Power-Outage Prep: 6 Items People Forget ALL THE TIME

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Power-Outage Prep: 6 Items People Forget ALL THE TIME

Any prepper worth their salt will tell you: when survival is the game, the basics are what matter most.

In that spirit, today we're going to talk about some of the most important foundational preparedness supplies that get overlooked when an emergency hits and the power goes out.

1. Not Enough Toilet Paper

person in protective suit carrying toilet paper

It’s probably the least sexy thing in your emergency supply, but I don’t know a single prepper who ever complained about having “too much” toilet paper.

You need this stuff, and it disappears surprisingly quickly. As a rule, you should have about a week’s worth on hand. My advice is to calculate how many you need and then add a few extra rolls.

2. Camp Shower

camp shower

If the power is out, there’s a good chance your water is soon to follow.

And even if you have water available in an emergency, it will probably be excruciatingly COLD.

Why does this matter? Because nothing beats a hot shower, especially in a stressful situation. Enter: the camp shower. It heats in the sun so you don’t need electricity to get hot water.

Plus, it’s got plenty of uses outside of showering. You can use it to wash your hands, do the dishes, or even just as a general cleaner.

If you haven’t used one, it’s quick and easy to get going. Just add water, hot or cold, and hang up the bag. Then pull the shower head for water. Whatever you don't use can be drained or saved for the next shower.

3. Not Enough Drinking Water

blue water barrel on a balcony

It’s not that we forget about water. It’s just that we don’t always realize HOW MUCH we need. Most people have a few cases of water bottles, but if your water’s out for a week or more, that’s not going to do it. 

That’s why it’s important to have a good amount of water stowed away in long-term storage, and it doesn’t have to be in 55-gallon barrels either—not everyone has room for that.

A good alternative is water bricks. They’re smaller and more convenient. They let you spread your water supply out over a wide area rather than amassing it all in one location. You can fit a few under a bed, in a dresser drawer, behind a couch, in your pantry…wherever you’ve got space.

Most are stackable and can even be used for shelving (depending on your sense of “feng shui.”) At the end of the day, they give you water when you need it, and that’s the most important thing.

4. Bandanas

man in hat glasses and bandana

Bandanas are just plain handy. You can use them as a face covering, tissue, headband, hair tie, tourniquet, washcloth, or even reusable toilet paper if you're in dire need (see the toilet section above to avoid this situation…)

So grab one for every member of your crew, because you never know when you may need it.

5. Glow Sticks

blue neon glow stick

Glow sticks are very useful when the power goes out. They give you a bit of light and they burn without putting off any gases. Just crack them and place them where they're needed.

They make great nightlights (kids love them) and bathroom lights. They put off enough of a glow to help you see in the dark, but not so much that you can’t sleep.

6. Headlamps

woman outside in a headlamp at sunset

Flashlights are great—no supply is complete without them— but they do take one of your hands away.

Headlamps are as bright as your flashlight, but they give you back your hands. That makes working on projects like cooking or handwashing a breeze.



    great ideas, however to go one step farther. I did get 1000 watt solar generator + 2000watt gas invertor. plus 6 months of stuck away in the corner food. Hurricane season is getting longer….

  • russell holding

    glowsticks are ok but the outdoor solar yard lights are the bomb when it comes to indoor lights, set them out to get charged and inside when it’s getting dark, they last a long time.

  • russell holding

    glowsticks are ok but the outdoor solar yard lights are the bomb when it comes to indoor lights, set them out to get charged and inside when it’s getting dark, they last a long time.

  • Doug Samsel

    I enjoyed your article, but I figure you’re new to prepping. If as you stated in your very first recommendation for toilet paper “you should have about a weeks worth on hand”. I would never recommend that little amount of toilet paper. One month would be at least a start, but I’d feel more comfortable recommending six months to a year supply. It’s inexpensive and you don’t have to worry about shelf life!
    Just my thoughts!

  • Richard Williams

    love the post about power outage, one thing though, (as someone who has been through three and a half weeks without power during an ice storm) you will need a gas stove if you are like us being totally electric. We were in prep. mode and drug out the camping stuff and were in good shape because we prepped.

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