Today is about many options we all have or could have if we had to be without power for an extended time. It could happen and has happened for various reasons. Weather is always a huge cause of power outages - but it could be anything.
I think we have probably ALL been without power for short periods and survived. A long outage could be different.
Not only heat and AC - many have to worry about freezers and health issues.
Today are just a few ideas to keep in mind should you be caught in this situation.
Lights for me, wouldn't be a big problem. I have candles - lots of candles. I have solar lights outside - that I could bring in. Otherwise I would be OK. I wouldn't have to have lights at night - I would just go to bed or sit outside.
Candles are always a good bet - scented or plain. Cheap solar lights (like dollar store) would be great. They absorb light all day and bring them in and you have light at night. I have even seen pics where you can really radiate their light by placing a plastic (like milk) jug over them. Oil lamps are a great source of light. Make sure you have oil that is OK for inside and soot free.
Flashlights of course. Big and small - they work. Make sure you keep batteries on hand.
I have 2 or 3 battery operated candles for a nice glow.
Even something as simple as glow sticks would help and maybe make it not as scary for young-ins.
I have a couple of head lamps as well. They would work if you just had to read or sew or do something close up.
I also have a battery powered weather radio - and a battery powered regular radio (so music would be an option!).
There are several options. None are super cheap, but they are things that you can get that would make life easier.
The one thing that is a great help is a generator. A generator can help keep a freezer going, AC/fan on for a while, heat, cooking, medical aids, etc.
You could always plug in small heaters to help with cold - it may be difficult to hard wire your furnace. Your freezer could be plugged in for a few hours every day or two - to keep things frozen. Perhaps you would need to run a sump pump - a generator would help. Now granted, you have to have fuel to keep it going. Something else to think about. But at least it would help for short periods of time to keep life somewhat normal and perhaps keep you alive.
If it is winter - you could always transfer frozen or refrigerated items to coolers in garage or outside - barring you have no major critter problem.
We invested in this to make sure that G would always be comfortable and to make sure our freezer always had power.
Now if the gas suddenly quits flowing - I have to revert to plans C, D and ..... oh crap!!!!!!!!!!
There are less expensive options as well for short periods of time.
This device sure came in handy before we had the generator. Glen used a Bi-Pap almost ALL the time to easily breath. This thing worked wonderfully. It gave us 8 - 10 hours of power for his medical device. NOTE: we were also on the power company register for medical emergencies. Our power pole/area would be attended quickly. Look into that if you have extreme medical needs at your home.!!!!
On another note - it also will jump the batteries in your vehicle!!!! Indeed!!! This has saved me so many times - dead of winter - no one around - Blazer needed jumped. I did it all by myself. I have even taken it with me in the car - when having battery problems in severe cold.
A very good multi use gadget to have.
You could use it to power anything not too large for a short period.
I have a gas stove that is electronic spark start. Generally I can light it with a lighter, just by turning on the gas knob and lighting.
If you have any kind of generator - big or small odds are you could power a crockpot or insta-pot or a heat plate. Think about having a way to cook that isn't power driven. Gas or charcoal grills, fire in the back yard with a grate. Solar oven. Shoot, you can even cook little things or warm them on a hot sunny day in a closed vehicle (yep it gets that hot). You could have a rocket stove or even a clay pot over a candle - can heat items up.
Have a coffee pot that doesn't require power and could be used on the grill or over a campfire. Your home canned goods COULD be eaten from the jar! So could many store bought items. It may not be as good cold (not heated) - but you would have food.
IF you have a well and it requires power for a pump - think about an alternate way. Do you have a hand pump? Do you have water stored? You could use a generator for periods of time to get a days worth of water. Have alternatives.
I keep plenty of warm clothing around - generally it isn't needed - but I have it. I NEVER get rid of blankets, quilts or comforters. If I wouldn't need them for staying warm, perhaps a neighbor might and even my animals. (don't forget about your pets). One could also wrap their canned (non freezer) type food in blankets or quilts to keep it warmer and not freeze. You could cover windows and doors to prevent drafts. You could wrap your pipes.
Lots of things to think about. Do you have alternative sources for power? Do you have ways or know a way to cook? Would you stay warm (fireplace or wood stove maybe).
There are ways to survive about anything. Some don't cost a thing and others can be a bit costly. Start thinking about what you would do IF caught in the dark!!!!!