooking (if you have natural gas it generally will keep working during a power outage)
Appropriate clothing
Generator if need be

Having been through a couple outages in difference kinds of weathers I suggest the following...

Candles and gas/propane lanterns are good in the winter, they give off heat. Not so good in the summer, they give off heat. Use LED flashlights, lanterns in the summer and lightsticks for ambient lighting at night. They give off enough light at night to be able to move around once your eyes get used to less light.

A generator is about as useful as a block of lead without plenty of extension cords. And I mean hundreds of feet worth, otherwise lighting, refrigerators, portable A/C units, rechargeable batteries, tools, etc. will become limited in use, or outright useless.

Also, don't forget to periodically run the generator to ensure that it will crank and function reliably. Keeping spare parts, tools, and spark plugs (glow plugs for diesel) on hand is important. Fans are also important to keep on hand as well. Don't forget to use fuel stabilizer either.

Keep in mind, I do suffer power outages from storms on a monthly basis, nevermind the hurricanes, so plan accordingly for your situation (speaking in generalities here). And because of where I live, I plan for power outages of 3 months or more.

During Katrina, I did not get power back for 2.5 months, and then Rita hit, knocking power out for another week and a half! Tons of fun, living in a high-risk flood zone in the south...with no flood insurance, 'cause I can't get it! :wow:

quake
07-09-2012, 17:29
...More than anything I want to know what goes in the bag that has flashlights, batteries, matches ect. I got the big problems covered.

In that case, I'm a big fan of LED lanterns. The Rayovac "Sportsman" 3D-cell version is better than I originally thought it would be; good enough that I have four or five of them. Light output is adjustable from night-light levels up to 300 lumens, which makes a real difference in an otherwise dark room.

Also, I'm a fan of LED headlamps. They make it a lot easier to actually do things than a handheld flashlight usually does.

Lastly, I'm a huge fan of automatic emergency lights that come on when the power goes out:
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f360/quake316/r-2w.jpg

They're required by life-safety code in commercial buildings, but I've never seen them installed in a house other than mine. When the power goes out, it's nice to have even a minimal level of light in the room rather than the sudden pitch black you'd otherwise be in. They can be had online, or even at lowe's & such. Typically $60-$70 iirc; it's been a while since I bought any.

Stevekozak
07-09-2012, 18:04
In that case, I'm a big fan of LED lanterns. The Rayovac "Sportsman" 3D-cell version is better than I originally thought it would be; good enough that I have four or five of them. .
You mentioned these in anther thread awhile back. I thought you had said you got them at Wal-mart. I have looked at the local Wal-marts, local Academy, and several smaller stores in my area, but have never found them. Where is it you purchased them at?

quake
07-09-2012, 19:38
The little rayovac children's "Adventure Lights", I got at walmart and replaced the incandescent bulb with nite-ize LED's, also from walmart:
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f360/quake316/RayovacAAlantern.jpg
They're good for use in tents, bathrooms during a power outage, etc. Substantially better than night light levels, but not hugely bright. IIRC, something like $8 for the lantern and another $6-$8 for the nite-ize LED's, so just around $15 apiece; and they run a long time on four AA's, probably 18-24 hours or so. Have four or five of them.


The bigger D-cell Sportsman series is a whole other category; more than enough light for a room at night. Have four or five of them as well, bought at either lowe's or home depot, forget which:
http://www.batteriesinaflash.com/images/flashlight/SE3DLN.jpg

Stevekozak
07-09-2012, 19:45
The little rayovac children's "Adventure Lights", I got at walmart and replaced the incandescent bulb with nite-ize LED's, also from walmart:
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f360/quake316/RayovacAAlantern.jpg
They're good for use in tents, bathrooms during a power outage, etc. Substantially better than night light levels, but not hugely bright. IIRC, something like $8 for the lantern and another $6-$8 for the nite-ize LED's, so just around $15 apiece; and they run a long time on four AA's, probably 18-24 hours or so. Have four or five of them.


The bigger D-cell Sportsman series is a whole other category; more than enough light for a room at night. Have four or five of them as well, bought at either lowe's or home depot, forget which:
http://www.batteriesinaflash.com/images/flashlight/SE3DLN.jpg
Thanks. Have both a Lowes and a Home Depot right close. I will check them! I had seen the children's lights at WM.

quake
07-09-2012, 19:59
Fwiw, reviews & discussions of the rayovac above; the "Sportsman Extreme 300 is what it's called. I've been very happy with them; by far the brightest of the led lanterns we have. This thread got me looking at them again - looks like they've come down a bunch price-wise. They can be had under $30 now. Iirc, I paid something like $45-$50 for ours just three or four years ago.

Fair warning; candlepowerforums can be as addictive as glocktalk or watchuseek. Those guys are as nuts about flashlights as we are about "which rifle" to buy.

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?206456-Three-LED-Lanterns-Compared-(Rayovac-Sylvania-Energizer)

http://www.millioncandlepower-rechargeableworkspotlight-reviews.info/rayovac-se3dln-sportsman-extreme-300-lumen-3d-battery-led-lantern/

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?218303-Rayovac-Sportsman-Extreme-300-Lumen-Lantern-MORE-INFO

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?258136-Lanterns-and-power-outages

DJ Niner
07-10-2012, 02:36
Around my house and vehicles, we keep several things handy for power outages. In the winter, we keep hundreds of inexpensive tea-light candles available, plenty of matches/lighters, and a safe means to hold the candles during use (candles are a serious fire hazard, but are too useful to be without in cold weather, so we do our best to manage the risk). You can find tea-light candles for $5-$8 a hundred at many places (Walmart, Hobby Lobby-type stores, etc.). Camping/survival stores often stock tea-light lanterns for mobile use (handy for the vehicle kits).

We also keep several small flashlights handy. Nowadays, our general-purpose lights are usually powered by a single AA battery, have a LED instead of an incandescent bulb, and are stored with Lithium AA batteries installed and plenty of spares. Here are a few I've tried and liked:

Amazon.com: Streamlight ProTac 1AA Professional Tactical: Home Improvement@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41V6wC4WZoL.@@AMEPARAM@@41V6wC4WZoL

Amazon.com: Streamlight 88034 ProTAC EMS Medical Services Light with Holster, Blue: Home Improvement@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41J08jafPyL.@@AMEPARAM@@41J08jafPyL

Yeah, they're kind of expensive, but they are way tougher/brighter/longer-lasting than your normal cheap flashlight.

The Lithium AA batteries we use are Energizer brand (about $10 for 4), will store and keep a charge for over ten years (even in the heat of a car in summer, or the frigid cold of a North Dakota winter), and they will still WORK at sub-zero temps, unlike most other types of batteries.

We also have a few AA LED lanterns for general-purpose lighting, and a handful of cheap solar-powered yard/sidewalk lights. Stick them out in the sun during the day, and bring them inside at night for "free" light. I even found some LED rope lights that are solar-powered, and they are really useful for general lighting of a room, hallway or staircase, etc. The nice thing about the rope lights, is you can install the tube/rope of LEDs semi-permanently, then just unplug the battery and solar panel section and take it outside or put it in a window to charge.

There are also some snap-lights, high-power spotlights and weapon lights scattered around the house for more specific uses. During an outage, they are pre-positioned where they can rapidly be pressed into use, and I'll usually have at least one powerful tac-type flashlight on my person at all times.

A portable radio is pretty helpful for getting basic info after a weather-caused disaster (or other similar problems). A small AA-battery radio, and a larger solar and/or crank-charged radio are both good investments. We also have a small shortwave portable radio for longer-distance info gathering.

I'd also recommend a car charger for your cellphone(s), and any small entertainment devices that you or your kids may have (iPods/MP3 players). Having some kind of entertainment is very important for most kids and some adults, and in today's electronic society, board games and a deck of cards won't cut it for very long.

Having a package of small steno-type note pad and some pens/pencils can allow folks to take notes about the circumstances of the outage, what they did each day, what preps worked and what didn't and why (for future reference), leaving messages for others, and other useful tasks.

DJ Niner
07-10-2012, 02:58
Forgot to mention battery-operated fans. If it's 100+ degrees outside, having a few small camping-style fans to move some air around you while you sleep can make things a whole lot more comfortable. I have several, but so far, I've only used them during summer camping.

TangoFoxtrot
07-10-2012, 04:32
Keep in mine one thing you should at all times be prepared with enough food, water, medical equipment, cooking sources, lighting equipment and firepower for any emergency not just power outages. In my area just the 'threat" of a major flood sent people out buying anything and everything in the supermarkets. Within 2 days the shelves were emptied. My wife and I just sat back and watched we were already well stocked with food and water.

RatDrall
07-10-2012, 04:38
I think a week long power out kit is the same as any other week long emergency kit.

Water (usually the water stays on during a outage)
Food
Shelter
Light
Heat


This, but I would add first aid supplies, like a lot of them because they can go REALLY FAST if you are in need.

Also, more water than you think you'll need.

FireForged
07-10-2012, 08:39
I am more of a power-outage "cabinet" kinda guy

Cherokee Slim
07-10-2012, 09:41
It's not what the "bag" should contain. It's what your garage should contain..... A portable generator.

I agree. We bought a whole month's groceries on Monday a week ago & a storm knocked out power on Thursday. I bought the last 5500watt generator in Chattanooga Friday morning and used it until Saturday night. We lose power more here than we did when we worked in South America.

If you calculate the cost of a generator vs insurance deductibles, loss of frozen food and then your insurance rates going up a $800 generator is cheap.
Cherokee Slim

wjv
07-10-2012, 10:49
I have one of the older Ray-O-Vac Sportsman and we use it all the time in our camper.

Here is a review I did a longtime back.
http://pullig.dyndns.org/practicalpreps/forums3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1229

Regarding LED flashlights. I know it's tempting to buy cheap (like the Costco 200 lumen 3 pack), but I have found that you really do get what you pay for.

Many of the cheaper lights have very poor run times. You can find good flashlights for $30-$50 that will be generate a true 200+ lumens for almost 2 hours, and have the option of a lower power setting that will provide 25+ hours of low level lighting on one set of batteries.

i.e.
Jetbeam BA20 - 270 lumen for 1:45 - 30 lumen for 35 hours - $42 on Amazon (though I've seen them cheaper elsewhere)

iTp C8 - 6 lumens to 190 lumens continuous adjustment. 1:30 on 190 lumens, 100+ hours on 6 lumens - $45

Bilbo Bagins
07-10-2012, 11:42
Everyone's preps should have plan for the utilities going out. If the power goes out because of a bad thunderstorm, a heat wave taxing the power grid, a solar flare, or an ice storm, its all the same.

Have flashlights, lantern, candles etc.

Have a way to keep yourself cool in the summer, and warm in the winter without power.

Have a way to cook food, like a BBQ grill, wood burning stove, or camp stove.

One trick I learned in for the summer months. If you know there is a bad storm coming or there is issues with power in the next town and it may be coming your way, get a few sturdy plastic water containers (2 liter bottles or bottle water, just not the gallon milk jug type) and freeze them. If the power goes out, put some of the frozen water in the fridge and some in the freezer and try to not open unless you really need to. It will keep the temp inside the fridge colder longer.

TangoFoxtrot
07-11-2012, 04:16
Yep good idea, I do that as well.