We’re used to being able to flick a switch for everything from lighting to heating. But in a power cut, especially at night, suddenly the most basic of tasks become a real challenge. Couple that with any other emergency and a problem quickly becomes a nightmare.
One really easy way to reduce the stress at such times is to make a power failure kit. Essential for the home, but also useful at the office, a power failure kit contains essential tools and supplies to make getting on without mains electricity that little bit easier.
Have a special place for your kit, that everyone knows about, you won’t have to be hunting around in the dark trying to pull it all together at the last minute – only to find out too late you don’t have what you need.
To keep things tidy select a storage box, tub, cupboard or shelf to keep your kit until you need it.
Items you might need include:
- It’s a good idea to store some emergency food and water, as explained in our previous tip, just in case power loss affects your access to those essentials for life.
- Torches and plenty of spare batteries, or reliable wind-up torches, are obvious essentials in this kit. If you use rechargeable batteries, make sure they are charged in line with manufacturers instructions in advance, and keep the charger in your kit so you can always find it.
- Some people prefer to store lightsticks (available from camping or outdoors shops), or candles and matches. If you do store candles and matches you should take care to avoid fire risks, and keep them away from children and animals. Use candles on stable surfaces where they won’t get knocked off, in good quality candle holders, and away from little fingers and flamable materials. Follow advice from your local emergency fire service where naked flames are concerned. Never use candles or matches where there is a risk of gas leak, or flamable chemical or fuel spillage such as petrol, methylated spirits or even some household or beauty products.
- Including some kind of camping stove in your kit means you can heat or cook food, and have hot drinks, without relying on mains power. Always follow manufacturers instructions about safety and ventilation when using a stove, and storing food.
- Having a working radio can boost morale, and keep you informed of local events through broadcast news bulletins. Include plenty of spare batteries with your radio, or purchase a reliable wind-up kind. Some wind-up radios take batteries too, and that can be useful.
- It’s a good idea to have some warm clothes, sleeping bags, or blankets, in case a power cut also means a big drop in temperature. This is usually quite simple at home and I wouldn’t usually bother having some specially set aside in the kit – just make sure they are available. But at the office, while it might require more advanced preparation, it doesn’t hurt to keep some warm extras in a cupboard, or in the boot of your car.
- Finally, to keep up your spirits and avoid boredom away from our usually connected world, why not chuck in a selection of good books, board games or card games.
These simple steps can take away the stress of a power cut, making the whole experience much more worry free. Why take the chance when the solution is so simple?