Severe power blackouts due to harsh weather conditions or austere technical emergencies can leave you feeling scared and helpless, especially when several hours have passed. Unless you’ve experienced it before and are prepared for the worst, it’s difficult to imagine surviving in a complete power blackout even for a few minutes. If you hail from locations that experience crazy snowfalls and thunderstorms or are surrounded by experimenting technical mills, it’s highly likely that you can undergo power blackouts several times. Even if it’s a blackout due to other reasons, being prepared beforehand can make your survival easier.

Here are a few tips that you can follow during these difficult situations:

1. Stock Your Pantry

If the power has been out for several hours, it’s impossible to cook and feed your children. The only thing you can do is reach your pantry or food shelves and grab the first thing you get. A long-term pantry with endless food supply will ensure that no one goes hungry or stays cranky for longer hours.

Prepare your food list smartly and make sure to add some of your family’s favorite items that are easy to grab and eat. Food items can include bread, cheese, milk, cereal, crackers, cookies, canned vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, granola bars, instant coffee, dried fruit, chips, and juice. Whenever you go out to shop, buy these in bulk (especially when there is a discount).

2. Get a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that can lead to death. It is most commonly produced during power outages and thus we need to be aware of its release. Installing a carbon monoxide detector can alert you of its presence in the atmosphere. Make sure to not use outdoor grills or generators inside. More importantly, buy a detector that operates on batteries. Keep checking on the battery and make sure that you have spares.

3. Install a Generator

A generator is the most crucial tool during blackouts to produce backup power. With multiple types of generators available today, the two most commonly used are petroleum and solar generators. When you compare and research petroleum vs solar generators, you find that both serve respective purposes and can be difficult to choose from. You need to narrow down your options by thinking of the primary purpose and rethinking the pros and cons.

Solar generators do not produce harmful emissions, can be changed easily and are compact, but they do not function for longer hours and aren’t ideal for powering your entire house, whereas petroleum generators are easy to start and more powerful, but they are not compact and make a lot of noise. Hence, depending on the area, location and functionality, you can choose a generator that’s apt for your situation.

4. Ensure Sanitary and Hygienic Conditions

If you’re used to hot water for bathing, washing dishes and taking a dump, a power blackout will ruin your sanitary experience. It will devoid you of hot water, leaving you with discomfort and uneasiness. At times, there can be issues in flushing the toilet and, hence, keeping a lot of water handy gives you the option of manual flushing by forcefully throwing water down the tank. Make sure to keep antibacterial soaps and wipes near to ensure a hygienic environment and preventing people from falling sick. Having a septic tank wouldn’t be a problem but it’s always better to stay prepared.

5. Keep Power Supplies Handy

Firstly, make sure that you turn on the power saving mode of all electronic devices as soon as the blackout occurs to increase the longevity of the devices. Secondly, store some additional power supplies such as fully charged power banks or extra batteries that can ensure that your electronic devices don’t die soon. Devices like cell phones are extremely important during emergency situations like these and so you need to keep them running as long as possible. A solar charger or in-car chargers are other power supply options if you run out of the first options. Keep a few disposable batteries in hand that can be replaced in suitable devices.

Apart from these tips, you need to make sure that you have first aid kits and all kinds of medical needs prepared for children and elderly persons. You never know how long it’ll be until you see the power again. Most importantly, don’t panic because people around you might rely on you. Staying calm and composed in these situations can win the first half of the battle. And being prepared with these tips can warrant a complete victory.