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on the 06
February 2014 at 17:02
- Posted in
So there you are, sitting in front of the telly, watching Corrie when all of a sudden the power goes off and you are sat there in the dark, you wait for a few minutes waiting for it to come back on but nothing happens. What do you do? What preparations have you made?
Alternatively you are sat watching Corrie, there is a knock on the door, a Police officer says the street is being evacuated, you need to leave your home, they have no idea when you will be allowed to return, what do you take with you?
Both these situations are not that common, but they are happening to thousands of people in this bad weather, and you could be asked to evacuate at any time of the year. Last summer I had to oversee the evacuation of several residences due to a large fire.
With a little preparation and forethought these incidents don't have to be a complete panic ridden crisis.
Lets look at power cuts to start with, here's some ideas of things to have ready 'just in case', store them together in a bag or box. Think how many people are likely to be in your house, plan for 48 hours without power and add 50%!
, wind up torches are ideal, if you have battery powered torches store them without the batteries in and have spare batteries. Glow sticks can also be really useful.
a wind up radio is the best but battery powered with spare batteries.
Non perishable snacks & food
There are cans of self heating soups available and a few of these will keep you going, but also have some things like tinned stew etc. Remember snacks like chocolate etc. (Oh don't forget to include a can opener & cutlery too!!)
Have a minimum of 2 or 3 litres of bottled water for each person, normal water supplies may be interrupted
Without power things are quickly going to get chilly in winter!
First Aid Kit
A basic kit and include water purifying tablets.
Consider what alternatives to heating you have and maybe purchase a portable camping stove (and something to boil water in as the electric kettle will not be that effective!!)
If you have a portable camping stove make up a 'brew kit', include tea bags, sachets of coffee, sugar & whitener and maybe a Bovril type drink) to keep with your foodstuffs.
Perhaps the best suggestion would be to have some army 24hr ration packs, readily available from army surplus outlets.
Candles are OK as a light source but must never be left unattended, far too many house fires are caused by candles, save these as a last resort!
Two other things to consider as part of your preparations, warm clothing and entertainment, it is going to be fairly dull without the power so have some books or board games nearby too.
Right the power goes out, what to do;
Take a minute or two to let your eyes adjust to the darkness before moving. You'll be surprised how much better you can see and you won't be as likely to hurt yourself by walking into a table, wall, door, etc.
witch off all electrical appliances that may have been in use when supply was interrupted and are not designed to run unattended, for example: Cookers, heaters, bar fires etc.
Leave fridge & freezer doors closed, they will keep cold for a few hours, cover with a blanket for insulation (but remember to remove it when the power is restored).
For further advice go to
So, the Police officer just knocked on your door and told you that everyone on your street is being evacuated, except in an absolute emergency you will have a little time to grab some essentials and put them in a bag. Most people grab the three P's - Purse, Pets & Pictures! But you will need more than that so plan now, have a check off list by the front door & be prepared, here are some ideas:
2/ Some spare (warm) clothes
3/ Important documents (Insurance policies, driving licence, passport etc.)
4/ If you have a baby spare food & changing kit
5/ Books, electronic games or something to keep you & kids entertained
6/ Chargers for mobile phones
7/ Some snacks & drinks
8/ Computer portable hard drive (if you have one, worth backing up all your data to one!)
Generally you will be allowed one medium size bag per person, so use this as part of your planning.
If you have pets have a carrier for cats and lead for dog. Remember food for your pets too! Some emergency centres may not allow pets in so prepare for this.
Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
Hopefully this will get you thinking and you will be prepared if the time ever comes.
If you have any suggestions or advice please leave them in the comments section.
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