The best flashlights now have led bulbs that are bright and less of a drain on batteries. If you anticipate a blackout, make sure you test your flashlights in advance and keep an extra supply of batteries. Buy several flashlights, so every member of your household can carry one. And buy different types, both handhelds to carry, and lantern types that you can use as a room light.
Make sure you have extra batteries for your flashlights and small radios. There are flashlights and radios that do not require batteries, but honestly, I have not been impressed with the flashlights that you shake up to generate enough power to light up. The light produced has always been dim and short-lived. However, I purchased a small hand-cranked powered radio and it worked like a charm.
According to the CDC:
- A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours (add ice).
- For the Refrigerated section: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice.
Also keep a cooler box on hand for emergencies, as illustrated in the photo, the same kind you use for picnic food or to keep beverages cold while outside. Fill it up with ice, if it is available to you to purchase and use it to keep your foods frozen. You can also put a sealed bag (you don't want water dripping) in your freezer to help keep things cold. Hopefully you can replace the ice if the blackout last for days. Dry ice also works for the same purpose, during hurricane Sandy dry ice was being distributed. Just remember not to touch dry ice with your bare hands.
Besides your foods think about any medicines you need to keep cool, like insulin, put an ice pack close to you medicines but not too close that they freeze.
Sometimes your water supply will be still be safe to drink form your tap. Announcements are made to that effect. However, water can be boiled for one minute to kill bacteria. If you can stock up on bottled water, one gallon per day per person.