What You Can Do When The Power Is Out

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I have a few ideas today about what you can do when the power is out. We have crazy weather going on everywhere, and that reminded me that all of us at some time or another will be without power. It could be for a few hours, days, weeks, or in extreme situations for months.

I have some fun ideas of what you can do if your power is out. That’s all good, but I also have some serious ideas you may want to consider as well.

I was honored to be asked to speak about food and water storage last night to a large group in a subdivision here in Southern Utah. When you see a large group like the one last night who want to learn new things about being prepared, you know people like this group will for sure work together should a disaster hit their neighborhood. Please be sure you have a light source, here is one I really like Goal Zero Lantern.

Now there are some fun things you probably have in your closet or cupboards to help distract people from the stress of an extended outage. You may have card games, puzzles, etc.

The First 72-Hours When The Power Is Out

The first day without power we will check with neighbors to see if they have power or not. Then the second day, we will start checking on all of our neighbors to make sure everyone is okay. Now, the third day without power we need to have some playing cards, board games, bingo cards, and a few of our other favorite games ready to entertain people and help relax a crowd. Hopefully, all of our neighbors are self-sufficient. We will all need water and food at the very least.

Hurricane Sandy

My cute niece, Maralee, survived Hurricane Sandy and she let me know that she had food, water, and popcorn during the devastating storm. She invited people over to watch a DVD on a TV and served popcorn and hot chocolate to as many friends and neighbors as she could.

They had no heat, so everyone huddled with blankets to stay warm. After the storm and heavy clean up in the yard, they invested in a wood burning stove. She was one of the few that still had electricity, but zero heat. I’m a proud aunt and loved hearing she was prepared and opened her home to others.

Wood Burning Stove

Where Mark and I live the HOA has so many restrictions we could not have a wood burning stove. Yes, we could have an electric fireplace that blows warm air, but it wouldn’t work if the power is out. Plus, it isn’t designed to cook meals or boil water. Luckily, we live where it rarely gets really cold, as in freezing weather. I have so many blankets and quilts we could bundle up and layer our clothes to stay warm. Spray bottles filled with water can help keep us cooler, we use them when we go to parks to cool us down.

DVD’s Using Solar Power

You know I keep seeing the news and it seems like the weather everywhere is rainy, windy, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. I want to know that I can have some solar power to use, like for my 20-inch TV with a DVD player. Without electricity, we will not have our “Dish” or “Cable” available.

But even a 32-inch TV works great with a Goal Zero YETI 400 solar generator as well. I keep my Goal Zero generators plugged in all the time with surge protectors to keep them charged, and I have solar panels to charge them outside if I need to.

power is out

I put my Goal Zero YETI 400 on the kitchen counter and plugged the hand mixer into the unit. Yep, the hand mixer worked great with the solar power. You basically plug the mixer into the front of the YETI 400 and push two buttons and it powered up!! Of course, we can use a wooden spoon or Danish whisk, but this gives you a few possibilities to use this unit. Yes, it can power up our laptops, cell phones, and Ipads.

power is out

Grind Wheat

I wanted to test my NutriMill L’Equip Wheat Grinder which has 1200 WATTS. All you do is plug in the item you want to use in the solar power unit that matches the number of watts needed. Today I used the Goal Zero YETI 1250 because the wheat grinder has 1200 watts. It worked great. I actually ground about 16 cups of hard white wheat. No problem. It hardly used any of the stored solar power. Yay!

power is out

I also wanted to power up my Bosch Universal Bread Mixer which has 800 WATTS. I plugged in the Bosch Universal Bread Mixer in the plug outlet on the front of the Goal Zero unit and turned on the bread mixer. I ran it for ten full minutes (my whole wheat bread recipe). No problem.

After finishing the wheat grinding and the bread mixing (14 cups of whole wheat flour) I had only used 20% of the solar power. Yep, that was a cartwheel moment. I can grind my wheat by hand as well, but I wanted to know I could use my FREE solar power. How easy, no instructions just plug it in and it works.

I will tell you this, I keep all my Goal Zero Solar Power Sources charged at all times with power surge suppressors. Gotta love solar! We can make bread in a huge silver bowl as well, here again, just giving you the heads-up how to use solar unit!

Make Bread

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CPAP When Power Is Out

I have been very concerned for some of my friends, family members, and neighbors who use a CPAP machine at night for sleep apnea issues. Here’s the deal, I needed to check to see which solar powered unit from Goal Zero would work for the people that need a source of power if we lose power in our communities. This Goal Zero YETI 400 worked like a champ with my son-in-law’s CPAP, and it has a humidifier.

I learned that when a CPAP has a humidifier it uses more power than one without the humidifier. Here are some pictures of Nate, my son-in-law using his CPAP with a humidifier built into the machine. He used it for 8-1/2 hours one night and it still had power left. It can then be recharged with wall outlets if the power were to come back on, or with his solar panels outside.

power is out

Nebulizer When The Power Is Out

This is Jenna below with her mouth-piece attached to the nebulizer which is being powered using zero electricity from an outlet, just solar power from the Goal Zero YETI 400. This is critical for her if the power is out.

I asked their mother, Elaine, to explain how a nebulizer works:

“My girls use a nebulizer whenever their asthma flares up, or when they have any respiratory problems restricting their breathing. This could be something as simple as a mild cold, but for someone with asthma, it can quickly turn into pneumonia because their lungs just aren’t as strong and can’t clear out the obstructions. The nebulizer works by delivering liquid medication (Albuterol is what we use) in vapor form directly into their lungs and it helps open up the airways so they can cough easier and breathe more naturally. When we need it, it takes about 10 minutes to disperse the medicine and is repeated every 4 hours. We typically are doing this every 4 hours for a few days when we are doing it.”

Jenna’s Nebulizer

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Avery’s Nebulizer

This is Avery using her mouthpiece with the nebulizer. All solar power from the Goal Zero YETI 400! Here is the nebulizer in action using only solar power.

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Please keep in mind, a high-speed blender uses about 1800 watts and I didn’t even try to use it with one of my generators. Yes, I love smoothies, but if I lose power a smoothie and ice will not be on my list of must-have menu items.

Final Word

I hope this post gives you some ideas to be prepared when the power goes out, and it will. May God bless you for your efforts in being prepared for the unexpected.

Please watch for Costco Roadshows. A couple of times a year Goal Zero will sell some of their items at discounted prices. It’s a great time to buy one of these for your prep stash. Goal Zero Website

Janet (reader), reminded me that people can have a generator installed by a licensed electrician, if you can afford one. Mark and I have a few friends that had them installed complete with permits and a licensed electrician. Great reminder, thank you, Janet.

Survival Food Storage by Linda

Goal Zero Flashlight

5 thoughts on “What You Can Do When The Power Is Out

  • May 24, 2019 at 10:43 am
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    In my household we have a variety of solar and hand crank radios, flashlights, Luci lanterns, plus a variety of flashlights and lanterns using all the common size batteries. We have solar battery charges and looking to get, as funds allow, some rechargeable batteries. Those will be used for battery powered fans and flashlights or maybe a portable CD player.

    What I figured out is that without a solar panel, battery bank or a generator, in some situations, these devices may not be able to provide you with enough hours of light or charge other devices fully and in a “reasonable” amount of time. And thus you may not be able to use them as much as you’d like unless you have multiple units to charge up while others are in use.

    With any electronic devices, we have to consider charge time, operating time and how fully and fast they can charge another device. How long does it take to charge off a wall outlet, how many hours of sun or how long does one have to crank them to charge them up? Without some “extra” power they can potentially become useless quickly or we might have to go without using them for a day.
    I definitely would consider a Goal Zero unit or setup solar panels to support these small devices and of course for the ability to use appliances or power tools.

    Reply
    • May 24, 2019 at 1:13 pm
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      Hi Frank, I love hearing you have many many types of crank radios, flashlights, etc. It’s critical we have several different options as you said. If we are charging one unit, we need other back up units to use. We need additional batteries and flashlights. When in doubt buy two more. Great comment! Linda

      Reply
  • May 24, 2019 at 1:11 pm
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    Any other company, other than Goal Zero, that you can recommend? The reviews on Amazon have upwards of 20% dissatisfaction on many of the products. I am not sure this would be the best buy if we go to use it in an emergency and it doesn’t work. Please, provide information that will be the BEST!

    Reply
  • May 25, 2019 at 5:46 am
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    Linda, living in NW Florida, we get to do the hurricane dance every year. We started out 29 years ago with just the basics of non perishable food, water, extra pet supplies, plywood for the most vulnerable windows, a charcoal grill, flashlights and a battery radio. And lots of prayer from this Minnesota farm girl who found typhoons and hurricanes absolutely terrifying.

    Each storm that affected our area has taught us valuable lessons in being prepared. And each year we have added something to our preparations & supplies to make life safer and the aftermath of any disaster easier to handle. I still get scared of the really big storms, because the worst of these hurricanes usually hit in the middle of the night, when you can’t see or hear the tornadoes embedded in the midst of the hurricane. But we are as prepared as we can be and have supplies to take care of our extended family and friends in the area.

    Back in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan hit our area, my son was living with a family who were new to the area and hadn’t a clue on hurricane preps. He took charge, made them pick up anything that could go airborne outside around the house, go to the store and get food, water, flashlights, batteries, extra gas and supplies for the chainsaw. I was so proud of him. Afterwards, he worked with other neighbors in that area to clear fallen trees, patch roofs and make sure everyone was okay.

    Being as prepared as possible brings a calmness of spirit. We don’t have to be out on the roads searching for last minute supplies. We open our home to family and friends who may be closer to the coast.

    We do have portable solar panels to recharge our devices. Working on the solar generator to augment the dual fuel generator we do have for emergencies that keeps the fridge and freezer going. I appreciate the information you shared about the appliances you could power with your Goal Zero generators.

    Great article! Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • May 25, 2019 at 8:36 am
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      Hi BDN, You bring so much insight to my blog, and oh I love hearing your thoughts. I have been through one tornado in Illinois. I was helping an aunt with a new baby and she had us shelter downstairs in the basement. It took the roof of the house next door and the headstones of the cemetery nearby. I will never forget the color of the sky when it was at its worst. The weather this year has been crazy everywhere. I hope people understand they need to be prepared! Great comment as always, thank you, Linda

      Reply

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