Power outages. They are inevitable. Most of us will go through a power outage at some point in our lives. The How do you prepare for power outages?question here is, what do you do when the lights go out? How do you prepare for power outages?

With these uncertain times, it’s everyone’s responsibility to prepare for power outages to at least some extent. Now, I’m not saying that everyone needs to prepare for a week or more of the power being out. But you should try to be ready for a few hours, up to a day at the very least. But how do you do that?

Here are some things you should keep on hand to prepare for power outages.




These are the most basic of light sources. Every home should have some. Whether it’s a bunch of scented candles, or  9 hour emergency candles, it would benefit you to have a wide variety of candles. You can buy any of these at the dollar store if you want to go cheap but effective!



Another basic lighting essential. I would suggest at least one flashlight per person. Even the kids should have a flashlight. It’s a good idea to keep a flashlight in each bedroom, where they can be accessed easily.

I like to keep ours in our nightstands, but you could also put them in a dresser drawer. And make sure you have plenty of batteries for those flashlights. A flashlight without batteries is pretty useless!




We love these! Headlamps are especially useful, because they’re a hands-free flashlight. It makes it so much easier to do what needs to be done, without holding a flashlight. We bought a bunch of LED headlamps at Walmart for $1 each.

They are pretty bright, but very compact. So they’re great to throw in a backpack, a purse, or just in your car. Another cool thing about headlamps, is that you can strap them to a milk jug full of water and turn it on. Voila, instant lantern to light up a room! For $1, you can’t go wrong. Get a bunch of these!


Propane Lanterns.

We always have a lantern or two in with our camping supplies. They’re really only about $20, and they last forever if you buy a plastic carry case for them. Without the carry case, you will most likely break the glass. Just make sure you have the small backup propane bottles for them.



Oil Lamps.

I like to keep a few of these in the house, because they’re actually pretty as well as useful. Just stock up on some oil and matches, and you’ll have a ready source of light for power outages.



Portable Propane Heaters.

You can buy portable propane heaters for under a couple hundred bucks, and they can truly be a life-saver. If you do have to use one, gather all of the family into one room and close off the room as much as possible. This will hold the heat into that one room and be much more efficient.



Wood Stove.

Okay, now this one isn’t really for light, and obviously not feasible for everyone to have in their homes. But a wood stove is so indispensable to have for heating your home in the event of a power outage! It can truly mean the difference between freezing to death, and cuddling together around a warm fire.


The “Lights Out” Kit.

The “Lights Out” Kit is just a backpack filled with emergency lighting supplies. You keep it in a central location, where it is easily accessible. I keep ours in our mud room. In the event of a power outage, you have a bag full of lighting implements. In ours, we have flashlights and batteries, headlamps, glow sticks, and even a small portable cooker so we can make small meals.

If you’d like to make your own Lights Out Kit, I have a handy checklist that you can download for free. Just sign up using the link below to get your password to our Subscribers Only Resource Page!



Are you prepared for a power outage? It’s such an important thing to prepare for, especially during the winter months when power is not always reliable. What do you do to prepare for power outages? Please share in the comments so we can add those to our preps!

If you are just starting on your preparedness journey, and need some helpful resources, go check out my Emergency Preparedness Bundle! It has a One Month Food Storage Tracker, a Bug Out Bag Checklist, and some Emergency ID Cards to print out for your family.



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This post may be shared on Family Homesteading and Off The Grid Blog HopSimple Homestead Blog HopFarm Fresh Tuesday, and Old Paths to New Homesteading & Self-Reliant Living.

Power outages are inevitable, and every family should be prepared for even short term power outages. Read this post to find out how to prepare for power outages.
Power Outages – What if the Lights Go Out?



  1. We put in a generator for when lights go out. Been great

    1. That’s awesome, Candy! I wish I could have a home generator. We have a small one but it wouldn’t power too much in the house.

  2. Great post!! It is so important to be ready for your power to go out. These are some really good tips! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you Brenda! It’s amazing to me how many people aren’t prepared for this, considering it’s a fairly common occurance!

  3. One of the first projects we took on after moving to our homestead was to install a wood stove. We have candles and flashlights too. 🙂

    Great tips…I can believe how many people don’t plan ahead!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! We have a wood stove but it’s a small one so it’s difficult to keep it going for long periods of time. So we usually end up defaulting to the easier heaters in the house. But I love having it in case we need it for backup! Too many people are “in the dark” (pun intended!) on being prepared for stuff like power outages!

  4. We have a big Generator we had out in 3 years ago ! Best investment ever plus lots of the candles, flashlight and such.

    1. Lucky you, Pamela! I wish I had a whole-home generator!

  5. Great ideas! We have a whole box of emergency candles, matches and flashlights that are kept under the bed. I also have headlights for going out at night! It amazes me how many people panic and have no plan when the electricity goes off!

    1. Thanks Annie! I know, it’s actually scary to me how many people are so unprepared!

  6. When we remolded our OLD farmhouse, we put a plug outside that allows up to plug a generator straight into the electric box to keep the freezers and various lights working. Just some basics. It works great for no loss of food.

    1. Dianne, that’s a great idea! I NEED to do that when we get our forever house!

  7. We had a whole house generator for our last house because we lost power all the time! So many people are unprepared! Great suggestions!

    1. That’s a wonderful idea, Nancy! Luckily we don’t have a lot of power outages, but it’s so good to be prepared for them!

  8. Great post Shawna! We also do the things you mentioned and one other thing…we make sure that we have most of our electronic devices fully charged too. Here in our area, if power goes out sometimes it can be quite awhile before it gets back on. It is important and I am so glad you posted this.

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! That’s a great idea to keep the electronics charged just in case. Another thing that your comment just made me think of – keeping the vehicles “charged” – with gas, that is. In the event of a longer power outage, you won’t be able to get gas!

  9. We’d love a generator to keep our well pump and freezers going, but don’t have one yet…one day tho!

    1. Oh yes, hopefully we’ll have one someday too!

  10. A good list! This is something you definitely don’t want to wait until the need arises!

    1. Thank you, Joy! Exactly true!

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