Living Without Power
Our lifeline for survival is having electricity and water. Without water, we can’t survive physically. Although sans electricity we won’t physically diminish, however, what would life be like, and how hard is living without power or off the electrical grid?
Previously we talked about what an electrical magnetic pulse(EMP) is and what it could do, and how to make a Faraday cage and how it would benefit us if we lost electricity. This part of the series on the electrical magnetic pulse (EMP), we will focus on how no electricity will affect us, and how we would live without it.
Life without electricity
Electricity powers the technology that we use every day, from the way we communicate with loved ones, to our means of transportation. What would our lives be like if we didn’t have this luxury? Think about it, everything we do is powered by electricity, both necessities, and entertainment.
There are people all around us that do it every day, such as Amish people, and those who live in underdeveloped countries around. They make it seem so easy, but for some of us that have never experienced life without this luxury- how easy is it?
How are we affected by no electricity?
I have been through many power outages due to hurricanes, some lasting as long as 1-2 months. The first thing you will notice is that the life of normality is obsolete. You become completely vulnerable as you attempt to go through everyday life in darkness and you have to be creative.
Things you don’t think about
When the entire grid loses power, things happen that you wouldn’t normally think about. This includes:
- Cooling an entire house requires alternative options-solar a/c unit, blackout curtains, etc.
- Water treatment plants, nuclear power plants, run on electricity. If the backup generators run out of fuel or fail their things could get worse.
- Looters take advantage of any crisis situation, not just civil unrest.
- Communication for dispatching emergency services such as police, and fire departments, could be compromised.
You lose the most essential things that you need, including a means to stay warm or cool, the power to use your fridge and freezer, the power to maintain water systems that purify the water that we drink, and the power to communicate because the phone lines will be down.
Now that I have painted the picture of life without electricity for you, I will discuss ways that you can survive without electricity.
Amish and electricity
The Amish are not opposed to the use of electricity itself. It’s being connected to a public power grid that they have an issue with, they feel it eliminates temptations of the non-Amish world. Instead, they use alternative power sources for things they feel are valuable within the Amish community.
What can we learn from them
If we were to observe the Amish way of life, we would learn a few things that would help reduce the fear of living off the grid. They do rely on power sources for some things such as laundry, power tools, lights, and more, but they know how to conserve their energy as well.
Here are some things we can learn from them:
- How to manage to live off the electrical grid- such as identifying plants and what they can do for you.
- To avoid relying on electricity for everything like power tools
- Start a garden if you don’t have one- primitive farming
- Learn new skills, sewing, carpentry, plumbing, canning, or mechanical skills
- Understand alternative sources are available, rainwater to use for things like laundry.
Living off the grid
To live off the electrical grid, you need to make a list of your priorities and essentials. This means you should think about what matters the most for you and your family.
Here are some things to think about when prioritizing your life off the grid:
- Food- how will you find food? How will you cook food?
- Water- Remember electricity is needed for water pumps- flush toilets, take showers, purify water, and other reasons
- Sanitation & plumbing-bathroom and alternate sanitation methods need to be considered
You should do a check around your home and make sure that you understand how things operate and where any turn off valves are located- for water, gas. While doing a check to male sure that your house is up to par, you need to make a list to inventory the essentials that you have.
Essentials : Living Without Power
Here is a list of essentials that you will need:
- Food and water supplies for at least two weeks- make sure you have plenty of ready-made food available.
- Flashlights, headlamps, kerosene or oil lamps, candles, solar lighting for light sources
- Ways to cook food- charcoal grill, kerosene-burning stoves, wood-burning stoves, and cast-iron cooking to name a few.
- Water sources and water filters
- You will need small generators for things that require refrigeration, like certain medications.
- You should think about your plumbing situation. Your toilet will only flush for so long without electricity.
These are just some of the essentials that you will need. In addition to these essentials, you need to think about medical equipment or other things that could be used. Think about pets, elderly, and infants when you are preparing essential items.
If you do have pets, think about how you will feed them and have food on hand for them. What will happen if you run out of food for your pets? You don’t want them to end up having to savage for food.
If you have an infant that is on formula or breastmilk, make sure that you have enough for at least 1 month. You will also want to consider things like diapers and manual breast pumps.
So far you have learned how to build a Faraday cage, as well as what to do, and how to survive without electricity. Surviving electricity during an EMP or hurricane or any other type of SHTF situation is identical across the board. You need to have a bug out bag, essentials, and you need to make sure that you have the skills to build or fix things.