It has happened to all of us at one time or another. The power goes off and our world suddenly is without the conveniences of electricity. Whether due to an act of nature, something caused by man or simply a lifestyle choice, there are some basic essentials to consider when living without electricity. Backwoods Home Magazine discusses what essentials need to be taken in consideration when preparing for the event that there is no electricity. They are as follows: light, water, cooking, heating/cooling, and communication.
Life goes on even when the sun goes down. It is important that every member of the family has their own flashlight with extra batteries. Whether it’s trying to find your way around a dark house to seeing what is going on outside, a light source is an essential item for survival. It is helpful to have more than one source a light. These can include, candles, lanterns, oil lamps and many others. Don’t forget the matches, either!
If you live in a town or a city, a short term power loss probably won’t affect your water pressure. But if the power has been off for a significant amount of time, the water pumps will not be able to pump water into your home. Also the water filtration and sanitization systems might be compromised. It is important that you store some water in case something happens to the water supply. A good rule of thumb to remember is that a typical American uses around 70 gallons per day. This amount includes, bathing, toilet use and cooking and drinking. If the electricity outage is short term, the amount goes down, but if the outage is long term, activities such as laundry and bathing need to be factored in.
You can survive eating cold food straight out of a can, but prolonged periods of that would be sure to bring down morale. Be sure to have some what to prepare a hot meal. It can be something as ordinary and everyday as grilling and barbecuing on a grill or something as exotic as using a solar oven.
Heating and Cooling
One year our power went out during a raging blizzard. The house got cold pretty quick. Luckily we have a fireplace that we had going that kept the room warm and cozy. Be sure to have a heat source such as a wood burning stove, a kerosene heater or some other heat source. Be sure to remember the extra blankets!
If you need to keep the house cool, take advantage of the breezes by hanging a wet sheet in the window to cool the air as it comes in. Battery or solar powered fans help to keep the air circulating. If you do some advance planning, you can plant trees and vines to keep the south side of the house out of the sun.
It is crucial to stay informed of what is happening in the outside world. Be sure to have on hand a battery powered radio. Satellite internet hookups using a battery powered laptop would be an excellent way to communicate with the outside world and get information that you need.
What have you done when you had to live without electricity? What tricks did you use to make it a little easier? Share your ideas with us!
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