Create Your Own Emergency Outage Kit

Emergency Outage Kit

Summer storms in the Midwest are common and so are power outages as a result of the storms. Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they last a long time.

Be prepared for when the power goes out. Assemble an emergency outage kit that includes the following items:

  • Flashlights and fresh batteries
  • Battery-powered radios or televisions
  • Candles, matches, or lighters
  • Water for drinking and cooking
  • Portable heater (oil or gas)*
  • Camping equipment (sleeping bags, camp stoves, lanterns)
  • Canned goods and a manual can opener
  • First Aid Kit
  • Manufacturers’ instructions for power-operated equipment such as the garage door, generator.

Many of these items you may already have on hand.  If not, you can purchase entire ready made kits online.

If a power outage is 2 hours or less, don’t be concerned about losing your perishable foods. For prolonged power outages, though, there are steps you can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of your household as comfortable as possible.

To help preserve your food during a power outage, keep the following supplies in your home:
  • One or more coolers—Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers work well.
  • Ice—Surrounding your food with ice in a cooler or in the refrigerator will keep food colder for a longer period of time during a prolonged blackout.
  • A digital quick-response thermometer— With these thermometers you can quickly check the internal temperatures of food to ensure they are cold enough to use safely.

* Caution: Some portable heaters can cause fires or other safety hazards when not used as specified by the manufacturer. Be sure to review the safety specifications of your specific model before using it during an outage.