It seems that a perfect storm of economic and other worldwide events has led the UK down a slippery slope in terms of potential electricity power cuts or rolling blackouts. The UK hasn’t had large scale power cuts since atleast 2003, it’s had nationwide power supply availability for atleast the last 30 years.
Here’s 15 essential blackout supplies you should have to prepare for a winter power cut.
- Head Torch
- Home Fire Extinguisher
- Power Station
- Battery Bank
- Themal Flask
- Stove Stand
- Chaffing Fuel
- Downloaded Movies
- Travel Router
- Board Games
It makes sense then, to me atleast, that people should begin to prepare themselves for potential rolling blackouts across the UK. And, this becomes especially important as we move into the colder winter months.
By writing this article I don’t wish to scare my readers, I simply want to ensure you’ve got atleast a rough idea of a few things you should have at home to help make the blackouts pass by as pain free as possible.
So, let’s dig into my list of 15 essential items you should have in case of a power cut or blackout this winter.
Essential Power Cut Supplies For Winter 2022 (UK)
These essentials are a collection of what I consider to be items you should have at home already. Or, be willing to buy to ensure you’re life is as uninterrupted as possible if we do get a blackout.
First up on the list is probably fairly obvious, a head torch.
A torch may seem like an obvious inclusion, but have you considered a head torch? If you haven’t used a head torch before, it really is a game changer in lighting. It frees up your hands to allow you to complete other tasks such as preparing dinner or navigating your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
It’s also something I keep in the car, in case I get a flat tyre in the middle of nowhere when it’s pitch black outside. There are lots of articles available online discussing the best head torches you can buy, but for simple home use with basic functionality I recommend the Nebo Einstein.
The Einstein is a basic, entry level head torch that’s recharged using a USB cable. It’s plenty bright enough to light up a hall way or staircase so you can move around safely at night. It’s also really good value for money.
It’s available from Amazon, to check out the latest prices and deals hit the button below and it’ll take you right to the details page where you can buy it.
A head torch will help you move around your house at night, but what about when you’re sitting down at the dinner table? This is where a lantern is super useful.
Get a couple of battery powered LED lanterns dotted around the room and you’ll have plenty of light to do what ever you need to do. They’re perfect for lounging around, reading or playing games with your family. A lantern offers consistent low level light for long periods of time.
As with most things, there are countless online articles discussing the best ones. I recommend any basic LED lantern that fits your budget. You can’t go wrong with a cheap one from Amazon, unless you’re planning on using it for camping or bushcraft that is.
I found one online that has tons of features and gives out plenty of light. It’s battery powered but also has a hand crank and it can even help charge up your smart phones. Hit the button below to check out the best LED lanterns you can get for a power cut.
I tend to use candles as a last resort. There are far safer methods of lighting a room but if the power is out for a while, your batteries may run out. You’ll need a back up to your back up, this comes in the form of tea light candles.
Tea light candles are cheap and plentiful, they also create a nice vibe and atmosphere in the room in which you use them.
Be safe when using them though, make sure you don’t have anything flammable right near the open flame of a candle. It’s also a good idea to have a bottle of water or fire extinguisher nearby in case the worst happens.
Tea light candles won’t provide enough BTU’s (a measure of heat) to warm a room but 3 or 4 of them dotted around a small room will provide enough ambient light.
During a sale you can get 100 candles for less than £5, which is great value for money. Just don’t forget to buy matches or a lighter too. Hit the button below to check out some prices on candles.
Home Fire Extinguisher
If you’re going to have candles and potentially be cooking over an open flame you should have a small multi use fire extinguisher to hand.
You don’t have to spend a lot to get a decent fire extinguisher that’s capable of putting out a small fire in your kitchen. You can pick one up for around £20. Even if we weren’t facing a potential power cut in the UK, I’d be advocating for people to keep a fire extinguisher in their kitchen.
The lifesafe 5-in-1 fire extinguisher is a perfect size to have around the home. I have two, one in the car and one in my kitchen. It gives me piece of mind to know that should the worse happen I can tackle a small fire.
Don’t attempt to tackle anything that isn’t put out within a few seconds, you should always call the fire services and evacuate your property promptly.
If you want to have a look at the best deals on this 5-in-1 hit the link below to head on over to Amazon.
If you’re making use of cheap tea light candles during a power cut you’ll need something to light them with. This is where matches come in handy. Yes, a lighter is good but it won’t last forever, over time the gas will very slowly evaporate until it eventually ceases to function.
With a box of matches you won’t have that problem. They last pretty much forever and don’t require gas or any form of power to light them. As long as you keep them dry, they’ll consistently work as they’re supposed to.
You can even get waterproof and wind proof matches for hiking / camping, so if you’re into getting outside, buy the waterproof ones and get two uses out of it; camping and emergency indoor use.
I won’t recommend a particular brand of matches as they’re all pretty much the same, but go ahead and hit the button below and it’ll take you to the search results for ‘matches’ on Amazon.
A power station is basically a battery pack, like you’d have for charging your smartphone, only it’s much more powerful.
It could potentially power your entire home during a blackout. A few new companies have emerged recently and with each new company comes a more powerful power-station.
One I really like is by a company called EcoFlow. They make a whole range of power-stations depending on what you want to power.
For me, I’m using my power-station to keep the fridge and freezer running in the event my house loses power. The benefit of using one by EcoFlow is that certain models in their line-up can be used as a UPS.
A UPS is an uninterruptible power supply.
You plug the EcoFlow power-station into the mains and then plug the fridge freezer into the EcoFlow. During normal operation the fridge draws power from the mains, the EcoFlow basically passes the mains power through the unit to the fridge. If the power is cut, it’ll immediately switch to providing power from the battery.
These power stations can power most electrical items in your house depending on the power rating, so make sure you research which unit would be suitable for what ever you wish to power in the end of a blackout.
You could use it to provide power to your PC and monitors for example so you can continue working from home, or use it to power your microwave, hair dryer, air fryer etc.
Keep your smartphone and tablet computer charged up with a cheap, portable battery bank. These are extremely popular and are readily available anywhere online.
You can buy huge capacity battery packs or smaller more travel friendly ones, for home use I recommend a larger capacity one because you won’t have to lug it around.
The benefits of having a battery pack are pretty much endless. You can charge anything that’s compatible with 5V input. That means it’ll charge smartphones, tablet computers, head torches, torches, some laptops, LED light bulbs and much more.
It’s the ultimate power cut survival item! I have reviewed a few battery packs over the years but by far my favourite is the Sandberg Saver which I reviewed a while ago.
If you want to check out a few more, hit the link below to check the best prices on Amazon.
Keep a good stash of batteries at home to power your traditional torches. A rechargeable torch or head torch is essential but what happens when your power station, battery pack or mains power is out of action?
You’ll need to fall back onto a reliable traditional battery powered torch. Most good torches will use AA or AAA batteries so keep a handful of those batteries ‘in stock’ at your home at all times.
Batteries these days will probably last around 10 years if you store them safely, they’re also super cheap. You can get around 20 AA or 20 AAA batteries for between £5 and £7 from the Amazon Basics range.
A flask is the perfect bit of kit to have at home in the event of a blackout or power cut. I use mine everyday for brewing coffee.
So I don’t have to keep boiling water I boil it once in the morning and fill my flask. It keeps the water scorching hot for over 12 hours. Not only is it more convenient, it’s saving me money as I’m not boiling my kettle 3 or 4 times a day.
Granted, the actual monetary saving is tiny but in the current climate of energy price rises, every little helps.
Why use it in a power cut then? Well, if it’s a planned power cut you can boil up some water in your usual manner and then pour it into a thermal flask to keep it warm to make tea, powdered soups, coffee etc during the black out.
If it’s an unplanned power cut it’s still useful as you won’t want to waste what ever fuel you’re using to keep boiling water.
There are literally millions of flasks for sale online so choose one by a reputable brand or, do as I did and find one for sale in a local charity / thrift store. I picked mine up for £2. If you want to buy brand new, hit the button below to check which flasks are available for sale on Amazon.
If you don’t have the budget or don’t particularly want the expense of buying a power station a cooler is the next best thing. A cooler is not only for emergencies, it makes a great item to buy if your keen on being in the great outdoors.
Keep some ICE blocks in your freezer throughout the year for spur of the moment road trips or days at the beach.
The best on the market, is possibly the YETI. I really like the YETI Roadie 24 which has enough space to keep enough food for two of you for a day or so. For emergency use, you can keep your milk and other perishables from spoiling for a couple of day. Just be sure to open it as little as possible and close the lid as fast as possible!
There are tons of cool boxes on the market, YETI is quite expensive but it’s a great investment. Reviews online consistently highlight YETI as being the market leader.
If you don’t want the expense of the YETI, a basic cooler will set you back around £35, but remember though, it won’t keep it as fresh.
Check some coolers on Amazon by hitting the button below. A 12v version for use with a power station can also be had from Halfords or other good local outdoor stores.
We’re getting into kit for a more prolonged outage now, but it’s wise to think about these things. If the power is off, the chances are your gas will probably still work. Which will allow you to light the cooker with a match or lighter. But, with some modern stove tops there are cut off valves. If it doesn’t detect an electrical current, the gas won’t flow.
So, how will you cook? There is a solution. You can buy a stove stand and use indoor safe fuel to cook a basic one pot meal, such as pasta and a jar of pasta sauce.
It’s really inexpensive and is dual use too. I originally bought mine for use with an alcohol burner for camping. But, since researching the potential winter rolling blackouts the UK may face this winter I figured I could use it. Pair it with a suitable burner you can cook a meal inside without any mains gas / electricity.
I’ll detail which fuel to use next (it’s called chaffing fuel), but if you want to check out the exact stove stand I use, hit the button below.
To go with the stove stand, you’ll need a flame to cook over. In steps chaffing fuel. Now, before I continue, it’s wise to read all of the information on the can before cooking indoors with it. Follow all safety advice regarding ventilation and fire precautions etc.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this chaffing fuel doesn’t burn extremely hot but it will work in a pinch. It’s for emergency use only don’t forget. Well, not quite. It’s main purpose is to keep cooked food warm on a buffet tray.
But, it will work to make food should you have the need to. I’d recommend taking a look at some videos on YouTube of how this would work.
There’s a brilliant video below that shows how you could create a basic cooking setup with a can of chaffing fuel and a stove stand.
If you want to go ahead and check out the best prices for a case of chaffing fuel cans, you can hit the button below, it’ll take you straight to Amazon.
If the property you live in only has an electric supply and the supply goes down, you won’t be able to turn on your radiators. You’ll need to keep a bunch of warm blankets to hand to keep your self toasty on those cold winter evenings.
The best blankets you can get are made of wool. But, if you don’t want an animal product blanket there are plenty of decent man-made fibre blankets available on the market.
I won’t specifically recommend one particular brand but do keep in mind a core list of features when deciding which one to buy. You’ll want something that is; warm, washable and fireproof.
Check out some available deals on blankets by hitting the button below.
If you’re suffering from a power cut you’ll want something to do to pass the time. What better way to do that than to watch a movie. But, if the power is down you may not be able to watch one with the family.
So, get hold of a memory stick or if you have a large enough hard drive on your laptop (just make sure it’s fully charged) that’ll work fine too.
Most streaming services have a feature that allows you to download movies for offline viewing. Amazon Prime Video is one such provider. Hit the button below to head on over to Amazon Prime Video, you can even sign up for a 30 day free trial!
A travel router is perfect for a power cut. It works using a 4G sim card and depending on which model you get, you’ll also get a ethernet port.
I bought this during an extended internet outage to my home. I didn’t want to travel to the office to get internet. It works perfectly when connected to the ‘input’ port on my home router, it has enough bandwidth capability to power my home PC, storage server, CCTV NVR and other wireless devices.
You’ll just need to get either a monthly internet subscription or a pay as you go internet sim card, 10GB should do for emergency use. For an extended outage you’ll want to get an unlimited data plan.
I can’t recommend the Netgear Nighthawk enough, I’ve used it probably 15 times and it works flawlessly, every time. Oh and I forgot to mention, it’s rechargeable so you won’t need mains power. Just remember to keep it charged up and you’re ready to go.
Hit the link below to check it out on Amazon, I honestly couldn’t work without it during extended mains internet outages.
Board games are fantastic to have handy to keep family members entertained when the power is out. There are loads of options from the classics like Monopoly, to new modern games such as ‘Exploding Kittens’
They’ll keep the little ones occupied until the power comes back on. Just try and keep the arguments to a minimum!
One of my favourite board games, isn’t really a board game at all. It’s a card game called Uno! And, if you haven’t heard of it or played it, you are in for a treat.
Hit the button below to check out some awesome family games on Amazon.
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