How do you survive a month without electricity?

I live in a hurricane prone area. You have to have enough food that does not need refrigeration such as canned foods, or buy the food as you need it. Cook on a camp stove or BBQ grill. Learn to like a cold shower. Go to bed when the sun goes down, and enjoy not having a television filling your brain with senseless fluff. It can be done. I've done it. It's like a camping trip at home. But when the power comes back on it's HOT shower time!

Preparedness Is Key!

If possible, keep frozen gallon jugs of water in your freezer. When the power is determined to be off for a period of time perhaps over 4 hours, place the frozen jugs in a cooler to keep items cool. The jugs are basically 8 lb blocks of ice with handles. Once melted, you can drink the water.

River, stream, or pool water can be used for flushing. Scoop a bucket full and pour directly into the toilet bowl when flushing is required. Don't waste time trying to pour it into the toilet tank, you'll only spill it all over the place.

General Items

  • Try to choose flashlights that have LEDs in them. The LEDs don't have filaments that will break and they also run much longer on batteries than traditional lights.
  • Purchase lights and radios that use "D" batteries. Standardize your battery types. Keep spare alkaline batteries on hand in quantities sufficient to change each device a couple of times.
  • When listening to a radio, do so at reduced volume. This allows the radio to run much longer.
  • Buy some chemical light sticks. These will supply light for about 8 hours and they are handy to have in the bathroom.
  • Avoid using ANY open flames such as candles and oil or propane lanterns.
  • Keep a battery powered carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm in your house as a backup.
  • Do all cooking outside when possible.
  • Store sufficient quantities of water per person (and per pet). Guidelines call for 1 gallon per person per day. A hot water tank is also a source of water for persoanl hygiene. First turn off the burner or element (in case the power returns). Drain water from the drain valve. If water seems to drain slowly, open a hot water faucet for a minute upstairs. Remember to shut the faucet again for when the water returns!
  • Have spare medications on hand, along with an extra pair of eye glasses.
  • Have a flashlight for each person, along with spare batteries (see above). "D" cell recommended.
  • Have an LED area lamp or two for generalized lighting.
  • Make sure you have a car charger for your cell phone.
  • Consider a car charger for NiMH batteries for radios and lights.