Coping Without Power

Coping Without Power

by JM

 

Electrical power is something that we all take for granted. So much so that often we don’t even realise the extent to which our lives are impacted by the use of electricity. Often, it’s only when the power goes out that we begin to understand how much we truly rely on it. And yet the threat of losing power is something which hangs over our heads every day.

Any number of factors could potentially contribute to a loss of electrical power, as evidenced by the number of occasions when this has occurred. Natural disasters, solar flares and human error are just three of an endless number of factors which could lead to a power outage, and these scenarios could happen at any time. So, it’s very important that we learn to live without power the best we can, in preparation for the day when this nightmare becomes a reality.

Preparing Your Power-Out Kit

A long lasting power outage is in itself an emergency situation, and should be treated as such. Therefore, a power-out kit should be much the same as any emergency preparedness kit. Basic essentials, such as food, water, warm clothing from www.outdoorlook.co.uk, medical supplies and alternative forms of lighting (such as wind up lamps, torches, candles and matches) should all be included.

Thinking About Food

Modern food prep and storage tends to be overly reliant on electricity. But in the event of a power outage, your electrical stove, fridge and other kitchen items will be completely useless. Even those of us with gas power may find that we’re not able to use our appliances if the gas company is also affected by the outage. So, when thinking about preparing for a lengthy power outage, we should make sure to include food which doesn’t require electricity to store or cook, such as canned or dried products. A portable gas stove will enable you to heat your food, but make sure you have a decent fuel supply stored up.

Staying Safe During a Power Outage

If you’re faced with the scenario of a long power outage, you should make safety one of your top priorities. We would all like to think that, in the event of a prolonged emergency situation, people would band together and help one another out, but unfortunately this has often proven not to be the case. So to protect you and your family, make sure that you are prepared to defend both your persons and your emergency supplies. This may mean making a bug-out plan, or preparing to defend your home. Either way, put your plan in place before an emergency occurs, and you’ll have a much better chance of weathering the storm.

 


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14 Comments

  1. The prices for solar power components have come way down to a level where solar power makes sense. I spent a fortune on my battery backed system 3 and 1/2 years ago and don’t have to suffer power outages anymore. I wish I had waited for the prices to come down but the piece of mind is wonderful. If you get any sun where you live look into it folks.

  2. Do you know how much fuel per person would be a good amount to have stored. I am talking about fuel for cooking etc. thanks for your help.

    • Peggy –

      I would look at how much is needed to cook a meal – then multiply that about times the number of meals you anticipate needing. I have a couple of small propane camp grills. If one small canister will cook two meals – and I need 2 weeks worth of fuel (3 meals per day) – I would need 21 canisters. Just an example.

      Thanks – Rourke

  3. Thanks. We have a grill, camp chef, smoker, volcano stove and several other methods for cooking. I think we’ll be okay. Hope so.

  4. i know what you are saying but has to happen for the people to wake up take back the U.S.A from those who want to tear it down To make like Russa and China the Good U.S.A will be split in to then there be war half of the big big learder face will be blow off but in 7 month it will be restore but the war will go on until there is peace in the world my I say more.

  5. I think the wind up lamps he is talking about are similar to the hand cranked radios you can buy. We have a radio like that. It uses batteries, solar, and a dynamo. You crank it around until the light turns green (about 2-3 mins), and you are good to go.

  6. I believe that you’re right about the wind up, or dynamo generator as it’s called on the multi-function Eaton radio I have. You can also charge the batteries in it using the Solar panel, but it requires a minimum of 8 hours in direct sun light. I have flashlights and outdoor lights that utilize Solar panels as well.

    I can’t help but think that the Amish and the few people who live completely off the grid will be the only ones who’re truly prepared for the power grid to go down.

  7. I bought a brand new gas stove (Whirlpool) in March 2013. I chose gas because we live in the country and have occasional power outages. We just had one. I went to light the stovetop with a match and was shocked to discover I could not. I did plenty of research before I purchased and saw nothing on line or in the manual about not being able to light it with a match. I called Whirlpool customer service and was told Whirlpool no longer makes a gas stove you can light with a match. My appliance store was not even aware of this change. I am angry about the lack of information about this “regulation”. It is more common than you think. Beware when buying a new gas stove. Even asking the salesman won’t guarantee an accurate answer to the match-light question. Call the manufacturer with the model number and get the answer straight from them.

  8. Patty Liz, We bought a new gas stove in 1999 for Y2K
    prepping and it has served us well during power outages.
    We can light the pilot light by match. We insisted on this simple stove when we bought it. Maybe yours can be returned for a different model. Sorry for your hassle. Arlene
    The wind up lamps I believe are the ones that look like camp lanterns but can be used with batteries, solar or wind up. Ours works well.

  9. Solar Photovoltaic Systems are the easiest to Desing & Install, But if you want or need a Battery Backup it’s going to get Big, Bulky, & Co$t alot ! + you have to decide if you’re willing to do monthly & Bi-Annual maintenace on the batteries or if you want Maintenance Free Ni-Cad Gel Battery Backup ! Plus there is also V.A.W.T. systems that can be incorporated into any Solar System that will reduce the Co$t of your $olar system. But the Draw back to that is, that most of their cost isn’t allowable under the Solar/Photovoltaics rebate programs offered by most uttility companies. If anyone is interested send Rourke an email telling him to forward me your Email address & I’ll contact you to answer any of your Questions !

    As I am a SOLAR ELECTRICIAN here in Southern Calif. & I’m still Studing the newer Thecniques that they teach now a days.

  10. BTW The Monthly & Bi-Annual Maintenance is what would be used on Liquid Laed Acid Batteries, & they if they explode contain Sulphuric ACID, & unpo Venting during Charging produce Hydrogen GAS which is Highly Flamable! & Cost less.

    The Maintenance Free Batteries have Non of those concerns & weight less, But because they don’t have the DANGERS like the others they COST more …. Go Figure.

    But with Lead Acid Batteries they recommend that you should never discharge them beyond 50% otherwise you seriously shorten their life span.
    Where as with Ni-Cad Batteries you can repeatedly Discharge them down to
    75% – 80% & they will last longer then Lead Acid ones, Since Ni-Cads are what are used in the Signal Buoys in the deep ocean to keep shipping lanes from becoming death traps they use Ni-Cad batteries with a self regulating solar system ……. where there batteries may be without any sun for several day to much as a Week or more !

  11. Hi The Solar Druid ~ I’d love for more info on setting up a solar system for a 1300 sq ft home. (Rourke you can pass on my email addy) For camping and emergency, I have a 13ft travel trailer that runs on propane. Cook stove, lamp and heater run off the propane, and the water is hand pumped from the holding tank. But I’ll be setting up my house with alternative forms of heating, cooking and power and solar and wind to charge a bank of batteries I want to be a big part of it. For my travel trailer I have a Goal Zero 350 with panels, it powers a small 12v fridge and low wattage led lights; and other electric devices used. For the main house, Id need power for sure, to keep the fridge cold (and or freezer), pump water in, lights and some electric devices etc. I have other devices for light and heat too. But really would like to make my home self reliant now. 🙂 Ani

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