What to include in a power outage emergency kit

Winter weather can often cause power outages due to water freezing on the lines or strong winds, and AES Ohio recommends you pack an outage emergency kit.

AES Ohio includes a number of general items in their recommended list. These are:

  • Food that doesn’t need to be cooked or refrigerated
  • Manual can opener
  • A gallon of water per person per day that the power may be out
  • A first-aid kit and store of personal medications
  • Blankets
  • A corded land-line phone, which may work even when the power is out
  • A list of important phone numbers
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cash
  • Battery-powered candles
  • Car-plug phone charger
  • Battery- or crank-powered radio or TV

The Ohio Department of Public Safety also recommends a basic emergency supplies kit which includes many of the same items.

The ODPS recommends keeping at least three days of water and non-perishable food, and adds moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation, a wrench or pliers to turn off the utilities and local maps.

Both AES Ohio and ODPS also recommend pet food and extra water for each pet if you have them, extra infant formula and diapers for any young children and a complete change of clothing and personal hygiene items if you have to leave your home.

AES Ohio also includes a home generator on its winter weather outage kit list, though ODPS warns not to use generators or propane heaters in an enclosed space due to a risk of carbon monoxide build-up, even if using a fan to circulate air.

Beyond these items, though, the ODPS said that a disaster supply kit should be personalized based on where you live and the unique needs of your family. It added that the kit should be stored in a portable container, and that families should consider putting together another kit to keep in each vehicle, at your place of employment and other places you spend time.

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