In lieu of the recent mini-blackout incident in New York City, over 73,000 people went from normal to pitch black in a split second. Many were left without power, stuck in elevators and dark subways. Daily life and tourism came to a halt. Luckily, power was restored fairly quickly and within hours the city was back to its normal fast pace.
So then what’s the big deal?
Well, unfortunately the infrastructure of our power grid is massively inundated and very outdated leaving it very vulnerable for big issues. Much of our updated workings are intermingled with the older ones and something very simple could cause a mass black out in a matter of seconds. Whether it be weather, cyber hackers or typical power issues, we are at risk. And that risk is higher than people want to admit.
If a mass blackout occurs, which is bound to happen, millions will instantly lose access to life giving resources without warning. You will lose access to your finances, your food sources, your power, gas, access to medications, transportation and even telecommunication lines. All lost, in seconds. With cyber-terrorists hacking away daily and weather being a constant wild card, it seems as though this could be a real crisis sooner than later. Being prepared could be a matter of life or death for you and your family. Don’t be scared, just get prepared. We have gathered some of the top items that are essential for your black out kit. Keep in mind to update these items every so often and check expiration dates. Otherwise, pack it up and store it somewhere that you and all members of the family are aware of and can access quickly, keeping in mind any hazards for small children.
You will need the following to get you started in the case of emergency:
1. Storage bin
You want something that can be grabbed and transported with stability and easily if you have to leave quickly.
You need a few flashlights. Have batteries already in the flashlight so it’s ready to be turned on immediately. A headlamp makes an excellent option, as well as having some glow sticks with string to wear as a necklace. Have all of these, You can’t over do it.
Take note, you need extra batteries and extra batteries for the extra batteries. The most common sizes are AA and AAA but be sure to check anything in your kit to make other sizes are not needed.
4. First Aid Kit
This should be equipped with gloves, bandages, tweezers, scissors, alcohol wipes, medical tape, gauze pads, antibiotic ointment, over the counter pain medications, tweezers and hydrocortisone cream. If you are on medications, having an extra set of them to store in there is wise.
You want to prepare for at least 3 days of nutrient dense food for you and your family. Be mindful that if you have kids, pack things they will easily eat. Some suggestions are granola bars, jerky, canned foods with can opener or pull-lids, nuts, dried fruits, seeds and easy packaged foods like oats and soups. If you have a baby, a can of formula is important. Also, remember to include dry food for your pets.
Hydration is a must in crisis situations. Keep as much water as you can easily carry with you. Sports drinks are also great because they help balance electrolytes. Be sure to pack enough for your pets and for baby bottles if needed.
7. Other Equipment
A few must haves we keep in our kit include a utility knife, candles and matches, a whistle, garbage bags, cooking pot and duct tape.
You’ll need dry clothing to meet seasonal needs and extra underwear and socks. Pack clothing in protective gallon zip bags to avoid them from getting wet or damaged.
9. Personal items
A few toiletries, deodorant, baby wipes, toilet paper, tampons/pads for women, diapers for babies will make a black out more comfortable.
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Once the essentials are stashed, add some cash, a deck of cards, a board game, pen & paper, books. This may not be crucial for physical survival but can help many stay distracted and calm in stressful situations.
The truth is, it’s not a matter of “if” but more a matter of “when” we will see a crisis size black out. At this exact moment, how prepared are you for the when?