When a natural disaster strikes, the worst thing that can happen to your survival is to be without food and water. Perhaps the second worst thing is to be without electricity. Here are a few items to obtain and also what could cause a power outage so you can survive.

Items and Tips to Help You Survive a Power Outage

  • Non-electric heater. If you live in a cold-weather climate and your home uses electricity to heat, it’s essential to purchase a non-electric heater. A kerosene or propane heater can be purchased for under $75, although refilling your heater can be expensive if you’re without power for days.
  • Generator for back-up power. Depending on the size of your home and your electrical needs, the cost of a generator varies widely. These can help power essential appliances in your home like a refrigerator.
  • Extra water. In some cases of power outages, you might be without running water. Stocking up on extra water and purifiers for bathing and brushing teeth. is never a bad idea.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries. When the lights go out, long-lasting flashlights are worth their weight in gold.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed. Food can stay edible in a refrigerator for a day or two in your refrigerator, depending on what it is. Food in your freezer can last a week. However, if you open either one, food can spoil much faster, which is an unfortunate loss of money during power outages that happens often.

Power Outage Causes

Disasters that threaten your area and could cause a power outage are different depending on where you live. Each has its challenges and specific things to be aware of.

  • Power Grid Failure. Transportation, the distribution of food and water, communication, medical services, and other services essential to survival all rely on the power grid. If the power grid goes down for a week or so, the impact it has on society could be devastating. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, as hospitals and other emergency medical services rely on electricity to treat patients. 


  • Hurricane/ Tornado. Strong winds from hurricanes and the strongest wind on the planet - tornadoes, can cause damage to homes and debris to be hurled for miles. Power lines can easily fall because of these strong winds. Permanent damage to infrastructure can occur depending on how bad the storm or the tornadoes are.
  • Earthquakes. Generally happening mostly in western states, earthquakes cause massive property damage, collapsing ceilings, and even causing buildings and bridges to fall. This can cause long-term power outages and even a disruption in water distribution if dams and water mains are ruptured.


  • Blizzards. Blizzards are usually less impactful than other natural disasters because people in climates that are susceptible to them are used to how to deal with them. However, this doesn’t make bad snowstorms any less stressful when the power goes out.

While being without power for even a day can be awful, going without for a week or more can be life-threatening. Following the above tips can help you survive should the power go out in your area.