I don’t know about the men in your life, but my husband talks about the zombie apocalypse with complete certainty and seriousness. “If there’s one thing life has taught me,” he tells me, “it’s that zombies are coming.” Well, I am not sure I believe zombies will bring the end of the world, but I do believe disaster can and will strike at any time. So many unfortunate people around the world can attest to that. And last night, I got a *very minor* glimpse into such a future.
Our power went out. And honestly, while it felt like an eternity, it was only about an hour and a half. We were getting ready to give Allie a bath and put her to bed when everything went black. I’m talking no light whatsoever. Thankfully, my Eagle Scout-Marine husband was just in the other room and emerged within seconds wearing his Surefire headlamp (seriously). He made sure we had a flashlight and were okay on our own, then went to fetch our emergency generator. As I sat there feeding Allie in the dark, I realized how eerily quiet it was and wondered how long we’d be in the cold. And I felt so amazingly grateful that we normally have heat and power.
By the time Ben returned with our generator, the power was back on, but the whole (very brief) experience made me think about the importance of being prepared for all kinds of calamities—whether it be a simple power outage, flood, tornado, or even the dreaded zombie apocalypse. This list is far from comprehensive, but these are a few things you probably want to have on hand in the event of disasters, big or small:
- Emergency kit (something like this): This covers most of your bases. We obviously didn’t need anything like this last night, but for situations where you are out of power or even plumbing for more than a day, you’ll want a kit like this. Food, water, first aid, and other essentials to at the very least keep you alive. All in an easy, grab-and-go form.
- Two or three flashlights with extra batteries (we love Surefire brand): We keep these scattered around the house for quick access wherever we are. Ben suggests having both handheld and headlamp versions. And don’t forget the spare batteries!
- Battery-powered phone charger (like this Tego Power Grid): We can probably handle turning off our TVs and computers for a few hours, but phones are pretty critical for getting and keeping in touch with loved ones. Having a power source in case your phone runs out of juice is something we’d all appreciate!
- Small gas-powered generator (and gas): Generators that power an entire house are pricey. A small generator like this one can power a space heater, fan, or refrigerator—whatever is most vital—until conditions improve. Keep a small gas can like this on hand to fill up at a gas station when the need arises (keeping a full gas can around poses a hazard). You can also siphon gas from your car in dire circumstances.
- Playing cards: You forget until the power is out how much of what you do for fun requires power. Make sure to have some form of easy entertainment handy, like a simple deck of cards, especially if you have kids.
Bonus essential: A family emergency plan. Something simple like where to meet up in various disaster scenarios if you can’t get in touch with each other. Sounds basic but it’s good for every family member to have (even just a small card with the main info that people can keep in their wallets). You can find various printables for these plans on Pinterest, or just fill out this one from FEMA.
Maybe for your next date night, go out and get everything above and store it in a place everyone in your family can find. Not the most romantic subject today, but romance falls to the back of your mind when things like power and heat disappear!