Prepping 101: What to expect when the power goes out
By Zoey Sky // Oct 04, 2021

A power outage may not seem so bad, especially if you're a prepper with a survival stockpile that's full of supplies for your whole family. But what if the power outage lasts for a week or more?


To make sure you're not caught completely by of guard, follow the tips below to survive a long-term power outage. (h/t to

Day 1: Prepare your home for an outage in hot or cold weather

If you lose power for one day, you might have to deal with either the heat or the cold, depending on where you live and what the weather is like. If it's warm and it starts raining, open doors and windows to let the cool breeze in.

If you live somewhere cold or if you're worried about a power outage during winter, prepare methods that you can use to stay warm without needing electricity, like a wood-burning stove with lots of extra firewood.

With a gas stove, you can still prepare food for the family. During a one day power outage, your fridge and freezer will still keep things cold if you keep the doors closed.

Day 2: Stock up on water for drinking and sanitation

If a power outage lasts for two days, it might be harder to sleep because of the heat or the cold. You might also be unable to work if you work from home.

Additionally, the kids will have to stay at home if school is out during a city-wide outage.

Before SHTF, figure out a way to properly get rid of human waste if an extended outage will cause issues with your plumbing and toilets. You should also stock up on enough water for drinking, cooking and sanitation. (Related: Prepping tips: How to survive a long-term power outage.)

Day 3: Stock up on supplies for your family

If a power outage goes on for three days, you might start running out of water. Fortunately, this won't be a problem if you already prepared a stockpile of supplies.

The food in your fridge can still be eaten since the insulation will keep it cold. Try to keep your freezer full so there's a lot of cold food there to keep it cold.

If you think the outage will last more than three days, start eating the food in your fridge before it goes bad. Make sure you also stock up on supplies for your pets like treats and pet food.

Bathing may also be a challenge if you don't have running water and the weather is warm. To keep cool, take a bath with water you can spare from your supply. Use something like a five-gallon bucket and a smaller plastic container to pour water over yourself.

Day 4: Make sure you have shelf-stable food

On day four, you might need to start cooking outdoors, such as on a grill. Stock up on propane if you have a gas-powered grill.

If you're worried about what to cook and eat during a long-term power outage, here are some snacks and dishes that you can prepare without any electricity using food from your survival stockpile:

  • Granola bowl with yogurt, muesli, or canned fruit
  • Overnight oats with water and fruit toppings
  • Bread or toast with butter and jam
  • Salads with kale, onions, spinach, tomatoes, nuts and a simple dressing
  • Burrito bowls
  • Peanut butter with sliced fruit
  • Chunky hummus with veggie sticks

Day 5: Prepare backup power sources

On day five, you might start running out of power for your electronics. Prepare for an outage by getting renewable sources of energy, like solar panels, and getting enough to power important appliances like your fridge.

You should also have enough power to charge phones and other necessities. Stock up on extra batteries for flashlights.

Day 6: Be prepared to deal with non-preppers

Before SHTF, make sure your neighbors are prepared to deal with situations like a long-term outage. Even if they don't take up prepping like you, you can teach them how important it is to have at least a week's worth of supplies.

This ensures that when disaster strikes, no one will target your home, especially if you're the only prepper in the neighborhood after a six-day outage.

Day 7: Arm yourself so you can protect your family

If the power outage lasts for one week or more, people might start panicking. Some might even become violent. If things get this bad, let them know that you are armed and prepared to fight back if they try to hurt your family or steal from you.

Before SHTF in your neighborhood, prepare for a long-term power outage by stocking up on food, water and fuel.

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