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Preparing For, What To Do During and Surviving a Power Outage


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Every person experiences a power outage. Some more than others. They are a fact of life. How do you prepare for it? Especially an extended one? What to do? How do you stay cool or warm as needed? What gear do you need ahead of time?

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Preparing For, What To Do During and Surviving a Power Outage

  1. 1. Preparing For and Surviving
  2. 2. Power Outage Causes Power outages can occur at any time for a variety of reasons. It’s not just downed power lines. Rolling blackouts during peak usage or high winds are common in many places. The power grid is vulnerable to a computer virus attack. Electricity is vulnerable to electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) from either a nuclear explosion or a solar flare. Recently cold weather caused a massive power outage across Texas. We’ll cover what to do before, during, and after an outage.
  3. 3. What to do to prepare for a Power Outage It’s too late to prepare once the outage occurs. After every extended outage, most people list these following items as things they wished they had prepared beforehand.
  4. 4. Keep a flashlight within reach of your bed. Below is an inexpensive D-Battery light; a lithium rechargeable lighter/flashlight, and a single AAA light I keep in a sheath with my Leatherman Flashlight & Spare Batteries
  5. 5. A headlamp so you can use your hands. Battery powered on the left; rechargeable on the right. Candles are dangerous. Light
  6. 6. Since I list rechargeable items on the previous pages, power becomes an issue, especially in an outage. I’ve become a fan of solar, which allows a renewable power source from nature. The small solar power bank on the left is light and in my bag. The more powerful one on the right is heavier. It’s attacked by velcro to my Jeep dashboard facing the windshield. Power
  7. 7. I have an entire slideshare devoted to basic Solar Power. (A couple of the slides follow this, but go to the original for more information) One impetus for me to get interested in this, besides the practicality, was to have a power source that we can use as a backup. In our previous house we had a whole house generator, which was nice. We don’t have that in the house we’re currently renting. Also, a generator powers off fuel, which will run out. I have solar panels now, a convertor and backup batteries. At the very least I can run my wife’s CPAP machine all night and recharge the batteries. I also have power for essential items. This power is renewable so for an extended blackout I can recharge. I can also recharge my batteries off my vehicles. In fact, I have a GoalZero 400 in my Jeep with an extra battery. And a 100 watt solar panel on top.
  8. 8. If you have medical equipment, particularly life-saving equipment, that requires electricity, it is ESSENTIAL that you have a back up power source. The key is battery power. During a Texas power outage, people died because their oxygen machines, which ran on power, failed. There are other life-saving devices that require power. If you do not have the means to keep them working for at least several days, you must figure out how to do it. Whether it’s a generator, solar, wind, water— get some other power source! CRITICAL!!!!!
  9. 9. Carbon monoxide can kill. Be very, very careful when using a generator or even getting in your vehicle to run the engine. Do not run your vehicle in your garage. Make sure your generator is properly vented and outside. Don’t put your generator in your garage. I know a couple who died with a generator outside their mobile home, but the vent was near a window they kept open. They passed away in their sleep. Do not bring gas grills indoors to ‘warm up’. It will make you sick or kill you. CAVEAT!!!!!
  10. 10. CAVEAT!!!!!
  11. 11. CAVEAT!!!!!
  13. 13. The key components are Solar panels Convertor Batteries Cables Most people focus on the panels, but the chokepoint, not just for solar, but for all renewable energy, is the power storage: the battery For more, view the entire slideshow HERE
  14. 14. If an outage is widespread, your pumping station might lose power. Also, your heating and air conditioning are dependent on power. For an extended outage, you need enough water for at least three days. During the recent Texas outage, potable water becomes scarce because of burst pipes. Minimum is one gallon per person, per day. Double that for warm climates. 8 average 500ml water bottles is just over one gallon. A case of water (24 bottles) is the minimum three days supply per person. I recommend at least two cases per person. WATER
  15. 15. A water filter can be a life-saver. Even the water from our tap can be contaminated. We always have a water filter on the tap for our drinking water. The one on the left is a pump filter. The one on the right works with gravity. Click on images for links.
  16. 16. Non-perishables for three days minimum. Food that doesn’t require refrigeration. Don’t have food that will make you thirsty. Plan for infants and special dietary requirements. Note expiration dates. Click on image for a good, 25 year expiration, supply from the company that made our Long Range Patrol meals in Special Forces. It’s what we have on hand and in our grab-n-go bags. Also good for camping. Food
  17. 17. I have a variety of ration bars (click on each for link): ER Bar Grizzly Bear Emergency Food Rations DaTrex 3600 Below are some before going into a ziplock bag and into my Jeep. Food
  18. 18. A small, portable stove is key. Make sure you have plenty of fuel which comes in various sizes from small to larger and heavier. The stove screws onto the fuel canister. This stove is inexpensive and has a built-in click lighter, and two cups in the form of the case. I’ve brewed many a cup of coffee/hot chocolate/meals with it. Cooking Food & Boiling Water
  19. 19. Know what the emergency broadcast stations are. Below is a hand crank/solar radio/flashlight combo I have in my Jeep and in my grab-n-go bag. Click on image for link. Survival Radio
  20. 20. I carry a SpotX 2 Way Satellite messenging system. I’ve gone many places where there is no cell phone coverage. While going to Hole in the Rock in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, my clutch began to burn out. 120 miles from the nearest civilization. Luckily I managed to sustain in third gear out of there but it made me consider the situation. There are places all over the country, including in the Smoky Mountains, with no cell coverage. I view this as a potentially life-saving investment. Also peace of mind as my family can get hold of me any time and I can update them on my progress. If the outage is widespread, cell phone towers might no longer work.
  21. 21. While we’re all going cellular or wireless, a plugged in landline still works during a power outage. Rotary optional. Landline
  22. 22. There are plenty of prepared ones you can buy. Below is one I have in house and in grab-n-go bags. Click on image for link. Make sure you have medications to last a week. Extra glasses, contacts, etc. First Aid Kit
  23. 23. When power is out ATMs won’t work Store computer systems will have crashed. It will be a cash environment for a while. Until it’s a Zombie environment. I’d have you click on image, but instead, go to your ATM now. CASH
  24. 24. Do you know where the manual release on your garage door is and how to use it? Don’t run your car in a closed garage for heating, cooling, or to charge phones. Always keep your car at least half topped off. Gas stations rely on electricity to pump. In an extended outage, a shortage of gasoline is always a factor. Story at least a five gallon can of gas outside your house, in your garage. Power Outage
  25. 25. DURING a Power Outage
  26. 26. Shuffle away from downed lines, with your feet close together and in constant contact with the ground. When a live wire hits the ground, power goes in all directions. The voltage decreases with distance. Water is a powerful conductor of electricity, so stay away from wet spots. Never drive over a downed line. Even if it doesn’t have power, it can become entangled in your car. Downed Power Lines
  27. 27. Do you have a way to keep warm in cold weather or cool in hot weather without power? A fireplace? Do you use gas or propane for heating? Do you know how to manually start the pilot light if its an electric igniter? In either situation close all shades. Go lower for cool; a basement is best. Do not use gas grills inside. For heat, wear clothes in layers. Never use your oven as a source of heat. Heating and Cooling
  28. 28. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. An unopened freezer that is full will keep for almost 48 hours. Food
  29. 29. Turn off or disconnect appliances and electric equipment that could be damaged by a power surge when the power comes back on. Disconnect and turn off
  30. 30. A power outage that lasts more than a week can cause problems we need to consider. Think through all the things around your house and moving outward that require power. Do you rely on well water? Can you draw via hand pump? What about your septic system and pump? Cell phone service might well be down as the towers will be without power if the outage is widespread. Extended Power Outage
  31. 31. Generators are like car engines. The more power you draw from them, the faster they use fuel. Turn off all non-essential items drawing power. A portable generator must be vented. NEVER run one inside your house or your garage. Make sure the vent isn’t close to an intake in the house. Over half of the deaths in the last hurricane were from people running generators in their houses and near their houses that weren’t properly ventilated— be careful! Generators
  32. 32. I have a separate slideshow on solar power, but it’s something to consider. Even on a limited level, a few solar panels, convertor and a couple of batteries can run critical equipment such as CPAP machine and charge things like phones and laptops. There are also whole-house battery banks that charge off the grid and can also charge off panels. They are more expensive than a regular generator but they can work for much longer in an extended outage. Even with a large propane tank, eventually your generator will run out of fuel. Solar Power
  33. 33. Throw away frozen food that has thawed or that has an unusual texture, odor, or color. Check with your doctor if medications have spoiled. Restock your emergency supplies. After
  34. 34. More Free Information I constantly update free, downloadable slideshows like this on my web site for preparation and survival and other topics. I also have YouTube Survival videos. HERE Also, I conduct Area Study workshops for those interested in properly preparing for their specific circumstances.
  35. 35. The guide on the left is the complete preparation and survival guide. The one on the right is a pocket-size manual with just the survival portion. Useful in your Grab- n-Go bag, car and kitchen drawer. SURVIVAL GUIDES
  36. 36. New York Times bestselling author, is a graduate of West Point and former Green Beret. He’s had over 80 books published, including the #1 bestselling series Green Berets, Time Patrol, Area 51, and Atlantis. He’s sold over 5 million books. He was born in the Bronx and has traveled the world. He’s lived on an island off the east coast, an island off the west coast, in the Rocky Mountains, the Smoky Mountains and other places, including time in East Asia studying martial arts. He was an instructor and course developer/writer for years at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School which trains Green Berets and also runs the SERE school: Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape.