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Knowing what things to stock up on for survival is essential. Disaster can strike at anytime. Whether a pandemic, a bombing, a hurricane, a catastrophic power outage, or other natural or man-made disaster.
There are many families who go about their lives only preparing for their current needs. They buy the groceries they’ll need that week, pay the bills to keep their utilities on, and expect everything to work when they need it. They seldom (if ever) think about things to stock up on for survival in the event of a disaster.
But sometimes, things happen outside of your control and when the power or water goes out, it can take your life from a comfortable norm to a terrifying ordeal filled with uncertainty. It’s essential to start thinking about how to prepare for emergencies before the catastrophe strikes.
Normal is what makes life comfortable. When you have everything you need, you don’t worry about the things that could happen. That’s a big mistake. Because then when something does happen, not only are you not prepared, but you’re also then in the middle of a crisis trying to decide how you and your family are going to find things to stock up on for survival.
What to Stock Up On For A Power Outage
A good example of this is by looking at what happened in February of 2021 when millions Texas residents lost power, which also shut down the water supply, since it couldn’t be pumped and processed properly.
Stores sold out of goods, like bottled water and food. Firewood was scarce, so many couldn’t even boil the snow covering their lawn. It was a helpless situation for all, including many who thought they’d prepared properly with plenty of food, hand sanitizer and toilet paper during the early days of the pandemic.
Water and electricity are two of the most vital needs a family can have. That’s why t’s important to make sure your home is fully prepared to withstand any situation, whether it be severe weather, malfunctioning equipment, an attack or otherwise. Water is one of the most important things to stock up on for survival.
Be Prepared For What May or May Not Happen
It’s wise to make sure that you’re prepared for what might happen. When you’re ready, you and your family will have what you need without fail. Hopefully, you’ll never even need to enact your plan or use your supplies.
You can’t predict when something is going to occur that’s going to negatively impact your way of life. Often, the weather or other natural disasters can cause problems for you, your neighbors and your state or country where you live.
For example, if there’s a huge blizzard that shuts down your state and there aren’t enough emergency protocols in place, it’s going to affect how your situation is handled. All of a sudden, your daily life is interrupted. Same with a huge hurricane, tornado, or other common natural disaster.
It’s always better to be prepared than not. When you’re in the middle of some kind of natural disaster, one of the first things that millions of people lose access to is their electricity.
Things to stock up on in case of power outage
In the summer, you might have to deal with heat and have to find ways to cool off when that happens. There are plenty of ways to cool off, such as spending time in a pool or going to a lake or beach where the temperatures are often lower.
But in the winter, when you lose electricity, if you don’t have a preparedness plan, you can be in danger from the low temperatures. Freezing temperatures can make survival a real issue when you don’t have a backup heat source.
Not only that, but when you lose power, the food that you have in your refrigerator and freezer will go bad if the power stays off for awhile. You have a four hour window for food in your refrigerator and only a day for your freezer if it’s not full.
You can’t just go replenish this food supply in the event of city or statewide electric outages because stores can’t operate or run their own refrigeration and freezer systems.
They have no choice but to toss the food out, leaving stores bare. When the roads aren’t passable due to snow and ice, flooding, downed trees and power lines there’s another problem. Grocery stores don’t have a way to even get non-perishable items back on the shelves because trucks can’t get to them. Having an emergency food storage and survival plan is worth its price in gold!
It’s Smart to Stock Up on A Back-up Water Supply
On top of losing electricity that can keep your food viable and keep you warm or cool, you can also lose your water supply. Your water supplier needs power to operate safely. When the power goes out, contaminants can get in the water supply.
The treatment plant can lose power due to a blackout or due to extreme temperatures cracking the supply pipes. With no ability to buy water at the store, you won’t have any drinking water.
You also won’t have water to flush your toilet, clean or bathe. Without clean drinking water, your survival is at stake. The amount of stress you’ll be under just trying to live will be incredible.
This is why you want to do all that you can to avoid a situation like that from happening to you. Be prepared in advance. You don’t have to buy the supplies that you need all at once. Buy them a little at a time until you have enough to provide for yourself and your family in the event of a power and water outage.
What food to stock up on for power outage? Water Needs Come First
You need to create an emergency supply for times like these. These supplies should provide all the basic necessities that are vital for your survival and comfort, not to mention your peace of mind.
Out of all the items that you need to purchase first, water is essential. The average amount of time you can survive without water is about 3 days. However, there are things that can lower how long you can last without it.
If you live in a hot climate, that can impact how long your body can make it without water. Your age can be a factor and so can your health. Young children and the elderly have a lower survival rate without water.
Your body loses water every day through physical activity and just breathing. That hydration has to be replaced regularly. There are many factors that will determine how much water you need to have on hand.
How Much Water Is Enough?
You have to look at the size of your family. For every member of your family, you need to plan on buying or saving a gallon of water for use daily. If you have animals in the home or outside the home, you’ll need to also determine how much water they’re going to need per day.
You also need to make an educated guess on how long it might take before your life returns to normal and you can once again have water like you used to. Some people plan for a short term crisis.
A good rule of thumb is that it’s better to store more water than you end up using rather than end up not having enough. You’ll need to figure water for cooking as well.
What About water for cleaning, bathing and flushing the toilet?
Some of your water supply will need to be used for cleaning and bathing. You’ll also need to use water to flush your toilet. Start now creating your water supply so that you’re not caught in a bind. You can store water in gallons. You can buy 55 gallon drums to store water.
In addition, you can buy bottled water. Some people choose to re-use soda bottles that have been washed out and they put clean water in those if they know a storm is approaching, but this is a temporary storage fix.
You can also use commercial water bottles to store water. There are stackable water bricks you can purchase. These are designed to hold different amounts of liquid. For example, one type brick can hold over 3 gallons of water.
Because they stack easily, you can store them out of sight, like under a bed. They’re also handy enough so that if you have to leave home in the emergency situation, you can easily grab them and go.
Outdoor Rain Water Containers Can Work too
Outdoor rain containers can help you create a water supply. These are various gallon sizes of rain barrels. They have lids to keep contaminants out and make a handy source of water.
You would need to disinfect it because the rain water can come in contact with impurities. For example, rain water running off your roof can come in contact with bird or animal feces.
Use filter straws to purify your water supply. These items can protect you from parasites and bacteria in a water source because they can filter gallons of water. You can use them to drink from creeks and lakes and other bodies of water.
Water purifying tablets can also make drinking water safe, but they do take a little longer to be effective. You have to wait while they purify the water. They disinfect the water to protect you and your loved ones from bacteria and other harmful contaminants.
The Best Foods to Stock Up On for Power and Water Outages
When the power and water are out, besides water, you’re going to need food. It’s best not to waste your water supply on foods that require water for cooking. Start your survival food supply by purchasing canned foods.
There are many canned foods that you can get that can be eaten without warming them up. These foods are usually pre-cooked, so they’re safe to eat without heating them. While you might not be used to eating them cold, they’ll still supply you with a food source.
Some of the canned foods that you can buy are packed in water. That means you get extra liquid, which can help with your daily water requirements. You’ll find this in foods like canned vegetables.
When shopping, look for foods that are canned in water first rather than in heavy syrups or in sodium-heavy broth. You also want to check the shelf life of the foods that you’re shopping for.
Choose the ones that have the longest lasting dates. Many canned foods can safely last for years after the best by date on the product. What you need to pay attention to are rust or corrosion and dents along a seam.
Those canned foods may not be safe to consume. When you’re creating an emergency supply of food, don’t just stick to the basics.
Stock up On Comfort Foods Too!
Make sure that you get some comfort foods too. Snacks are things to stock up on that can easily be overlooked.
These foods might seem frivolous when you’re thinking about things to stock up on for survival, but when you’re under stress, it can be helpful to have foods that you enjoy. Studies have shown that comfort foods can lessen stress.
You can buy and store survival food kits. These kits will contain a variety of foods that can serve as main meals as well as desserts. You’ll find that the kits can have a shelf life of a decade or longer in some brands.
MREs or Meals Ready to Eat are also known as field rations. These meals include things like a main dish, side dishes, desserts, beverages and more. These foods are packaged as individual meal pouches.
Between 2 to 3 MREs per person is enough to meet the daily calorie requirement. Some MREs also have their own heating component. These are called flameless heaters as well as flameless heat packs.
When you’re choosing your food supply, don’t forget to make sure you have plenty of pet food stocked up. You don’t want to have to share the supply meant for humans because it can cause digestive issues in your pet.
Non-Electrical Gadgets That Help During a Power and Water Outage
When you have a power and water outage, you’ll need to adjust how you live. For example, you won’t be able to turn on the television to get news reports or updates about any issues relating to the outages.
So you would want to get a battery operated radio, hand crank or solar operated radio to be able to listen to your city’s information. Without power, you can’t keep your cell phone charged. When there’s an emergency, you can’t afford to be without the ability to connect with others.
You’ll want to have access to be able to check on your family. Having the ability to be able to call someone for help in the event there’s a medical emergency is a necessity, too.
Since a regular phone charger won’t work without power, you’ll need a solar phone charger. These gadgets have solar panels that can make energy to successfully charge a phone.
You’ll need to check to make sure your phone is compatible with the solar charger. Because you’ll still want to be able to cook indoors when you’re faced with outages, you need a way to safely do that.
Things to Stock Up On For Survival and For Cooking During a Disaster
Don’t make the mistake of using a grill inside your home, since this creates a carbon monoxide risk. Instead, use something like Sterno fuel – the same ones caterers use to keep food warm.
This can safely be used with foldable cook tops. It’s a jellied alcohol or fuel source that you can use right in the can. When the power goes out in the wintertime, regardless of how airtight your home is, you’ll still be faced with dropping temperatures.
One way you can stay warm is to set up a tent inside your house. Inside the tent, your body heat will keep you warm. The more people you can comfortably fit in the tent, the warmer it will be inside it.
Heat can occur without electricity if you have the sun beating down on a large window. Make use of this during the day by allowing the sun in, but insulate the windows with something like bubble wrap to keep the cold air out.
Confine your living area to just one room. You’ll want to close off access to all the other rooms in your home. What this does is it traps the heat in one smaller space. When you have open spaces, you have less heat.
Don’t Forget to Stock up on Emergency Cash Too!
Because the power outage may also affect businesses, this will impact how you’re able to get things your family may need. It’ll also affect your ability to put gas in your vehicle, since businesses can’t run registers or gas pumps without electricity.
That means that they also can’t take debit or credit cards. So even if the roads are passable and the stores have food or water, you won’t be able to shop with your cards. You’ll need to be sure to keep cash on hand so that you can pay for what you need.
Saving and Storing Tips for Surviving Power and Water Outages
Preparation doesn’t have to be a one time, big spending event. Most people just don’t have the extra money to start building a supply of necessities in case of an outage. You can buy just a little bit at a time for your supply storage.
Rather than trying to buy items in bulk, just buy one extra item on your preparedness list. That means every time you go grocery shopping, buy 2 of some things instead of one.
For example, if you were planning to buy canned green beans for a side dish, buy enough for two meals and put the extra can aside for your storage. There are plenty of little things like that which you can do to get ready prior to an emergency situation.
Consider Saving To Buy A Generator
Even buying the bigger items is doable. You might not have the money to spend right now to buy a generator. However, if you set aside $5 here and there, then over time you’ll have enough money for one.
You can buy a solar powered generator for around $600. You can also save enough to eventually have a standby generator professionally installed. These generators are a lot more expensive, with starting prices around $4,500 – but they can handle critical needs or essential circuits.
Many of them have sensors that cause them to kick on when the home’s electricity goes out. Take the time now to declutter your home. You need to free up some room for storage for your emergency supplies.
Save Money for Investing in Emergency Supplies
In some cases, you can sell your decluttered items and use the money to help fund your emergency supplies. By decluttering, you’ll have space (such as underneath the beds) in the home to store water packs or food packs.
You can store tents and more under beds, too. You can also create emergency pantries within closets that you clean out. If you have even just a small attic, you can make some space there and store what you need for survival.
When you’re putting items back for emergencies, make sure that you get foldable or compact items because these stack easier and take up less space. In the event that you have absolutely no way to make room, then rent a storage facility if you’ll be able to safely get to the supplies when you need them.
You can also build or install a shed in your backyard to use as a storage space for your items. It doesn’t matter how you store the items that you need. It only matters that you find a way to do it somehow.
Being unprepared – whether it’s a major weather event or something else – and not being able to keep your family safe and comfortable, is a heartbreaking feeling no one wants to experience.
The supplies you buy and the preparations you’re making will serve as an insurance policy that ensures that when everyone else around you is panicking, you’re able to calmly and effectively survive.
Plan & Track Your supply of essential things to stock up on for Survival
Make yourself a spread sheet and begin tracking your supplies as you start to save up. Have columns or pages for things like water supplies, food and cooking supplies, security and protection, emergency power supplies, heat and even first aid.
Make sure you keep it up to date and rotate the supplies whenever an expiration date is coming up. This way, nothing goes to waste and you’re capable of replenishing supplies that are getting low at any given time.
As you get more adept at preparation, you may want to level up with gardening and canning, dehydrating foods ahead of time and so on. But at the very least, make sure your family is ready to ride out a major event without suffering.
You may think the government or organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross would be able to save you, but sometimes it takes days to have that go into effect, and supplies run out faster than you can get to them.
It’s better to never be at the mercy of or dependent on another source when it comes to making sure you and your loved ones have water, warmth and food to get by during times of duress.
Make sure you have enough food and water to survive for at least three months. Use this list of things to stock up on to start preparing, today!