A PREPPER’S GUIDE TO A LONG-TERM BLACKOUT

Three steps to prepare for a long-term blackout
(Source: Swedish Energy AgencyAmerican Red Cross)
 

1PREPARE
What can you do now?


Water
Store containers of water – plan for 3.5 litres per person per day.
Put ¾ full plastic bottles in the freezer. These can act as coolers during an outage or can be drunk or used for washing.

Heat
Stock extra fuel for stove or 
spare heater.
Consider backup power for 
circulation pump.

Light
Store candles, matches, flashlights and batteries.

Food
Keep enough tinned and dried food to consume after perishables run out. 
Get a cooler. 
Keep a camping stove with fuel. 

Hygiene
Store toilet paper, wet wipes, grocery plastic bags and other ­hygiene articles you may need.

Medication
Keep a stock of personal medication – 
enough for 2 weeks. 
 Make sure you have a first aid kit.

Car
Keep your car’s fuel tank full.

Social
•    Get to know your neighbours – maybe you can help each other during an ­outage.  
•     Keep a battery-powered or hand-
cranked radio.

 

2RESPOND
WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT


Run down this checklist of things to do:
 

  • Fill up buckets, water containers and bathtubs with water. 
  • Turn off and unplug electrical equipment. Keep one light switched on to tell you when power has been restored.
  • Listen to the radio.
  • Be cautious  of fire hazards if you burn ­anything – this includes candles. Ventilate quickly and  often to avoid carbon  monoxide poisoning.
  • Communicate with neighbours.
  • Check if any elderly or disabled people need help.
  • Eat food from refrigerator first, then freezer.
  • Prepare cooler with ice to preserve ­perishable food longer.
  • Avoid any unneccessary travel. 
  • Use plastic bags in toilet and dispose of them in a designated place.
  • If it is below zero, be sure  to check and ­isolate pipelines. Open taps. Empty water systems and radiators.  Put alcohol in gutters and  sink traps. 
  • Keep warm by picking south-facing room to stay in. Isolate windows with curtains or blankets. Gather people and stay close. Build a little cave by draping ­blankets over a table.

 
3RECOVER
WHEN THE LIGHTS COME BACK ON

 

  •  Check food. Throw away anything that has an unusual odour or colour. If in doubt, chuck it.
  •  Check what electrical appliances are switched on and whether water taps are open. 

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