by Skip Coryell
(Human – A few weeks ago, the lights in my house flickered, came back on, then died. The temperature was 32 degrees outside, and it was getting dark fast. I live out in the boondocks and that happens a half dozen times a year. I’ve learned to prepare myself for these little adventures in time travel back to the year 1794, and it’s not so bad really. Why, I can remember as a kid we used to love when a thunderstorm would knock out the power or when a blizzard would come and snow us in for days at a time. But in 1965 people were better prepared both physically and mentally for a loss of power. We lived in a different era.

Christmas is almost here, so I thought we’d take a little break from doom-and-gloom, surviving-the-end -of the -world scenarios and just look at short-term survival. For purposes of this article, we’ll assume it’s a three-day power loss and that emergency services such as ambulance, fire and police are still functioning. I know to some of you hard-core preppers, this will be boring you with the basics, but please humor me and just pass this article on to your friends and loved ones who are either just beginning the road  to self sufficiency or you have yet to be converted. It’s a good starting point, and can help bring them up to speed.

When the power goes out, what are the top ten things that every home should have? I’m sure you can ask a hundred different experts and none of the lists would be identical. So let me just give you “my” list, and all you good folks can consider it and modify where you see fit.

In compiling “my” list, I’ve taken into consideration the following question:  How long can I live without that item?

Having said that, my very first item has to be:

1.      Guns!  — Personal protection is always at the top of my list, whether it’s long or short-term, since even in good times, a bad guy can take me out in seconds.  Every home should have at least one of each of the following:

  • Shotgun – most commonly a simple 12-gauge pump (20-gauge if weaker-statured people will be using it.)
  • Pistol – If you live in a state where it’s legal to own/carry a pistol for self defense, then you should be doing it.
  • Battle Rifle – We’re talking those mean, state-of-the art, misnamed “assault” rifles. Mine’s in .223 caliber, and I make no excuses for it. It’s accurate out to long distances and accepts a 30-round magazine.

And make sure you have plenty of ammo. (No one ever came out of a firefight saying “Darn, I wish I’d had fewer bullets!)

2.      Water – Most experts agree you’ll need at least a gallon a day per person. I’m the king of overkill, so I drove a hand-pump well in my yard. It’s 70 feet deep, and gives me an unlimited supply of fresh water even when the power goes out. If you live in the city, keep bottled water, and water purifying tablets, (Chlorine bleach will work as well.)

3.      Heat – For you southern folk this isn’t a big deal, but here in Michigan we’ve got 6 inches of snow on the ground and it’s 24 degrees outside. I put in a wood stove and I also cook with it when the power goes out. You can also use propane, kerosene heaters, space heaters or pellet stoves (if you have a generator). The important thing is everything is used properly and is safely ventilated.

Read the rest…

This is not what you want to see in a crisis. Keep your gas tank at least 1/2 full.


Skip is the Founder of Whitefeather Press.  For this and other articles by him, click here.

Editor’s Note:  Personal protective gear wasn’t mentioned in the article.  A pair of sturdy leather work gloves for everyone in the household, along with sturdy boots will prevent injuries so you won’t need that first aid kit as often.