Our Unhealthy Love Affair With Electricity: A Few Hints And Tips For New Preppers

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Not everyone is an experienced prepper. Even though I’ve been on the preparedness trail for about five years I still consider myself a newcomer, most days I learn something new that will come in handy in the future. This article is for those who like me, feel overwhelmed at times, those who don’t know where to start or how to proceed.

First: Let me say well done on making what will likely be the most important decision of your life.

Second: There are a lot of people in the preparedness community who are more than happy to help you on your way. They won’t think your questions are stupid even though you may feel stupid asking them, just let them know you’re new to the concept and you will have more help and support than you ever dreamed possible.

Third: Understand that just by realizing that all is not well in the world and that our lives may change without warning you are a few miles ahead of the majority of the population. In a relatively short space of time, you will be many miles ahead of them and in a better position to take care of yourself and your family.

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If something happened tonight that meant you woke up tomorrow and there was no electricity what would be the first thing you would do?

There are a massive amount of articles out there telling us how to deal with a long-term power down issue. Some of the advice is very good, some okay and some totally bloody useless. There is no possibility of anyone writing a ‘one size fits all’ article on the subject because our homes and requirements vary so considerably, even within the same family. One person may live in a high rise, another in a cabin in the woods and herein lies the problem.

The ideal situation to be in is having enough space to grow the fresh fruit and veggies the family needs to thrive, raising chickens and rabbits, maybe a goat or even a cow for milk and a couple of sheep would be nice for wool and meat. Solar and/or photovoltaic cells would provide light and enough power to run a fridge and a couple of power sockets. You would have a reliable water source on your land. as a backup for your well should it ever run dry. The garage and sheds are full of manual tools and you have the knowledge and the good health to use them.

The pantry is full of delicious home canned food and five gallon buckets of grains, flour, and sugar. you have a range to cook on and a woodshed the size of a double garage full of perfectly sized, stacked five-year seasoned hardwood to keep the wood stoves burning.

You are far enough off the beaten track to evade detection by those that are less well prepared. Someone in the family is a doctor and able to use the extensive medical kit, complete with surgical instruments that you have acquired over the years, and you have enough feminine hygiene products to keep the ladies of the family happy for at least two decades. You have weapons and ammunition in quantities that the Army would be proud of, a decent perimeter fence and four large and very well-trained dogs patrolling constantly.

This is the dream, the ultimate goal of preppers but sadly it is not the position that 99.9% of us are in.

Unless you have a truckload of money buying into this kind of set up is simply impossible and most of the prepper community has to build up their provisions steadily as cash permits, all the time hopeful that we will reach the point where we have enough to survive for years rather than months should the shit really hit the fan.

Electricity hasn’t been around all that long by human standards, we know we can survive without it, your great grandparents….and mine did so, as did generations before them, so what is it that fills us with such dread about the power going off and not coming back on?

Put simply it’s technology.

We have come so far in what is in reality a very short space of time. Few in the First World don’t have a fridge and freezer, a TV and/or computer. Telephones, be they land line, (many of which now work from an electrically powered base station,) or mobile keep us connected to family and friends around the globe. We can even get real-time pictures with Skype and Face-Time which makes keeping in touch far easier and of a better quality than ever before.

Our homes are heated with radiators or hot air, we have boilers and electric showers to give us hot water on demand. We turn on the tap and know, most of the time that what comes out of it is clean and safe to drink 24/7.

We rely on electricity for cooking, cleaning and washing clothes. We commute on trains, catch planes, use public transport and drive our cars, and all this is only available to us because we have electricity.

The infrastructure runs on electricity and without it the GPS that air travel relies on packs up. The pumps we use to fill our cars with fuel won’t work, the supply line of food arriving at supermarkets stops, every facet of life changes the instant the power goes off and this is why a permanent or even long-term power outage is feared by so many. It is why the science community watches the skies so carefully and why governments obsess over who has an EMP weapon that could have the same effect as a major flare albeit on a smaller scale.

There is no reason to assume that we won’t fall foul of a major flare, asteroid impact, or some other calamity that will cut the power supply for a considerable amount of time possibly a decade or even longer. These things have happened before and they will happen again, we have no idea when, and any notice we get regarding such an event will be relatively short.

So what do you do next?

Step one is to stop dreaming about the perfect bug-out location that you can’t afford. Aspire to get there one day by all means but don’t waste valuable time planning what the distant future for you and you family may be like. Concentrate on the here and now.

Start a loose leaf folder with section dividers. Each section should contain all the information you need regarding that area of preparedness. You should not only list what you have, but also what you want to add to improve your future situation. Tick off the items as you get hold of them so your inventory can be updated easily. Suggested sections are power failure, security, social breakdown, disease outbreaks, container gardening etc.

Read: Billions of people live without electricity and do so with relative success. What can their lifestyles teach you? Collect information on pioneer living, learn how people used to live, the hints and tips that allowed them to not only survive but thrive.
Research solutions that could make your personal circumstances more bearable in the event of a power supply failure. There is a wealth of information online regarding prepping in an apartment, in a city etc take advantage of it, you are not the only one who has been in the position you are currently in.

Start ‘wish list’ that you keep at the front of your folder. Add items that have come into your head since making your original list.

Electricity has made our lives easier, and allowed the development of products our ancestors could only have dreamt of. Some of these inventions will be of great value should the grid cease to be.

Solar lights are a simple but prime example. Charged outdoors during the day they can be brought in at night to add a few hours of low-level light to our lives. Very safe and ideal for children’s rooms where candles are not really an option.

Think laterally and you will be surprised at things that can have uses that the designers themselves never even considered.

Here are a few articles connected with electricity and some for alternative uses for everyday items.

Take care,

Liz

8 thoughts on “Our Unhealthy Love Affair With Electricity: A Few Hints And Tips For New Preppers”

  1. I don’t know if my reply to KK was posted as I didn’t get name and email boxes so hear goes again
    I don’t want to argue with a master electrician but for the sake of discussion it is my understanding that the mechanism by which a CME would take down the grid is by frying the huge transformers involvd in transmitting power. As far as I know there is no electronics involver in transformers, just miles of winding wire. What says Mr. KK.?
    Another thought is that with solar backup you would be good to go in the case of grid down caused by a hack attack or other terrorist attack, failure because of lack of maintinance , or failure caused by a cascade triggered by an EMP attack that did not directly affect your area.

    1. Hi Howard

      Just posed your question to Mr. KK and he was able to explain what happens. A CME would actually cause the windings inside the transformer to burn out along with the miles of wire in the grid. He reminded me of what happened to the telegraph wires during the Carrington event.

      On the other hand, an EMP would travel through the wiring, without damaging them. But of course it would be the electronics attached to the wires that would be fried regardless of whether or not a surge protector was used. The pulse would travel faster than what the protector is designed to stop.

      kk

  2. Hi Liz

    I’m back again. Howard’s question made me think about solar panels once again. So I asked my in-house solar specialist. Yup, Mr. KK, a former master electrician, who now works for the local utility in the green generation division came up with an answer. He stated that the panels themselves would not be affected as there is no electronic equipment in them. The inverters would be damaged. He also went on about micro-processors connected to the panels and whether the panels were in-line or not. At that point my eyes rolled up in my head and I went into a catatonic state. He tends to really get into the finer details when all you want is a simple answer.

    In other words, pack extra inverters or other bits and bobs that are connected to your panels, into a faraday cage.

    For what its worth, we don’t have a solar system at our place regardless of the number of times I’ve brought up the subject. He agrees with me but so far hasn’t done anything about it.

    kk

    1. Morning KK

      Thanks for the info I will get it across to Howard. Thank Mr KK for me.

      His lack of getting solar panels is akin to my friend, her man is a builder and their conservatory/garden room is still in the pipeline 15 years after he agreed to build it lol

      I hope alls well your end. Life rumbles on here pretty much as it always does.

      If I were a news site I would be writing about an article called “What You Missed Whilst Being Blanket Smothered By The US Presidential Election” Lol. It’s reached saturation point here.I know it’s important but well, you know, I’d still like to know what’s happening elsewhere, including my own country lol.

      As always thanks for the input, it’s appreciated.

      Liz

  3. A few comments on prepping in general and electricity . I have never seen this idea discussed. If we have a Carrington class CME what will happen to solar panels and charge controllers. I expect that at least the charge controller and possibly the inverter would be fried. Anyone know?
    People living in high rise buildings have the most to fear in grid down situations because there is no practical way for such a building to function.without electricity. Plans for dealing with a permanent or long term power outage requires relocation.
    As I have said before, I wouldn’t know the grid was down unless the internet went down and stayed down at least at first. Those in between need to look at their situation and at least come up with ideas to buy time to deal with a power down problem as it develops.
    No mater if you live off grid like me with a big garden, access to wild meat and fish, lots of stored staples, and lots of fire wood or you live in town with a few buckets of emergency rations in the closet the main purpose of prepping is to help you survive until you can assess the severity of the problem as it develops. Your main weapon is your brain and whatever skills you have learned. No one will be able to live for unlimited time on stored fuel and food so you need to be able to adapt to life as it develops after a disaster. Those living in town may just have to adapt faster is all.
    People need to develop community. Each of us has different skills and no one has time to provide for every need for a family long term. Also by knowing the people around you you learn to know who not to turn your back on if bad things go down. Community is necessary for society to rebuild beyond just survival to thriving and vibrant life. Without community how would you children find mates?
    So learn all the skills you can, store what you can to buy time and plan options for dealing with problems. Solve problems one step at a time and don’t loose faith.

    1. Howard…you’ve done it again…I never ever thought of that, everyone recommends going solar to guard against grid down but your point is so in-yer-face logical. I will look into this and get back to you.

      Thanks again for your support and thought provoking comments

      Liz

  4. Great article! There IS a one size fits all though. Everyone needs Food, Water, Warmth, and Shelter to survive. How you meet those needs, that’s where the differences come into play. 😉

    1. Evening LeAnn,

      Yes, I see your point…but I knew what I meant lol. Thanks so much not only for reading but for taking the time to comment. I have learned a great deal from the comments section. We all have different lives in diverse locations and it’s amazing what you can pick up from the remarks that appear here. Howard has become my go to for almost anything, Sue for home schooling, KK keeps me grounded and shares some really good tips. We’re getting quite a group going!

      Thanks for the kind words and I hope to chat with you again soon.

      Take care

      Liz x

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