8 must-have things to keep at home in case the power goes out
Stay safe this storm season.
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It's almost fall—which means it's also almost storm season. Whether it's a hurricane, tropical storm, or severe thunderstorm, one of the side effects of bad weather is power outages. While losing power is never convenient, there are some things that can make it easier to handle by providing backup power, light, or food storage.
Below are eight products that you should have on hand in case the power goes out, from our experts' favorite flashlight to the best-selling generator on Amazon. Stock your home with these essentials ahead of the season so that you're properly prepared in the event of a severe storm.
1. The best rechargeable batteries
If you take away nothing else from this list, at least take this: good rechargeable batteries are an absolute must-have during a power outage. When we put some of the most popular batteries to the test, we found the Energizer Recharge Universal to be the best because they offer the most power at the most affordable price and can handle up to 1,000 (!!) recharge cycles.
2. Our favorite flashlight
Never underestimate the value of a high-quality flashlight, like the Olight S2 Baton, which is our experts' top pick. We like that it's incredibly durable (it survived being submerged in water and having a 20-pound weight dropped on it during our tests) and incredibly powerful (it can light up a 10-foot-wide circle from 21 feet away!).
3. A tiny but mighty portable charger
You might be able to live without Instagram and email for a few hours (or even days) but you need your phone to stay charged for more important reasons, like in the event of an emergency. We recommend using the Jackery Bolt, which is our number one battery pack, because it has such a high capacity that it can charge your phone three times over before it needs to be recharged and has multiple ports so you can charge multiple devices at the same time.
4. These waterproof matches
There are regular matches—and then there are storm-proof matches. This kit, which has over 1,000 glowing reviews on Amazon, is both waterproof and windproof so no matter the conditions, your matches will stay safe and usable. They're great for lighting candles (or simply providing light) and are extra-long so they burn longer and are safer for little hands to use, too.
5. This top-rated LED lantern
Flashlights are cool (and necessary) but have you ever used a lantern? When it comes to lighting up an entire room, they're more powerful than candles and more practical than a flashlight (a.k.a. you don't have to prop it up or hold it the whole time). One of the most popular ones on Amazon is the Vont LED Camping Lantern, which has over 18,000 reviews for being super bright—it has 30 LED light bulbs—and long-lasting. Bonus: It's also water-proof and very durable.
6. This expert-approved cooler
When the electricity shuts off, so does your refrigerator. That means you'll need a way to keep your food colder for longer—like with the Otterbox cooler recommended by our experts at Reviewed. The Venture 45 kept temperatures under 40°F for almost five days, which was longer than many of the other coolers we tested, and is surprisingly roomy inside with a 45-quart capacity.
7. These oversized wipes to stay clean
No power = no shower. I.e. you'll need an easy, electricity-free way to stay fresh and clean if the outage lasts more than a day. These oversized body wipes can help. They have hundreds of positive reviews, with people saying they actually make them feel as clean as a shower would and that they're big enough that just one wipe can scrub down your whole body (each wipe is 19.5 by 30.5 in., which is 16 times larger than other wipes). Plus, they're biodegradable so they aren't terrible for the environment, either.
8. This powerful generator
A reliable generator is a smart thing to have on hand during storm season. This one from WEN has over 1,000 five-star reviews because not only is it powerful (especially for its small size), but it's also very fuel-efficient and has a variety of different ports so you can hook up more than one appliance or device simultaneously. People also like that it has surge protection so you can use it to safely power up your electronics, too.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.