Having been without power for 5 days following Irma rolling right over us last year, here are my tips.
1. GET A SOLAR POWERED CELL PHONE CHARGER - it's like $25 off Amazon. Get a couple of them. They are godsends! There's a reason this is my number 1
2. GET CASES OF BOTTLED WATER (BUT NOT FOR WHAT YOU THINK) - Bust open a case and FREEZE them. Now, consolidate items in your fridge/freezer. The
MOMENT the power goes out, stuff these frozen water bottles in every nook and cranny you can. This will keep your cold items cold for DAYS. Honestly,
on day 4, I still had to THAW chicken breasts to grill.
3. ONLY OPEN YOUR FRIDGE/FREEZER ONCE/TWICE PER DAY (While the power is out) - This will keep the cold in, and maximize it's effectiveness.
4. WALL SCONCE CANDLES ARE AWESOME - Personally, my advice in a power outage is to just go to SLEEP when the sun goes down, but with wall sconces, you
can easily navigate your house without having to carry a flashlight. We did all those days with candlelight, and it made it easier to just see in the
house. (we don't have a ton of windows, so even in the day, it was handy).
5. GAS UP EARLY - Days before the storm, gas goes bye bye. Have actual gas cans, and fill them up too (if they aren't rationing). If you have a
generator, handy for that too of course.
6. GAS FOR GRILL - If you have one, get gas for it early, as it will disappear.
7. STORES - remember, power companies triage power needs when restoring, so commerce centers are likely to be up before residential (so people can get
supplies, etc.). If you go to grocery stores RIGHT when they open, you are likely to be able to get items that may be limited (like water or bread,
etc.). Each day after Irma, once power was back there (day 2 I believe), the stores had water and bread for about the first 40 minutes they were open.
8. DAMAGE ASSESSMENT - After the storm, be CAREFULL. Take pictures (a lot of pictures), and try to see anything that may be damaged. Some things, like
a roof leak, etc. may need immediate attention (especially if more rain is coming).
9. EASY FOODS - Plenty of things that don't need to be cooked, like PB&J, PopTarts, Fruits, Nuts, and much, much more. So think about these too.
10. NOT JUST WATER - While many get water to drink, there's really no reason you can't just drink what you normally do too. I recommend having a
separate cooler for drinks, so you can get cold drinks, without affecting your food coldness.