Remember the blackout of 2003?

All told, about 55 million people in Ontario and the eastern United States were left without power – some for as many as 2-3 days!

Here in London, the blackout forced us to go outside, talk to the neighbours and barbecue everything in the freezer. But that was just a couple days. What happens when the power goes out indefinitely?

Baked beans and waterproof matches are kind of boring.

You need to spice that survival kit up to get the most out of your blackout.

The following items will make sure you rule the neighbourhood should another grid failure happen:

beer and smokes survival guide
If Ontario ever experiences another prolonged blackout like it had in 2003, beer and smokes will become precious currency. Bag smokes come in two flavours: bearable and terrible.

1. Beer – lots of it

Nothing gets you through a blackout better than a bender.

Stocking up on beer is a great way to get on with the neighbours. If you have enough to spare you can trade your barley sandwiches for other precious commodities… like smokes.

2. Smokes

Even if you don’t smoke, it’s a good idea to keep a few bags in a safe place. Sooner or later, someone is going to run out of smokes and/or cash for smokes.

When that happens, you can use your cigarettes to trade for beer.

3. Soccer Ball

For when you’re standing around smoking and drinking. Form a ring and kick the ball around.

urban hunting gear
Whether you’re hunting squirrels, raccoons or feral cats, old sporting equipment plus sharp objects will get the job done.

4. Bow and Arrows

When the freezer is empty, you’re going to need a way to feed yourself. A bow is a great way to secure your next meal, whether it’s squirrels, raccoons or feral cats. You can make your own crossbow out of a hockey stick, a wooden ruler, and some rubber bands. Sharpened pencils work as arrows in a pinch.

5. Makeshift Spear

Let’s face it – your homemade bow probably sucks. Make a spear by sharpening the end of a hockey stick.

You can also just tape a steak knife to the end of the stick if you’re more of a Bronze Age guy or girl.

6. Baseball Bat With Nail Through It

If a power outage lasts long enough (four days or more) society will crumble.

A bat with a nail through it can take down larger prey and intimidate potential looters. Also, it works in case of zombies.

7. Coffee

Life can’t go on without it.

survival kit supplies
Just because the power is out, it doesn’t mean you can’t live large.

8. Rolls of Quarters

Gambling is a great way to keep your mind off the real world and quarters keep the ante manageable.

If you’re one of those people who likes to buy individual smokes, a roll of quarters will make life much easier. Just remember, it’s customary to offer at least 50 cents per cigarette. For fancy brands, that jumps to 75 cents. For every day without power, add 50 cents.

9. Clean Underwear

If the power outage lasts more than a few days do you really want to wash your undies in the Thames?

10. Chickens

Head to Trails End some weekend and pick up a few hens and a rooster or two. You’ll have eggs for days, and if you map out a family tree in advance, you can get a few generations of chicks before the inbreeding kicks in.

11. Lemons, Nails, Copper Wire

If you feel you absolutely need to check your phone, make an OG battery just like you did in Grade 4 science class. Just remember – the internet is probably down too.

12. Encyclopedias

Without the internet, most people will forget their own names. Invest in a set of encyclopedias now so you can be the smartest person on your block.

Hope this helps…

Let’s all cross our fingers that the grid doesn’t explode in our lifetime, but if it does, you now have the tools you need to survive and thrive until the power comes back on.

If you have anything to add to the list, feel free to put it in the comments below – you can never be too prepared. Remember, being without power doesn’t mean you’re powerless.


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