Emergency chest

Just wondering how many people, especially in Europe/UK, may have started to put an emergency chest of useful items together given the increased possibility of power outages in coming months?

The post by @Satori here made me wonder:

Oddly looking at a few unrelated items on Amazon yesterday, generators popped up amongst popular deals.

We have:

Plenty of LED torches/batteries for short periods of electrical outage for lighting.

Log burners and wood for heat, generally in use anyway. Could even be used to heat small volumes of water or to cook.

We have a few gas BBQs and a couple of propane tanks, or could resort to the Kamado or other BBQs provided we have charcoal (or wood I guess).

Thinsg to consider:

Unless they are prioritised somehow I’d imagine mobile phones and broadband services would be down. I seem to recall conventional phone lines were ‘powered’ independently of the national grid?

Chances are any outages would be short but maybe should get a few extra power banks to power phones/tablets even if just for entertainment purposes.

Maybe a pack of cards!

Suspect most of use have enough food in cupboards freezers (temporarily) if we needed things to eat.

Maybe worth keeping cars topped up with fuel?

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We have a small generator that will provide enough electric to run the telly, broadband router and a table lamp. The gas fire will work without electric and so will the gas cooker. And possibly even my hifi :thinking::grinning:


Normal Openreach based landlines will continue to work. I’d expect the cabs to be independently powered and broadband to remain working.

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Do some cookers still rely on pilot lights to allow the gas to feed? I guess an electrical outage per se would not affect this as they presumably heat thermocouples to enable the main gas to flow. Matches possibly required to light?

Generators seem tempting but I assume they’d need to run outdoors for safety reasons, plus most are likely to be darned noisy.

Saw some ‘high capacity’ powerbanks with inverters which might be fine to run some essential gadgets such as the hi-fi :rofl:

Mine is electric spark ignition but I can light it manually.

Mine very quiet and I’d leave it in the garage as there’s enough ventilation for it not to be a problem.

I had looked at some powerbanks but it’s probably not worth the hassle or the cost.

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Sounds like it’s all round to yours then if the sh*t hits the fan. Don’t forget to stock up on the toilet rolls :grinning:


Surely this would stop at the same time? :thinking::wink:


We have a real piano. What else one needs?!


Tom Waits :slightly_smiling_face:


Been researching this, to see if it could run my router so i would still have broadband


That’s the kind of high capacity/power powerbank I’d seen a few times.

Does it need a Powerline? :smile:


I think we may need to resort to talking to our partners to pass the time :wink: . Not sure how the young will cope though.

Of course the good old battery powered radio would get centre stage


But don’t forget that most of us have cordless phones and the base unit needs power.
Memo to self - collect cheap corded phone from Argos in the morning.

Aren’t most phones now run over broadband? I know mine is

It’s pretty normal in other parts of the world prone to natural disasters. Everyone in the family has a “go-bag”. They are flame resistant silver bags with your name and blood type written on the back. They contain a few days of food and water, a portable loo, wind up flashlight that doubles as an AM radio and USB charger and flashing help beacon, bandages, hard hat etc. If there is the space, it’s customary to store winter camping gear in case the home is destroyed in winter.

For more run of the mill stuff, like others here, Jackery batteries. And the new build is fitted with a generator. Gas is still sort of under control here price-wise but the area is not conducive to solar sadly. The Panasonic Ene-farm gas generator cuts in automatically in the event of a power outage.

Warm water for washing hands is off grid. We fitted all the washrooms with these devices that use mains water pressure to drive a tiny generator under the sink to heat the water as it comes out.


Is Japan prone to power cuts or is this just being more cautious than other places?

Not sure. I remember a few power cuts in the UK growing up. Here in Japan there is one mandated outage per year where they shut down a local grid, check it, power it back up. If you are in the path of one of the many typhoons you can be without power for daysl We lost power for a few hours in 2019 but the tower blocks opposite were without power or water for 2 weeks due to typhoon damage.

Most people have no backup for power. I’m personally “Mr. Resiliency”.


We’ve got a 2-stroke petrol generator - bought by one of our sons when he worked at a DIY store 12 years ago, a customer return with a dent in the heatshield, cost a fiver… It has sat in the garage since then, never even fuelled, until last week when I was cutting the hedge and put some fuel in it, and it fired up! A thought was it could power a few lights, and the central heating / hot water - except as the boiler has an electronic controller I don’t dare connect it - not even sure how LED lightbulbs would behave. I’ll have to source some form of power regulator/cleaner (anyone done that?)

Otherwise we have a campervan, with a solar panel, and a pure sine invertor, so as long as there’s enough sun during the very short midwinter days that might power the boiler. Or we could all sit in it with its LPG heater (and shower) and LED lights…

If outage too long to use a tablet or computer, with no suitable alternative energy source to power them we have candles, and plenty of unread books - except I doubt I could read by candlelight these days!

Maybe those fortunate enough to not have to work should take to bed for the hours of darkness. (And if we did that I can think of ways to warm my poor wife if it’s cold, and keep her entertained if we can’t sleep tgat long…)


When I saw this thread title, I assumed that it would refer to what Dolly Parton would use if she fell off a boat and needed to keep her head above water.