Living Without Electricity After a Crisis Strikes
We are all very much aware that our country’s three electrical grids are fragile. And vulnerable.
Every day there are numerous stories in the news about people losing electricity in their homes and businesses.
The culprit is usually extreme weather. But there are numerous other causes for these power outages. Including animals and car accidents. Plus physical and cyber attacks on the grid. Not to mention planned blackouts.
Most outages are short-lived. Some go on for days and weeks. And eventually, we’re going to get hit with one that goes on much longer.
Back in the 1800s? We wish!
I’ve often heard it said that if we have to live without electricity for an extended period of time, it will be like being plunged back into the 1800s.
That is not accurate. It would be much worse. Back then, they knew how to live without electricity. We don’t.
Among the things we would try to use before remembering they no longer work are lights, landline phones and televisions. Plus refrigerators, dishwashers and microwave ovens. As well as clothes washers and dryers. And many others.
The more you know about how to live without electricity, the better you’ll be able to cope when the stuff hits the fan. (Although the fan won’t be working either.) And that includes heating and cooking food.
Lighting, heating, food and water
When it comes to lighting without electricity, you could use battery-powered, solar-powered and hand-cranked flashlights. Plus candles, oil lamps, kerosene lanterns, headlamps and solar lights.
Heating during colder months is a bigger challenge. Add insulation to your home’s walls. Fix window and door drafts. A fireplace on the first floor is a big help. Rising heat will enter upstairs rooms. Acquire sleeping bags and space blankets.
Store as much non-perishable food and clean drinking water as you have room for. Many non-perishable foods do not need to be cooked. For those that do, keep reading for tips on cooking without electricity.
Preserving food is another issue. One option is growing your own fruits and vegetables. And canning them or storing in a root cellar. Some refrigerators can run on propane, kerosene or batteries. Recharge them through a solar power system.
Because most water provided by municipalities requires electricity to pump, this is another challenge. Finding a nearby source of fresh water is job one. Having a well on your property would be a big advantage. Purifying water is a must.
Other things to consider
How will you earn money if there is no electricity? The time is now to learn some skills that will be required in a power-down situation.
Public grid electricity is not the only way to power what you need. Alternate sources of energy include solar panels, wind turbines and hydroelectric sources.
When it comes to cleaning, you will need to hand-wash your dishes and clothes. Keep your clothing soft by rinsing them in one or two cups of vinegar. Hang your clothes out to dry if the weather is cooperating.
Communicating with others when the grid goes down will be difficult. It might be worth the financial investment to acquire a hand-crank radio, a CB radio or a satellite phone. Texts have a better chance of getting through than cellphone calls.
Staying entertained is not the first thing people think about when they consider the loss of power. But there will be many long days and nights without electricity. Learn to play a musical instrument. Bring out the old-school board games.
Cooking without electricity
We have to eat even without power. Here are four ways to cook without electricity.
- Wood fire. It’s the oldest strategy for cooking in human history. You can do it over an open fire, in a fireplace, in a wood-burning stove or several other options. They all involve wood.
- Barbeque grill. This is a summertime favorite for many people. It doesn’t have to be a backyard picnic or some special event. Some folks frequently cook on the grill just to avoid heating up the house too much.
- Solar oven. This is similar to cooking in a crockpot, and it can take a while. But it’s a great way to use the sun’s energy. Sunlight converts to heat as it strikes a black surface inside the oven, with reflectors helping out.
- Dutch oven. They rarely make them like they used to, but the original Dutch ovens were designed with cast iron and had feet to hold them level in the coals. The lid had a lip so that coals could be piled on top as well.
Sun Kettle to the rescue
Now more than ever, Americans realize the need to have an electricity-free way to cook food and boil water – especially now with hurricane season just a few weeks away.
That's why we created this incredible little solar gadget: the Sun Kettle.
This revolutionary personal water heater cooks food, purifies drinking water to kill waterborne bacteria, and boils water for first aid or kill germs. It also makes the perfectly piping-hot cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa.
Plus it does it all without using fire, fuel, or electricity!
It's no wonder why most folks are grabbing these 3 at a time, while they can.