Blackout: What Worked and What Didn’t

Storms rolled through the South this week with at least 13 confirmed tornadoes causing damage to homes, trees knocked down and of course power outages. Our power was out for about 17 hours, not bad considering the amount of damage in the area, and we suffered little more than a couple of downed trees and a bit of inconvenience.

As preppers we prepare for as many different scenarios as possible and power loss is always a big one. Anytime there is an incident such as this it’s an opportunity to test our level of preparedness; what worked, what didn’t.

The little LED lanterns that I’ve talked about in the past (read the review here) performed as expected, but we realized that we were frequently moving some of them around and having a few more would be helpful so we’ll be ordering more of those soon. Flashlights were positioned correctly; bedroom, kitchen, living room, bathroom, but it would have been helpful to have one near the basement stairs. The hand crank weather radio that I’ve talked about previously was helpful in tracking the storm and subsequent damage and after hours of use the battery meter still showed a full charge (read the review here). We were able to keep our cell phones up and running using our solar battery packs, but might consider getting a couple more for longer term outages due to their slow recovery time (read the review here). The fridge and freezer both stayed cold as we kept them closed and covered the freezer with a blanket. Note: we keep frozen 2 liter bottles of water in the bottom of the chest freezer to help keep it cold during times like these. However; if the outage had lasted much longer I would have needed to hook up the generator to prevent spoilage. Which brings me to that; during the storm itself and the initial loss of power, the weather would have made it extremely difficult to get the generator up and running – I think we’re going to look into some type of solar backup power. More on that as we learn more. The temperatures were fairly mild during and immediately following the storm so the need for heat didn’t arise, but I do think we will need to invest more in this area in the future; more on that at a later date.

All in all we were little more than inconvenienced and ready to handle much worse. We had food, water, shelter, light and communication. We had the ability to cook if needed, to heat our home, and hunker down for days or weeks if necessary. We will up our preps in certain areas particularly fuel for heating and cooking as those remained untested. Every day is a new opportunity to learn. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

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