If it weren’t for electricity, my husband wouldn’t have an income. He’s owned his own electrical contracting business for many years. If it weren’t for the continual flow of electrons through wires, we would be living under a bridge. He knows just how fragile our nation’s electrical grid can be when faced with a natural disaster, horrific weather event, or a so-called man-made disaster. When the power’s out, our lifestyles change in an instant.
You and your family may have experienced long-term power outages, but this month I want to challenge you to go power-free on purpose. Over a period of 48 hours, you’ll soon discover how well prepared you are for living off the grid. Will you be able to feed your family three meals a day, plus snacks? How will you keep the kids entertained? If the weather is cool, do you have a way to stay warm? The goal of this challenge is to identify areas in which you are well prepared for an emergency as well as any weaknesses.
Here are a few other considerations.
- How will you get your car in and out of the garage if you have an automatic garage door opener?
- How will you charge cell phones and other appliances once their charge is gone.
- If you rely on an alarm clock in the morning, do you have an alternative?
- Be sure to choose your 48 hours strategically. I wouldn’t recommend trying this challenge over the Easter weekend, for example!
- Consider every appliance you and your family rely on and decide if you can live without it or not. If not, do you have an alternative that doesn’t require power?
- Feel free to plan ahead for your power outage. Stock up on anything you think you’ll need. After all, that’s the whole point of this challenge and preparedness in general!
My only hard and fast rule is that you report back to us and let us know how you and your family fared. I’ve set up a thread on the Survival Mom Forum specifically for these reports as well as for asking and answering questions about the challenge.
For this challenge, here are a few ground rules you can follow, or not.
- Try to cook and eat foods that do not need to be refrigerated or kept in the freezer. Pretend you don’t have access to those appliances or have a rule of opening the fridge only a few times a day, which is what you would likely do if the power outage was for real.
- Only battery power and alternative fuels are allowed.
- Battery-charged electronics are okay, but only as long as the charge lasts!
- Going to a mall, restaurant, or other location in order to utilize their electricity isn’t playing fair!
- When the sun comes up, everybody out of bed! When it’s too dark to see, it’s bedtime!
If you want to super-size your challenge, assume that your municipal water supply has also lost electricity. Without electricity, pumps will come to a standstill, and the flow of water to your home will soon cease. If you go this route, be sure to plan ahead for washing dishes, bathing, drinking water, watering the garden, and even flushing the toilet. A water-down scenario is actually pretty realistic in some parts of the country, and ‘practicing’ life without a
Before starting your 48 hours, keep track of how your family uses electricity during the day and night, take notes, and then decide how you will manage once the lights go out. Good luck!
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