Will You Be Prepared if the Power Goes Out? What to Pack in An Apartment Survival Kit

published Sep 2, 2015
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: GoodMood Photos)

We’ve had a series of pretty wicked storms lately in Atlanta. With the kind of thunder and lightning that shock you out of whatever you were doing and make you double-check your battery supply and if you even actually own a fully-functioning flashlight. Which, it turns out you don’t, if you’re me.

That moment was a bit of a realization – after 22 years of living in Florida, I got accustomed to prepping for hurricane season with the rest of the community every summer. Now, I’m on my own. And apparently not at all ready if a storm took down the power to our apartment for any longer than 30 seconds.

So I’ve been doing some research and a bit of shopping and put together a list of what belongs in an apartment preparedness kit. You might need to add a few items here and there depending on your region (do you get hurricanes? floods? earthquakes?), but here’s a solid survival kit starter pack:

  • Non-Perishable Food: Stash a few boxes of protein bars in your kit, far away from wherever the snacks usually go, so nobody is tempted to grab one.
  • Bottled Water: The CDC recommends 1 gallon of water per person per day in a disaster kit, for a minimum of three days. Of course, you might not have room for a doomsday cellar in your 500 square foot studio, so at minimum, just stash away as much bottled water as possible – whatever you can fit is better than nothing! A bottled water supply is potentially something you can put together with everyone in your building, too, and store in a basement or wherever there’s room.
  • Extra Pet Supplies: Your dog, cat or lizard will need some food and water, too. During storm season, don’t let the food bin get too low.
  • A Rechargeable Flashlight: Get one that plugs in to the wall, and find a conspicuous outlet where you can leave it 24/7. When the power goes out, the flashlight will come on, fully charged, to help you find your way around.
  • Candles & Matches: The flashlight will get you far, but if you’re without power for a while, it’s nice to light candles in each room while you party like it’s 1899. The big 22-ounce jar candles are great, because they protect the flame, burn for a long time (100+ hours) and keep melted wax under control.
  • A Backup Phone Battery: In 2008, a disaster prep list might have said to keep a corded phone around to plug in to your landline. These days, you might only have a smartphone, so invest in a rechargeable backup battery and keep it juiced up and at the ready. Mophie is a trusted brand that offers external battery packs for $50-$150.
  • No-Tech Toys: Board games, books. Something (anything!) to pass the time.