Power Outage! 12 Steps to Prepare

15 July 2018  
We’re smack dab in the middle of Monsoon season! 

It’s wonderful and the rain is so appreciated. But sometimes, monsoons can play havoc with power supply. 

What to do?

First of all, your preparation for a power outage starts before the outage occurs. 

1. Freeze a cup of water. Then place a quarter on top. Leave the cup of water in the freezer. Read this FB post for further information:

2. Have rechargeable flashlights in handy, easy-to-find places. Make sure the rechargeable flashlights are charged up. 

3. Also have some battery operated flashlights handy. But, to make sure the batteries stay fresh, and don’t leak and corrode the inside of the flashlight, take them out and rubber-band them to the outside of the flashlight. Or place the flashlights and the batteries together in ziplock bags. Have a stash of extra batteries ready, too.

4. Make sure your phone is charged. (BTW, did you know that most smart phones have a flashlight feature?)

5. Have separate external phone power banks in handy places. Make sure they’re charged! Attach a charging cable to each one with a rubber band. That way you don’t have to go searching for charging cables in the dark.

6. Consider investing in an external power bank for your laptop. These can be pricey, but if you think you’ll need your laptop during a power outage, you might be really glad you did. Other important investments for your computers and expensive electronics are surge protectors, and a line conditioner. (Line conditioners are invaluable if you get a lot of power surges and brownouts. When we lived in the forest in an older home, our power was very uneven. The line conditioner took care of all those issues).

7. Create an emergency food kit. Put enough food in it for 1-2 days. Three days if you’re paranoid! ;)

  • Nothing that needs to be cooked or kept refrigerated. Tins of meat, crackers, veggies, fruit, applesauce. A lot of cereals can be eaten dry for breakfast or a snack. Beef jerky! Poptop lids would be smart, otherwise, toss in an extra can opener. Nourishing foods are probably preferred over snack foods, but you may want to toss a few treats in! You can get bulk dried food such as nuts at stores like Sprouts. Just be sure to put things like dried apricots and raisins in air-tight containers or bags so they don’t get hard and stale. 
  • Baby and pet food if applicable. 
  • Water: 1 gallon per person per day, plus enough for your pets

8. 1-2 days worth of medicine, measured out in pill minders. If more than one person is taking daily meds, give them each their own pill minder. Choose different colors for each person and label them. Keep a medication list printed out with dosages, and also on your phone. Make it quick and easy - take photos of the labels. (That’s super handy when you go to the doctor, too.)

9. First aid kit, complete with pain relievers, bandaids, antacid, laxatives. You might want to include some over-the-counter allergy medication such as Benedryl in case of insect bites. 
(I also use meat tenderizer to mix with water to make a paste for bee stings. True story - one year during soccer season, yellow jackets were swarming at the game fields and someone in our family would get stung at least once every Saturday, so I carried a baggie of meat tenderizer with me the entire season!) 

10. Make cleanup easy. Set aside a bag of paper towels, disposable plates, cups and utensils. If you have an infant or toddler, be sure to toss in some disposable diapers and wipes. Adding some trash bags won’t hurt!

11. You may want some entertainment - a box of books you’ve been meaning to read and family games are always fun. If you need to keep score, get pens, pencils and paper. Round it out with coloring books or paper and crayons. 

12. Know where your extra blankets or sleeping bags are. If the power outage occurs during monsoons, you may not need much. But if your power outage occurs during the snowy winter, you’ll be happy to use extra warmth. Keeping gloves, mittens, hats and extra socks won’t hurt. For packaging clothing items for each person, stuff them in a ziplock bag (you can even get 2 gallon sizes) and write their names on them. 

Now you’ve gotten your pre-power outage preparation done, actually riding out the power outage is pretty easy. 

If your power goes out and your service provider is APS, you can check the outage map here: http://outagemap.aps.com/outageviewer/ You can also call APS at 855-688-2437 (Residential) or 602-371-6767 (Business) for updates.

  • Check your circuit breaker box.
  • Don’t open your refrigerator or freezer if you can avoid it. 
  • Unplug your electronics. When the power comes back on, give it a few minutes before re-plugging everything in.
  • When the power comes back on, check the cup in your freezer. If the quarter is still at the top, you’re good to go!
  • Use the needed items from your pre-power preparations. Pat yourself on the back for being proactive and ready!

One more note: I’ve seen the APS repairmen out in the freezing cold during a snow storm at night working hard to bring my electricity back on (and everyone else’s, of course). When you see them, give them a thumbs up and a cheer. They’re our other first responders, and they deserve our good will!


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Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.