Storms can leave you stuck inside your house for hours. The strong winds and heavy rain can even lead to power outages. You want to be ready for this so you and your family aren’t caught by surprise without the essentials.

Ready to plan ahead for an emergency situation? Here are 10 ways to prepare your home for a power outage.

1.  Create an Emergency Kit

This kit will ensure you’re not running around at the last second looking for essential supplies. Keep in mind when it’s dark, it will be harder and less safe to locate items. Take time to assemble things into a storage container or duffel bag. Make sure the kit is in an easy-to-access spot, and everyone knows where it is.

Consider keeping it on the main level so you don’t have to climb any stairs. Also, you want to stock up on extra batteries and portable chargers.

Here are some other essential items to add to your emergency bag:

  • A gallon of water
  • A first-aid kit
  • Blankets
  • Flashlights

2.  Purchase a Portable Weather Radio

During a storm, it’s essential to receive the latest updates. This way, you can take the proper precautions and stay safe. However, you can’t always rely on your electronically powered phones. If they lose power, you won’t have a way to recharge them.

An emergency weather radio is an excellent backup option to keep you informed. Many of these use solar power. They’re also portable, so you can take them with you if you need to evacuate. Keep the radio inside your emergency kit. When purchasing the device, look for one with good reception and a bright flashlight.

3.  Make Sure Each Person Has Their Flashlight

When adding flashlights to your emergency container, include enough for every family member. As soon as the lights go out, this is one of the first things they will reach for. Having a flashlight will make them feel more secure.

Also, if you need to check something in a different room, you won’t have to leave your kids without a light source. Plus, having multiple flashlights is more effective for playing games. Along with flashlights, make sure you have plenty of extra batteries. Consider looking for rechargeable lithium batteries for better performance.

4.  Have a Way to Purify Your Water

When the power goes out, you want to ensure you have access to safe drinking water. Anything from freezing pipes to mainline stoppages can stop the flow of water and make it hard to access enough for washing and drinking.

Purifying your water can eliminate bacteria and heavy metals. Consider buying a water purifying device before a storm hits. Here are some of the different water filtration systems available:

  • Brita
  • LifeStraw
  • Aquasana
  • Home Master
  • ZeroWater

5.  Gather Non-Perishable Food Items

As soon as you’re notified of a storm, you want to start stocking up on food and water. Try to shop early to avoid large crowds. Consider buying extra snacks for the kids, such as their favorite cereal.

Here are other non-perishable items to consider purchasing:

  • Canned vegetables
  • Soups and chilis
  • Dry pasta
  • Sugar, salt, and pepper
  • Bottled water

Also, designate an area in your home to start storing your emergency food supply. Keep in mind you want to monitor your food during the power outage. Make sure your fridge and freezer remain closed. Buy a food thermometer to ensure your meal is still safe to eat.

6.  Purchase a Generator

Having a backup power system is critical during a strong storm. Consider buying a portable generator to keep your devices connected. Having an extra power source is also critical if you need to call someone for help or check on a family member. These generators are lightweight and usually quieter.

Before purchasing, determine everything you will want to power. Make a list of these items and read the labels on each appliance. Write down how much power each one uses, and then add them up. This will help you decide what size generator to get.

7.  Plan Fun Activities Ahead of Time

Once you are safe in your home, you may start to go a little stir crazy. This is why it’s important to come up with activities you can do while stuck inside. If you have younger kids, keeping them occupied is key.

So, consider adding some board games or books to your emergency kit. Having things to do is an excellent way to pass the time and make your family feel less scared.

8.  Practice Opening Your Garage Door Manually

When the power goes out, you’ll manually have to open your garage door to drive your car. This is why you want to practice doing it ahead of time. Knowing how to do it will also lower your stress during an already tense situation. Here are the steps for opening your garage door:

  1. Unplug your automatic garage door opener.
  2. Pull the emergency cord to detach the opener from the door.
  3. Lift the door straight up.
  4. Close the door manually and slide the lock bar.
  5. Reconnect the garage door opener as soon as the power returns.

Keep in mind manually opening your garage door is key if you have to relocate during the storm.

9.  Prepare Any Medications

In case of a power outage, you want to ensure you have a backup plan for refrigerated medication. Talk with your doctor to see how long your prescription can last in higher temperatures. Consider buying a cooler and stocking up on ice for a temporary solution.

Also, get specific guidelines for storing your medicine if the power is out for multiple days. Be proactive and speak with your medical provider before a storm even occurs.

10.  Go to a Community Shelter If Necessary

If your power is out for many days, it can cause your home to become too hot or cold. If you experience extreme temperatures in your home, go to a local shelter. To ensure you’re not scrambling at the last minute, do your research. Look up resources in your area and talk with local officials.

How to Prepare Your Home for a Power Outage

Power outages can keep you stuck inside for an extended time. They can also be dangerous for homeowners who haven’t adequately prepared for a loss of electricity and/or water. Planning for a worst-case scenario can help give your household some peace of mind in an emergency situation.

This is why you want to prepare well in advance. Follow these tips to get your home ready for any emergency.


Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated, a home improvement publisher with advice on gardening, decor and DIY projects.