The plunge of the city into a total blackout is not the most pleasant event that one wants to face. But since we have already managed to set foot on this path a little, we need to be prepared for possible repetitions of such scenarios. What to do in the event of a power outage, how to prepare as much as possible and not fall into despair? These issues are of concern to a large number of Ukrainians throughout the country.
Preparing for a Blackout
It is very important that you have everything you need in case of a power outage. Therefore, we have prepared for you a small checklist with what is important to purchase in advance.
- Objects that emit light. Flashlights, candles (at least 4 cm in diameter to burn longer), battery-powered or solar-powered lamps, HIS sticks, etc. You can also make candles yourself from improvised means. They burn for a long time and emit enough light.
- Emergency kit. Medicines should always be at hand, this is especially important if you have chronic diseases that require daily medication. In addition, make sure that the first-aid kit contains antiseptics, bandages, band-aids, scissors, antipyretics, and painkillers.
- Charging stations. Be sure to purchase and recharge all power banks. They will help support the charge of the phone and other devices. Don’t forget batteries. They will be needed for flashlights and for medical equipment for home use (for example, a blood pressure monitor).
- The stock of non-perishable food. It is advisable to stock up on such food for a week. Cereals, soups, and instant pasta are perfect, do not forget about vegetables, fruits, canned food, stews, preservation, bread, croutons, cookies, dry sausage, and more.
- Personal hygiene products. Without them, nowhere. Buy toilet paper, wet/dry wipes, dry shampoo, baby diapers, etc. It is important for women to restock their pads.
- Water. Try to stock up on plenty of water, as without it it will be very difficult. We need both technical and drinking water. By the way, it does not hurt to fill small bottles with water and put them in the freezer. For some time after the power is turned off, they will keep the cold and prolong the suitability of products for consumption. After that, such water can be consumed without problems.
- Thermos. A very necessary thing. Keep excess hot water in a thermos that has been warmed up for tea or coffee. Boiling water is useful in order to brew instant food, and porridge, and make warm drinks.
- Disposable tableware. Don’t waste water washing dishes. Of course, using disposable tableware is not a very environmentally friendly solution, but it will help save water and not accumulate a mountain of dirty dishes.
What to Do During a Blackout
What to cook food
The presence of a gas stove solves this problem, but there are a considerable number of Ukrainians who have electric stoves installed at home. Therefore, this issue should be considered separately. Let’s start with the fact that it doesn’t matter if you have a gas stove at home, it’s better for everyone to play it safe. So, on what to heat and cook food:
- Gas stove. Small tiles will help out a lot in a similar situation. They can be with one or two burners and work from a gas cylinder. Such equipment is inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to transport. You can use it both outdoors and indoors. But it is worth considering that you additionally need to buy a gas cylinder for the tile. When the gas runs out, the cylinder can be filled without any problems at any gas station and used further. Remember to handle the gas cylinder with care.
- Tourist gas stoves. This is a fairly compact burner that runs on a small gas cylinder. The power of the device can be different, hence the difference in price. However, this parameter should not be ignored, since not every model will be able to heat a sufficient amount of water or heat food.
- Bonfire. Perhaps this is one of the most affordable options for everyone. You can build a fire both in the private sector and in the courtyard of a multi-story building. The main thing is that the place is safe. If you still have a portable barbecue that you love to take with you to nature, then making a fire will be even more convenient.
- Food warmer package. Never heard of this? To be honest, so are we. Therefore, we hasten to share our findings with you. Such a heater is suitable only for food in a tin. It works as follows: the package contains a chemical element that, upon contact with water, reacts and forms a steam bath. The steam heats up and within 15 minutes is able to heat the dish up to 55°C.
- Trench candle. This is another proven method that you can definitely come in handy with. Anyone can make a trench candle at home. It burns for a long time, heats well, and will come out to you very cheaply. To make it, you will need paraffin wax, a tin can, cardboard, and a few minutes of your time.
If after a power outage in an apartment/house, it becomes cold, then you need to dress warmly. Layering – solves this problem for five plus. The more layers of clothing you have on your body, the more heat you will be able to retain. It is important that the clothes are spacious, as there will be a space of air between the different layers. Give preference to thermal underwear and clothing made from natural fabrics.
What to wear:
- The main layer is (thermal underwear, T-shirt, a T-shirt, tights, underpants, and woolen socks ).
- Insulating middle layer – wool sweater, fleece jacket, hoodie.
- The top layer is a warm jacket, a down jacket, and warm pants. Of course, at home, you are unlikely to walk in a jacket, but on the street, you will definitely not freeze.
Considering all the above recommendations, the blackout will only be a temporary inconvenience for you, because for us, Ukrainians, there are no unsolvable problems. We will find a way out of any situation and confidently come to our victory, because after a long night a bright dawn comes!
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Q1: What should I do if I am caught in a blackout?
Stay calm, and follow the safety precautions mentioned in the article. Make sure you have a reliable source of light and communication devices.
Q2: Do I need to stockpile a lot of food and water for a blackout?
It’s essential to have a sufficient supply of non-perishable food items and bottled water to last you through the blackout. The amount you need will depend on how long the blackout is expected to last.
Q3: Can I use candles during a blackout?
Candles can be used during a blackout, but you should exercise caution when using them near flammable items.
Q4: Can I still use my cell phone during a blackout?
You can use your cellphone during a blackout, but make sure it’s fully charged and conserve its battery life as much as possible.
How can I check if the power has been restored after a blackout?
Check with your power company for updates on power restoration. You can also check for lights on in neighboring houses or listen for the hum of appliances to see if the power has been restored.