What to Do When The Lights Go Out: Immediate, Short-Term, and Long-Term Strategies

What to Do When The Lights Go Out: Immediate, Short-Term, and Long-Term Strategies by High Country for The Organic Prepper

When the power goes out, it usually happens at the most inopportune time. Like, when it’s dark. And suddenly, you have to look for that flashlight that you put in the drawer in the kitchen. Or, is it in the hallway closet? 

 It’s important to have strategies to meet your immediate needs, as well as short-term and long-term strategies.

Check out The BlackOut Book by Daisy Luther.

Suggestions to help keep you lit up.

Having additional light sources readily available is crucial in the event of a power outage. Always make sure you have extra batteries and that these light sources are in good working order.

Headlamps: Every member of the family should have a headlamp. It’s challenging to hold a flashlight and try to work or cook with only one hand available. Try getting pots, pans, and ingredients from different locations in a dark kitchen. Guaranteed, you will be much happier with some light, and a headlamp allows you to use both hands. 

Headlamps that use rechargeable 18650 lithium batteries and can also use two disposable CR123a lithium batteries are best. The CR123a batteries have a shelf life of ten years. You may have a heart attack trying to buy them in a store. I recommend buying in bulk on Amazon. Top off the 18650 batteries in a charger every 90 days. 

Be sure to purchase the batteries recommended by the manufacturer. Unregulated, cheap batteries can damage your LED Flashlights and Headlamps. There are several good manufactures of Headlamps. 

Here are just a few: 

**Stationary Lighting: I do NOT recommend anything that has a flame, Propane, or Kerosene. If knocked over by a person, dog, or aftershock, you could have a house fire rather than a power outage.

LED Lanterns: We keep a Streamlight Siege Lantern in all our vehicles. It uses three D cell batteries and has different levels of light. Here are two others I highly recommend: 

  • UST (Ultimate Survival Technologies) LED Lantern: Their 30-day lantern (meaning it can last 30 days on the lowest setting) is very similar to the Streamlight Siege lantern. It also uses three D cell batteries. 
  • UST 60 Day Lantern: This lantern can put out up to a thousand lumens of light. It uses six D cell batteries. This one is a good one to put on the kitchen table when everyone is eating.

*All of these lanterns have a hook so they can be hung upside down.

Energizer makes the D cell batteries that these particular lanterns require with a shelf life of 10 years. You can get a box of 12 Max D batteries on Amazon for about $20.00 delivered. 

Ultimate Survival Technologies says you should leave the batteries out of the light until they are needed. However, I have kept the batteries in my UST 60-day lantern for five years, and it works fine. If there is a parasitic drain, it must be minimal.

For more suggestions on lighting options, see this article.

Need more than just light? Buy a generator.

We live off the grid on a ranch. Anywhere on the ranch, other than the house which has a solar system, requires a generator. I’ve used many generators, and I have some strong opinions on what works well. 

Here are some suggestions for you to consider: 

Small Generators: Get a Honda. Nothing else compares to their reliability and ease of operation. I have two friends that are small engine mechanics who say the same thing. Get a Honda. 

Small generators are generally gasoline-powered. The primary problem with small generators is if you leave gas in them without rotating the gas, it gums up the carburetor and needs to be taken apart and cleaned. Being diligent about changing out the gas means you are continually pouring a flammable liquid in and out of your generator. If you store your generator in the garage and your water heater is in the garage too, a gasoline leak could cause a big problem.

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