Any more tips? Liz Pearce was hoping for recommendations on warmth, power and first aid. I don't have great suggestions for those... Up until quite recently I was toying with installing a failover gas generator, but it might be moot since Seattle is planning to phase out natural gas.
One item that didn't make the guide is the SolarPuff, which Nathan Kriege used heavily during the outages in Austin. Haven't used one yet.
When it comes to food, we keep Omeals around for emergencies. They don't require clean or hot water so they are nice to have on hand if anything goes wrong. I actually find them to be quite tasty as well. I'm not a fan of Mountain House, so I prefer to take these on backpacking trips. The one drawback is they generate more waste then some of their competitors.
It's a good idea to give some thought to light. During our prolonged power outage, we were very happy to have a few Solar Puff solar-powered lanterns. We got them years ago for backpacking and never imagined we'd need them around the house, but they worked great and easily recharged each day. We also had some long-burn emergency candles that we burned every evening.
Of course another thing that quickly became an issue for us was warmth. We didn't do anything specific to prepare for this, but just having a ready supply of sleeping bags, blankets, and winter gear paid off. A month ago I never would have guessed that I'd end up wearing long underwear at home for days on end.
For extended bone-chilling cold, I recommend real natural wool. I found a 100% alpaca sweater in the bottom of our cedar chest, and it kept in the heat better than the technical down jacket that I bought for mountaineering. My neighbor wore a pair of wool pants from the 70s and I super jealous as my legs were never all the way warm.
Also emergency candles are legit nice to have in an emergency. Eating and playing family games in 40 degrees felt almost pleasant in their warm glow. Good complement for the solar puffs!
Waiting for the Iodine to work, then adding Vitamin C tablets really eliminates the flavor.
For electricity, many of the electric cars coming out in the next couple of years will have power-out options as well. A friend powered his fridge and a few other items in his house for days with a (warrantee-breaking) addition to his Chevy Bolt a couple years ago.
We have a small generator that we were able to charge in the car. Wasn't strong enough to run the space heater, but strong enough to power a lamp at night. We also were lucky enough to get some button lights that are adhesive. Stuck above the kitchen sink and in bathrooms. We have purchased a battery powered lamp. Light in the evenings was a big issue.
Dustin Orrick have you done the math to figure out how long you could have run off your Leaf? Do you have a gas furnace with an electric controller or is the whole thing electric?
I like Galen Ward's idea of powering a fridge this way. Our house stayed cold enough during the recent outage that we didn't lose any food even after four days. A different time of year, though, I could definitely imagine being desperate to keep our chest freezer running as long as possible. We have a lot of meat in there that would be sad to lose.
I did Napkin math last summer when I bought it but thought just 2-3 days, but 80% of 24KwH Leaf battery and a fridge consuming 2.4kwh a day; maybe 8 days if lucky? Though I wouldn’t run the fridges non stop either and since it’s going through the 12volt battery instead of Lithium Traction battery I assume some loss there as well