Basic Power Needs

What are my basic power needs?

In an emergency you’ll quickly learn what you can and cannot live without.  You will want to power on the things you use most.  In terms of a hierarchy of needs we suggest paying attention to the following in order:  light, heat, heat for cooking, communication, refrigeration, cooling.

What wouldn’t work when there’s a regional power outage?

  • Water: water pumps to cisterns, city water pumps that channel water to your tap
  • Lights: household lights, neighborhood light poles, traffic signals
  • Communication: cell phones (after batteries died), home cordless phones, radios without batteries, computers, Internet routers
  • Banking: ATMs, Point of Sale Machines (swiping credit cards at grocery or appliance stores)
  • Transportation: Getting gas at the station
  • Food Storage: refrigerators and freezers at home, at the grocery store, at convenience stores, at discount stores
  • Cooking: electric stoves, microwaves, tea kettles, coffee makers, blenders, ovens, toasters
  • Cleaning: electric hot water heaters (no hot showers or hot water in house), washers, dryers
  • Entertainment: TVs, DVDs, XBox, Wii, Playstation, computers, electric guitars

How should I prepare to power on the things I want?

The following power chart shows your options for emergency essentials like light, heat, communication, etc.

Need for Power Basic Options Mid Range Options Advanced Options Top Picks
Lights Flashlights+  Battery Back Ups

Solar Powered Flashlights

Battery Powered Lantern + Batteries

Candles + Matches

Fuel-Burning Lantern

Electric Charged- Portable Generator (that’s been plugged in while power is on)

Gas-Powered Generator with Inverter + Stored Gasoline

TIP:  1.5 gallons = 6 hours of power

Solar Energy Wired to HomeHome Generator

Simple Solar System

Simple Solar + Wind System

PetroMax Lantern
Heating Home Fireplace + Firewood + Matches Generator

Propane-Powered Indoor Heater

Wood Burning Stove (solves cooking problem too) + Wood Supply + Matches/FirestarterPropane-outfitted Fireplace

Fireplace Insert

Home Generator

Solar Energy (Photovoltaic) System

Solar + Wind System

Fire Steel
Heat for Cooking Fireplace + Wood + Matches + Cast Iron Cooking Pots

Propane Camping Stove

Propane BBQ Grill

Propane Powered Outdoor Burner

Charcoal Grill/Hibachi

Propane-Outfitted Cooktop for Kitchen Range

Natural Gas-Outfitted Cooktop for Kitchen Range

Propane-Outfitted Fireplace

Mobile Generator

Home Generator

Simple Solar System

Simple Solar + Wind System

Propane Cooker
Recharging Batteries Ample Battery Supply as Back-Up Solar Battery Charger    
Communication Cellphone + Spare Charged Batteries

Battery-Powered Radio

Copper-Wire Phone Line Installed + 20th Century Phone

FRS Radio (like walkie-talkie)

GMRS Radio (like walkie-talkie)

Ham Radio + Ham Radio License

Ham Radio+ Ham Radio  License + Transmitter Tower Ham Radio Home Study Course
Refrigeration If cold outside, move items to expose to cold Generator Propane-Powered Refrigerator

Simple Solar System

Simple Solar + Wind System

Cooling Home     Simple Solar System

Simple Solar + Wind System

Powering Water Pumps & Tanks Manual Pump + Water Source Well + Well Bucket Generator