Many of us find it difficult to imagine being able to live without electricity: cooking, heating, entertaining or working could become much more complicated actions than they are now. The energy crisis hangs over our lifestyle and the scenario of a general blackout is a scenario that many areas of the Earth may have to face in the near future.
Everyone is able to survive without electricity for a day or two, but how can one survive for several days or even weeks during a blackout?
It is essential for a prepper to learn to live without electricity. You never know what kind of situation or emergency could deprive you of electricity for extended periods. Some preppers voluntarily choose to live without electricity, making it their way of life, but personally I don’t feel like being part of this group yet.
Regardless of what causes the power failure, you need to have a plan. Here are some tips for living without electricity: start preparing now so you won’t find yourself unprepared later!
# 1 Prepare food supplies
First of all, make a list of all the food you need in case you run out of electricity. While creating it, you also make considerations: for example, if and how you can keep the food cold or if and how you can cook .
It would be a smart move to have some canned food or ready-made food to consume in your supplies, especially if you use an induction hob in your kitchen. Make sure there are long-life foods that do not require special conditions to be stored, such as:
- Canned tuna or fish
# 2 Knowing how to turn off the gas and water taps
In the event of a disaster, it may be necessary to shut off the water and gas to prevent further danger for you and your family. It is therefore important to know where the gas and water taps are located in your home, so that you can act quickly during an emergency.
# 3 Think of a way to collect and store water
Whether the blackout is temporary or permanent, having water always available is very important. Ensuring a way to collect and store water is critical to your health and to everyone living in the home. You could buy water bottles, fill jugs or, if you are more practical, create a rainwater filtration system.
# 4 Think of an alternative heat source
Living without electricity in the winter can be difficult because it would deprive you of home heating. And if there are children in the house, there must be a source of heat, in any case.
To survive without electricity while continuing to cook, the ideal is to have a wood stove in the house. A kerosene or propane stove could also work: with these you can heat up to 300 m 2 . If you choose one of these stoves, it would be good to also have a carbon monoxide detector available .
Other ways to stay warm are:
- Insulate your home more;
- Cooking at home;
- Cover the floors with rugs;
- Find and close any drafts of air in the windows;
- Put rags under the doors.
# 5 Practice alternative cooking methods
Without electricity, cooking can suddenly become more difficult than normal. A grill or small camping gas stove may be options. Gas ovens are also an alternative, but remember that for all these solutions you must have cylinders to be able to operate them.
The best thing would be a wood stove with a flat top: in addition to heating the house you can use it for cooking by placing pots on it. Important: make sure you have cast iron pans !
# 6 Create an alternate toilet
If it’s a short power outage, you may not need to use the bathroom. Should it be a prolonged blackout, the aqueduct pumps bringing water to your home may stop. Consider using a bucket system or a camping toilet.
How do you create a bucket system? It’s simple: put a garbage bag in the bucket, put some moss or cat litter on the bottom. After you have done what you have to do, put some more moss or sand on it to cover the odors.
# 7 Learn how to freshen up the environment
One of the biggest problems when there is no electricity is that the air conditioners and fans don’t work. And in case it was summer, that would be a really big problem. Being able to keep warm when you are cold is much easier than cooling down in scorching heat.
Also, being able to sleep during hot summer nights could be frustrating and negatively affect your mood and psychological health. It is therefore necessary that you learn some tricks to be able to find relief, for example:
- Keep the curtains closed during the day to block out the sunlight;
- Try building a solar-powered air conditioner;
- Open doors and windows to create drafts;
- Avoid going out the south-facing doors, they are the hottest.
- Seal all doors to prevent cold air from escaping.
# 8 Do what you need to do during the day
Once the sun goes down, it is impossible to get things done as without electricity you would not have lighting available. Then, learn to schedule the tasks to be done so that you can make good use of the daylight. This means you have to get up when the sun comes up and think it’s night as soon as the sun goes down.
# 9 Find other entertainment options
When the electricity goes out, being able to entertain oneself in some way becomes difficult and entertaining children is even more difficult. If it’s still daylight outside, you can get them out and play. If it’s evening, think about other entertainment choices.
Some ideas could be:
- Crochet or knit;
- Read books;
- Making paper dolls;
- Card games;
- Table games;
- To sew.
# 10 Think about lighting
If you don’t have electricity and you live far from the city center, then you could find yourself in total darkness. Surviving without electricity can be nerve-wracking if you are not used to this level of darkness, also because we usually walk into a room and turn on the light right away.
Classic lanterns (not LEDs so to speak) and candles provide light, but present a high fire risk. You need to be cautious when using them, especially if you have children at home.
Some options are:
- Light sticks (e.g. wafer )
- Oil lamps;
- Solar lighting;
- Rechargeable flashlights.
In this article we talk about it in depth: Blackout survival kit
In an age of WiFi, smartphones and constant communication, it is difficult to imagine having to “disconnect” from other people and live without our modern luxuries.
With proper planning, though, you can manage to survive any length of time without electricity. And who knows, you might even end up liking it!