“Grab-n-Go” Power Outage Kit

A funny thing happened while on the way to write this post: the power went out… again. Just yesterday the power went out due to high winds for several hours and it turned out that I got into quite a few basic survival items this time, including more than a dozen items listed below.

You see, I like to keep things organized, so much so that I actually make it difficult on myself to gather all the stuff I would need for even a basic power outage like we’ve experienced several times over the past few months.

Sometimes I am my own worst enemy. I’ve had enough!

Instead of rooting through various bins and shelves each time to gather these dozen plus items, I figured I would just put them all in one single bin to make my life easier next time. This, of course, contradicts my logical brain because I now have things where they “don’t belong” but I’ll do my best to ignore my incessant need to have things super organized and compartmentalized for sake of laziness. 😉

Here’s the list, adjust as you see fit (photo below):

  1. Mr. Buddy Propane Heater. I really like this propane heater. It’s indoor safe, shuts off if tipped over, can be connected to a 20-lb tank if you get the right stuff (which I have but was being lazy again), and is fairly compact for the heat it puts out. The only major complaint is that there is not “auto off” feature… it runs or it doesn’t which will eat through propane fast.
  2. 1-lb Propane Canisters x 2. One for the heater, one for the single burner stove.
  3. Emergency Weather Radio. I turned this on briefly but we ended up doing other things to kill time (like play cards) and so the radio is merely included as a “just in case” I need it option.
  4. Single Burner Propane Stove. I seem to use this little stove for meals when our power goes out more than anything else I have. I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do. It’s reliable, easy to use, and compact which is great for this little kit.
  5. Cobra 400-watt Inverter. I actually keep this inverter attached to a small deep cycle battery so that I can charge cell phones, ipads, and stuff like that but I didn’t want to include the battery in this kit simply because it’s too heavy and won’t fit; I’ll have to grab it later as needed.
  6. BYB Light Camping Lantern. This is my new favorite lantern because it’s bright, compact, really cheap, runs on AA batteries, and seems fairly rugged since I’ve been using it. Here’s a more detailed review of mine.
  7. Dorcy Lantern. Great for little kids, runs on three (if I remember right) AA batteries, lasts quite a while, and is just bright enough to be of use. Buy them at Target or Walmart and save a few bucks.
  8. D.Light S-10/20 Solar Lantern. Though the least bright lantern I own, the D.Light is unique because it’s solar-rechargeable which makes it capable of lasting indefinitely… or thereabouts.
  9. Dorcy LED Headlamp. I’ve grown really fond of headlamps over the years and tend to reach for a headlamp over flashlights most of the time these days. You can read my reviews of this headlamp (and another Dorcy version) but for the price you’re probably not going to find much better.
  10. Water Barrel Bung Wrench. Although you can get into 55-gallon drums without one, they just make the job that much easier.
  11. Several Feet of Plastic Hose. For some strange reason I cannot, for the life of me, find the Siphon Shaker Hoses that I know I have which I also use to get water out of my barrels so I resorted to using this length of small plastic hose; it worked but was slow.
  12. Whistler 800-watt Inverter. You simply MUST have a quality 800+ watt inverter to power your fridge (or other equipment) and this Whistler does a nice job, never failing me. You can read my review of it here. That said, I’d suspect that most any quality name-brand inverter will work, specifically those made by Whistler, Cobra, or Duracell come to mind.
  13. 50-foot Extension Cord. If you’re going to use an inverter (or even a generator) you’ve going to need a quality, legthy extension cable; 50-foot would be the minimum I’d recommend… 100-foot may be even better depending on your situation. I’d suggest a 12/3 cord (as opposed to the lesser expensive 16/3) because it’s more durable but, honestly, you can probably get away with a lesser quality cable for use with an inverter.
  14. Battery-powered Fan similar to this (not shown). I later added this to the bin as an after-though because the weather will warm up eventually and I figured we’ll want a small fan at times.

power-outage-kit-1

And it all fit quite nicely in a medium-sized tote bin which I’m considering just stashing in the closet in the house:

power-outage-kit-2

All-in-all I think I have the basics covered. I’ve got a small heater and fan, various lights which get used more than anything, a radio should we get super bored, a small stove to cook on (though I have others), the ability to get into stored water (I do need to find my siphon hoses or just dig out my water barrel siphon pump), inverters to power both the fridge and freezer as well as smaller electronics (like cell phones) and the cables to make that happen, and a two full canisters of propane.

I should note that I later added some AA batteries and probably need to remove the batteries from most of this gear to avoid corrosion and leakage but have yet to do so. Speaking of batteries, I would still need to drag in a deep cycle battery too as I like to keep them topped off and NOT stored inside the house.

Again, this is a survival kit as it doesn’t include actual food, water, shelter, weapons and so on. It’s really only for dealing with short-term power outages and was intentionally kept small to make it easy to store and move about. The last thing I should probably do is to label it.

All that said, I am wondering if I need to redo the organizational plan that I have for my survival supplies? Hmmm… maybe I’ll tackle that in the near future.

What about you? What items would you include? Did I get it all or am I missing something important?