SURVIVAL LIGHTING : Part 1 of 6 – Power Outages (“Black-Outs”) .

These are also commonly refered to as ‘Blackouts’.

Power Outages are in many ways similar to earthquakes – they can occur without warning and they are not limited to a particular season of the calendar year or region of the world.

The power outage can be the result of a number of factors OR combination of factors :

  • bad weather, extreme cold/hot temperatures
  • other destructive weather phenomena such as heavy rainfall, snow, hurricanes, tornadoes, bush fires
  • earthquakes, tsunamis.

Origins of power outages.

Of all the threats that our back-up plans seek to address, a blackout is one of the most likely to occur. When part of the power grid fails, the affected area can be without power for hours, days and sometimes even weeks.

The causes of power outages are diverse. Power cuts can result from technical failures, but the increase in extraordinary climatic events (extreme heat, cold spells, storms, floods, electromagnetic disturbances of space origin, etc.) in recent years suggests that the threat is more serious comes rather from that side.

Of all the threats that our back-up plans seek to address, a blackout is one of the most likely to occur. When part of the power grid fails, the affected area can be without power for hours, days and sometimes even weeks.

The causes of power outages are diverse. Power cuts can result from technical failures, but the increase in extraordinary climatic events (extreme heat, cold spells, storms, floods.

Electromagnetic disturbances of space origin, etc.) in recent years suggests that the threat is more serious comes rather from that side.

Nevertheless, the “strange” activity detected around power and nuclear power plants in recent years (drones) may suggest that terrorists are seeking to attack these strategic points to weaken our economy and cause industrial disasters. Cyber ​​attacks are also increasing on the systems of these sites, so the threat is real and serious.

It should also be noted that sheer bad luck can and has led to a tiny, but nonetheless significant number of power outages ……

However, it wouldn‘t be right to lay the problem only at squirrels ….

Electricity consumption is constantly increasing.

The immediate consequences of a power failure include :

  • The immediate shutdown of the distribution of electricity to homes
blackout scene in an appartment block
  • The neutralization of modern means of communication (fixed and mobile telephony, internet),
  • The extinction of public lighting in cities and on highways,
  • The immobilization of transport dependent on electricity (trains, trams, metro, etc.),
  • The shutdown of businesses, industry and their supply and distribution channels,
  • The physical closure of neighborhood banks which will also become unreachable and the end of the distribution of cash,
  • The deprivation of modern comfort in the homes (lighting, cooking, heating, refrigeration). In short, anything that works with electricity.

How to prepare for a power outage.

During the first days of such a scenario, the disruption of fuel supply circuits for transport will cause shortages at petrol pumps but also in businesses that will no longer be supplied by carriers. 

Those in this situation will have to face aggressive and panic crowds at the best of times as well as to looters. At this point,it will not be possible or for that matter realistic to rely on the emergency services (police, firefighters, who will already be overwhelmed. 

If the power outage lasts a week or more, chaos and tensions will spread rapidly as stocks of supplies money, food, water, medicine, fuel, dwindle.

Therefore,  it is necessary to store at home to compensate for the lack of light, heating, refrigeration and cooking means to continue living in the best possible conditions. Also anticipate the decommissioning of elevators and garage doors. I recommend that you figure out how to operate these manually before being faced with a fait accompli and not being able to get your vehicle out when you need to do this most urgently.

A number of specific issues must be taken into account in order to minimize the inconveniences commonly associated with a power blackouts:

  1. Lighting & the emergency/auxiliary power supply availability
  2. Food and water supplies and storage
  3. Additional heating and cooking alternatives
  4. First Aid Kit & Medications
  5. Communication
  6. Generators for home use

(1) Lighting etc.etc

There is nothing worse for morale than a house or apartment in complete darkness, don’t ignore emergency lighting. It is vital that you store something for lighting your habitation during a blackout and  in an easily accessible place. 

For example, have plenty of candles and count at least one LED lantern per room and one torch per person. Also, keep enough batteries to keep these lanterns running for several days in a row during the dark evenings and night times. 

If the power outage is long-lasting and tensions start to appear, consider covering your windows as soon as night falls. Being the only well-lit house for miles around could get you in serious trouble – not,however, from the authorities !

Showing whoever wants to see it that we have something to light up when everyone is in the dark is not a good idea !

Regarding emergency supply sources, there are back-up solutions so that you are not completely deprived of electricity in the event of a power failure. 

Recharging your smartphone, emergency lighting and powering your radio is possible without having to use the mains. 

On a final but very important reminder – visit our SURVIVAL LIGHTING section to read more about coping with power outages AND the need to have at your disposal a variety of lighting and power-charging devices .

(2) Food & Water

In other sections of our website we have discussed the importance of Food & Water preparedness in the likelihood of some form of interruption to the normal supply.

However, here is an alternative presentation which to all intents and purposes mirrors what we have discussed elsewhere namely in the Food and Water menu.

Don’t Forget About Your Pets !


REMEMBER : If in doubt, throw it out !

(3) Additional Heating, Light & Cooking Alternatives

Cook Safely ! Warm meals can also be prepared without a stove. For example with a gas-powered camping stove that is easy to store and transport. This means that smaller meals can be prepared without any problems. Suitable gas cartridges for changing can be found in every hardware store.

A garden or table grill that runs on charcoal or gas can also be used for cooking without electricity. However, barbecuing should only take place outside, there is a risk of suffocation inside! For more advice and information go to our Camping Stoves & Accessories sub-section of the Food and Water menu.

Which Type of Solar Device Is Worth Buying For Grid-Down Situations ?

When preparing for grid-down situations, it’s essential to have reliable solar gear to generate electricity for your basic needs. The type of solar gear you should buy depends on your specific requirements, budget, and the duration of the grid-down situation.
Below are some types of solar gear we shall be discussing shortly :

Portable Solar Panels

Solar Generators

Solar-Powered Battery Banks

Off-Grid Solar Kits

Solar Water Heaters

Solar-Powered Lights

Solar-Powered Cooking Devices

Solar-Powered Water Purification

Solar-Powered Cooling.

Needless to say, it’s also wise to have a backup power source, such as a generator or a supply of fuel, in case of extended cloudy periods or equipment failure.
Additionally, make sure you have the necessary knowledge and skills to set up and maintain your solar equipment to ensure it functions when you need it most.

(4) First Aid Kit & Medications

Details of supplies to take into account ALL family members (and pets !) is listed below .If special medications are already being taken, it’s not a bad idea to have an additional supply.

(5) Communication

A massive power cut would cause the immediate termination of fixed and mobile telephone services. Without power, no more television to keep informed. At least have a small battery-powered radio to keep you informed of developments. To reach your loved ones (elderly and / or dependent) you will have no other choice than to travel to meet them physically if you are not equipped with radio-transceivers. 

Unless the blackout has been going on for weeks and the situation has turned into utter chaos, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Survivalist Radio: criteria for choosing a Battery-operated emergency radio :

Battery stations are the most common on the market. The quality of the case varies according to the model but in general, the solidity of all the stations is appropriate. On the other hand, it will be necessary to pay attention to the antenna which is the fragile point.

Using standard batteries is a great idea as they can be purchased anywhere. Also, these radios do not consume much power. You can last for months with a set of 4 batteries.

When purchasing, pay attention to the following criteria:

– Bands FM / MW (AM) at the bare minimum, LW / SW is a significant plus. 
– The more bands you pick up, the more likely you are to pick up a signal when needed.
– Standard AA or AAA batteries
– Telescopic antenna
– Ergonomics and solidity of the case

The Additional criteria:

– Headphone jack and SW antenna connector
– “Fine” button for fine tuning in SW
– Digital tuner and programmable memories
– Clock + alarm clock, Hold function
– RDS display (not essential)
– FM stereo (not essential)
– DX / LX function (switch to apply an attenuation of a too strong station)
– SSB compatibility

Worthy recommendations can be read from visiting this link of our Kits & Devices Section CLICK HERE


(6) Generators (For Home Use)

We have dedicated a whole sub-section to the importance of Generators (for Home Use) in the Kits & Devices menu. Access this sub-section by clicking this link HERE.

Staying Comfortable During Summer and Winter Outages.

As we mentioned at the beginning, Power Outages can occur at any time during extreme meteorological conditions at any time of the year. Therefore we need to be cool during abnormal heatwave events and warm during excessive cold weather and low temperatures resulting from no central heating when the power supply is cut off.

What is the best setting for the thermostat during the winter ?

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends 68 degrees Fahrenheit as the ideal temperature to save energy and still be comfortable. The agency adds that you should be mindful of “setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home.”

Heat Wave Power Outages :

Cold Weather Power Outage :

Winter Preparations to Fortify Your Home for the Cold

Getting in front of a situation is always better than trying to react to adversity. By being prepared ahead of time, you can ensure that you have the supplies you need, not only to survive but to comfortably make it through the winter.

Start now to make preparations so that you can fortify your home against the cold. By doing that, not only can you cut down your heating costs, but you can have your home ready to withstand the colder temperatures in the event that the heat goes out.

Your home can have drafts that work against your heating system by allowing cold air in and letting the warm air escape. You want to make sure that you fix these drafts before the winter weather impacts your home.

The best way to fix drafts is by making sure you have good weather stripping. Check each of the outer doors and all the windows of your home. One of the main signs that you need weather stripping or to replace what you do have is to check to see if you feel a draft.

If you feel air around the frame of your doors or around the windows, then air is getting in. You might not be able to feel any air coming in, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not. You can hold a lit candle in front of each side, top and bottom of your window.

If the flame flickers, that’s a sign you have a draft. When glass panes on your windows or doors are foggy, that’s also a sign that they’re not properly sealed against the weather.

If your heating bills are suddenly higher than they have been before, that can be a sign that your home isn’t weather sealed. You can easily buy and put up weather stripping yourself to protect against drafts and help keep your home warm for the winter weather events.

You want to be able to safely use your fireplace in the winter. But you can’t just light a fire once winter hits without having prepared ahead of time. Before you light the first fire, you need to have your chimney inspected.

An inspection can prevent a fire by making sure that there’s no residue in the chimney. By cleaning out the residue if there is any, you can make sure that your home is safe from this danger.

Getting your chimney inspected and cleaned out can also help make sure that any obstructions are cleared away. Birds and even wasps sometimes build nests in chimneys.

Anything that causes a blockage in the chimney can be dangerous. Ahead of the winter weather, make sure that the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. If you haven’t replaced your batteries before cold weather hits, then go ahead and do that. After you replace the batteries, perform an alarm test on each of the detectors that you have in your home.

Additional advice / tips as regards being ‘comfortable’ during stressful meteorological events are discussed in our membership zone. ALSO, we will demonstrate how to set up a Power Outage Container / Blackout Bag including what to include. Needless to say, the user can use or modify according to his/her preferences.

Now let’s move onto the other sub-sections with respect to the ‘SURVIVAL LIGHTING’ menu. All-in-all, we discuss the various issues and remedies likely to be encountered when there is an absence OR limited supply of energy (Light).

Hence, it’s appropiate to begin our discussion with a concise Introduction followed by a consideration (with recommendations) of one of the most basic/important sources of artificial light, namely Flashlights.

PART 2 >>>> Click This Link HERE !




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