Survival Tools That You Need!
Well, 2020 was surely the most "unique" year in our lives, but 2021 started off with a new set of troubles. In the early part of this year, we had winter weather that truly tested our metal. Let me tell you what got us through!
The winter storm that blasted it's way through the mid-west and eastern parts of the US took a major toll on the grid. We aren't yet off-grid because of the type of home we have. Our journey to being self sufficient is still on going, so this winter truly re-instilled in us that desire to be off the grid system where we live. Our home was built in the 70's, it wasn't positioned in relation to weather, it was built to look nice next to an existing roadway. There are a number of issues with it that cannot be overcome by simply replacing the roof with metal for water catchment and getting solar. One day we hope to build our own much smaller home with the wisdom and tools to be off-grid.
As it is, this winter we lost power for a week. Our home reached a balmy 38 degrees inside. We have a wood burning fireplace but again, 70's homes were not equipped with wood cookstoves and rustic wisdom. The fireplace has a fan, and it's electric. Boogy woogy woogy, that does nothing without power.
But we worked though it. And here is how...
First, the most used and necessary tool we have is an amazing propane powered camp stove. It kept the coffee flowing and the food hot. You need to have a way to heat water, food and yourself when in a cold survival situation. Yes, we had the ability to build a fire in the fireplace and would have cooked there if we ran out of propane. The fireplace however, unlike a cookstove, doesn't have a suitable area to place cookware or control cooking as well. So the propane stove was a life saver.
Another issue when you lose power is food loss. Once the power goes off, the products in your fridge or freezer start to warm up. A good tip is to put everything quickly into the freezer because filling it up minimizes air space. The less air space, the more the items can keep each other cooler longer. However, a good generator or solar powered kit can keep things running smoothly in these situations. Having a solar powered generator means not needing gasoline to run it and even in the cold of winter, the sun still shines through. Pre-charge your solar generator before the storms and make sure they are working properly to keep you and your family and your food investment safe.
Another tip is to not keep all of your food in the fridge or freezer. We are big proponents of canning food during the summer and fall. Having meals sealed and ready that are healthy and often home grown is a huge plus.
Besides canning, freeze dried or emergency meal kits are a must have. We keep dehydrated vegetables, soup mixes, butter, cheese and even pancake mix in number 10 cans in our pantry for these situations.
I know it sounds like a lot of work for food, but in an emergency situation, food, water and shelter become everything. You have to eat to keep up your own body heat, or fatigue will set in and illness can occur. You need clean water to drink and sanitize. Finally, you need to stay as warm as possible.
It was amazing seeing family and friends on social media after the storm talking about what a fun time they had together. Without power, people were dealing with the cold the best way they could. Parents set up tents in their living rooms and filled them full of blankets, indoor camping! It was brilliant. The tents further insulated everyone and people stayed warm and cozy camping in their living rooms.
Going through these emergency situations, are times to test ourselves to see what we can handle. We shouldn't quickly forget is and move on but ask ourselves, if this happened again but for longer, do we have the tools we need to make it? Off-grid living means you are probably ready, but for those still stuck in the grid system, we must be prepared for alternatives because the truth of the matter is, one day, there may be a grid down situation that extends beyond a week, or even two. Then what? Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared. We hope you all stay safe and have what you need to make it in an emergency!
Thanks for reading our blog and we hope that you keep growing, learning, and doing more!
Jess at Going Off Grid