Whether it's a blizzard that leaves power lines coated in ice, a fast-moving summer thunderstorm or a hurricane with whipping winds, you can unexpectedly lose power in your home. How long will it be until it's restored? If it's longer than a few hours, being prepared can make all the difference in how your family fares. All State Insurance and Lisa Bedford, author of "Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios," teamed up to provide a list of the top four items you should hoard now so you're prepared for an emergency later. The four basic emergency supplies every family needs:
There are three types of fuel you should keep on hand: Gasoline or diesel fuel, safely stored in five-gallon containers, to power a generator. Propane for a propane-powered grill. Supply of seasoned wood to be used in a fireplace, wood-burning stove or cooking over a campfire.
2. No-Cook Foods
Store emergency foods in your pantry that do not require refrigeration, including canned tuna fish, dried fruit, granola bars, peanut butter, jerky, pudding cups, seeds and nuts, packets of instant milk and V-8 juice. In addition, make sure you have a manual can opener.
3. Light Sources and Batteries
Keep a supply of flashlights on hand, including headlamps and lanterns. Be sure to stock up on batteries. Tip: LED batteries provide the longest life. Candles can also be used as a light source, but do be careful around the open flames.
Whether you rely on well water or municipal water, a power outage can sometimes affect your access to clean water. Do keep bottled water on hand to be used for drinking, cooking, sanitation and bathing. The inexpensive way to do this is to thoroughly wash 2-liter soda bottles or plastic milk jugs and fill them with plain tap water.