What we learned from the windstorm to prepare for a blizzard

After a week with no power in October following the now infamous Maine windstorm, Jason and I did a sort of after action report (AAR to you military folk out there). Basically, we created a list of things we should have on hand next time the lights go out. Here is our list (not in order of importance):

Jugs of Water

Because we’re on a well, when the power goes out, we lose water as our well pump won’t work without electricity. This was probably the biggest nuisance for us. Luckily, we were able to get out and buy gallons of water for drinking and whatnot. We saved the jugs from October and filled them all up with water for the next time we find ourselves without power.

Candles, Flashlights, Batteries

In October, we went through oodles of candles — and that was even using them sparingly! As soon as we got the power back on, I ordered a few long-lasting emergency candles so we now have those on hand. We also have several flashlights and a large stock of batteries just in case. (Let’s just hope the batteries we have actually match the flashlights!)

Canned Food

Jason and I aren’t really a canned food type of household. We try to stick mostly to fresh fruit and meat, avoiding most processed foods (though that doesn’t always happen because, c’mon, Oreos!) When we lost power in October, it wasn’t cold enough to keep most of our refrigerated food, well, cold enough. We ended up losing a ton of meat and other various refrigerated items because we couldn’t cook them before they spoiled and we couldn’t keep them cool without power.

While we’ve since learned that we could at least recoup the monetary losses through our insurance company for the food that spoiled, it still taught us the lesson to have more canned food on hand that can easily be cooked on the gas stovetop.


Jason and I are both big readers, but we also watch our share of Netflix and Amazon Prime. We didn’t really realize just how much we sit in front of the screen until we didn’t have it anymore. Having something to do when it gets dark that doesn’t require electricity is huge. Lucky for us, our kid (a lab/husky, four-legged boy) is quite easy to entertain. However, we learned that we need a little bit more than books and staring into the fire to keep us busy. We now have several, two-player board games and card games. There are even some that are waiting to be unwrapped for the next time the power goes out.


Okay, obviously this is the big one. With a generator, most of the above list goes out the window. We actually just got our generator last week, so we should be ready for today’s blizzard. However, even with a generator, I still feel it’s important to have the other above items on hand. You never know when you’re gonna run out of gas or find yourself with a broken-down generator. Definitely better to be safe than sorry!

So what do you think? Did we miss any items? Anything you can’t live without during a power outage?

Jennifer Jelliff-Russell

About Jennifer Jelliff-Russell

Jennifer is an employment specialist and writer with novels in women’s fiction and science fiction. She and her husband, Jason, decided to move from Tennessee to Maine and homestead using the most environmentally sound farming practices possible such as organic farming and permaculture. At the same time, they will also be slowly renovating their 1900s Maine farmhouse in order to make it more self-sufficient with the eventual goal of going off grid. Let the homesteading (mis)adventures begin!