Modern Moms Guide: Surviving a Blackout - Essential Items

Guide to surviving during a blackout due to a storm or anything else. Helpful for those moms and dads who rely on power, running water, etc. Especially helpful for families with young kids.

My definition of a Modern Mom - A mom who lives in a first world country and has adapted to life here, raising a family and maintaining their current lifestyle.

As a modern mom and defined above, and for the sake of this post, I have become accustomed to having power, running water, a smart phone and being able to get most things with ease. I don't live in the country or in a big city, just a moderately sized suburb and I love it. That is, until I don't have most of those items listed above. Which leads me to this 'survival' post.


Two weeks ago, we had a storm come through our town. Super fast and super powerful. It knocked out power in our whole town for over 48 hours and brought down so many trees that many roads were blocked. This means that only our local Wawa {a convenience store if you aren't from our area..and apparently VA and FL} and one grocery store had power. I was shocked that even McDonald's was closed. All the street lights were out and no one knew to stop at the intersection. It was chaos in suburbia!

And do you want to know the best part about being a modern mom in this mess. Usually, I would look to my manly, camping-friendly, handy husband. But he was away on business travel on the other side of the country. So I was really on my own.

I never want any of you to be in this situation without having some things handy. Here is my Modern Mom's Essentials for Surviving a Blackout.
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Essential Items to Have on Hand

  • Smart Phone - I don't know about you, but I would be lost in normal circumstances without my iPhone. When the lights went out, I had my flashlight on the phone. When my daughter needed to watch Daniel Tiger to keep calm during the storm, I had a personal hotspot. When I wanted to see the progress of the storm I had Weather Underground. And when I needed a place to go when I realized we weren't getting power anytime soon, I turned to Facebook. All on my phone, all within one hour. I don't know how I would have survived without it..really.
  • Battery Charger - I needed to use my smart phone for all of those things. And my phone was at 10%. No kidding. I told you I use my phone for everything. And of course with the power out, how was I going to charge my phone? I was so thankful that years ago we got this battery charger. It has a flashlight on the end too. It fully charged my phone and still had 3 of 4 dots still lit up. I was even able to occupy myself by reading books on my phone while charging. It was money well spent. If you need one that has Prime shipping, we heard this one was good. 
  • Lanterns/Lights - I remember growing up having candles throughout the whole house during blackouts. Now, I have candles throughout the house but if I lit them all, my house would smell like you just walked into Yankee Candle. So we use lanterns and lights. We are so very fortunate that we have received many of ours as gifts but this lantern and this light stick are very similar to the ones we have. My favorite one is this one which I kept on nightlight mode at night in case my daughter needed me. 
  • Non perishable foods - You may think I am joking here, but since I didn't want to risk opening my fridge in case we DID get power and most of our food was in there. No lie - I had no idea what to give my 18 month old for breakfast that wasn't waffles or need eggs. She will eat cereal but not enough and she is not a fan of oatmeal. It was interesting to say the least. I would at least have some granola bars, pouches {for kids}, fruit and some other healthy snacks in the house that aren't in the fridge. Or in our case, go to a grocery store in another nearby town that does have power and load up. 
  • Water - For us, this wasn't a huge deal. We have public sewer, a gas hot water heater and a Brita. But, if you don't have any or all of these, you may want to have a couple gallons of water on hand just in case. You would hate to be caught without water for your toilet tank. Just keeping it real....
Here are seasonal items you could need:
  • Summer - Battery Operated Fan - Not having air circulation is a real bummer. Even if it's 'not that hot'.
  • Winter - Extra blankets - All I have to say is I am so happy this storm wasn't a blizzard. 
  • Winter - Candles for fire place - Most of the time I would say no to the fireplace since it usually sucks more heat out of the house. But I have found that if I put 5-6 candles in the fireplace, close the flue, and light them all up, it creates enough heat to keep the downstairs of our tiny house warm. 
And the MOST IMPORTANT thing you need during this time....
  • AMAZING FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE POWER!!! You may think that I am kidding but there was no way that I was going to survive 48 hours without amazing friends and family. My parents didn't have power, but they had a generator so we were able to cool out there with fans and eat good food. Several of my friends and family offered their homes with A/C, lighted showers, good food, pools and kids for my daughter to play with. Lots of family members and friends offered their homes for us to stay over and 'live' at their homes. Without all of them, I would not have been able to make it through. These are the people you depend on most. 

So these are the things you need to have on hand. Next time, I will share what we did to make it bearable, and almost fun, for my daughter and I.

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9 comments

  1. When we lived in MS (born and raised) we lost lights all the time! No matter the weather so it's somewhat ingrained in me what to keep on hand ha. Thankfully we don't have that problem here in TX.

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  2. We live in the country, so ours goes out a few times a year. It's always when my phone is at 20 percent too! I just added the charger to my wish list to get soon.

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    1. The charger is probably my life saver! My phone is always low...

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  3. We were without power for over 8 days a few years ago. It was torture!! All of your tips are spot on. I just hope I never have to use them...at least not for eight days!! ;)

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    1. 8 days?! I don't know how you did it :) I would have been at a hotel for sure.

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  4. Agree with all your items. If you live in an area that have frequent outages, have a generator on hand. A few years ago my grandparents went almost a month with no electricity. It didn't bother them as much, but for us who only know the comforts of A/C during the summer months it would have been unbearable.

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    1. Yes! A generator. They are a bit more expensive but a necessity if you have multiple outages. What a great idea! My parents have one because they have so much food in their freezer and don't want to lose it all. Thanks for the suggestion. I will add it onto the list!

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  5. Hurricane Country here, thanks for the great information

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    1. You're welcome! We do hurricanes here too. But we are more inland so we don't usually get hit with it too bad, unless it spins and becomes a nor'easter. Then we're in trouble.

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