Fire Disaster Scenario Prep: 1-2 days without electricity

In Petaluma (Sonoma County), with PG&E outages (including PSPS outages), we need to be prepared for the scenario in which we may be without electrical power for 1-2 days.

Communication and connectivity

  • Requirements:
    • Get notifications about an emergency as soon as possible so we can start execution of a plan to manage the situation.
    • Stay up to date on the status of the emergency.
    • Maintain communication with friends/family to let folks know our status or if we need assistance from them.
    • Get connectivity for laptops so our work is not interrupted.
  • Preparation:
    • Battery powered NOAA radio for updates and alerts without requiring electricity. We get early warnings from the National Weather Service with an intentionally annoying loud alert. Once this goes off, I’m sure the dogs will start barking too.
    • iPhones. You got cell. You got mobile data. What else do you need? :)
    • Tethering on iPhone and mobile WiFi hotspot to keep our computers online for work. I’m not yet sure how reliable this will be, as mobile networks may get overloaded, but it may be the only way we have to get Internet access for our laptops during an outage.

Lighting and illumination

We’re pretty well versed in dealing with needing light from our camping experience.

  • Requirements:
    • Use the bathroom, cook food, do things around the house.
  • Preparation:
    • Headlamps: keep your hands free when going poo-poo or cooking.
    • Sofirn BLF LT1: this is a great lantern to have even in non-emergencies.
    • Flashlights: did somebody say Emisar D4V2? :)

BLF LT1 used for camping The BLF LT1 is a great lantern to light an area or workspace. Perfect for power outages or camping!

Backup electric power

All of the above is contingent on us having power to be able to run our devices, so it’s essential that we keep them running when our house doesn’t have power.

Goal Zero 500X, Nomad 50 Goal Zero 500X being charged with Nomad 50: keep those electronics humming with the power of the sun!


  • Requirements:
    • Be able to cook food and make coffee (yum).
    • Be able to keep our perishable food cold.
  • Preparation:
    • BBQ Grill: our experience from camping comes in handy again here: we can fire up our propane powered grill. We also have our camp stove as a backup.
    • Cooler: we move meat into the freezer and items that we may want to have access to within the 1-2 days into our cooler so we don’t have to open/close the fridge and lose precious chill-ness.