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What did you learn with no electricity/water?
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  1. #1
    DavidMorris
    Guest

    What did you learn with no electricity/water?

    I wanted to share with you some of the "a-ha" moments from our times doing the night without utilities drill.

    1. If you don't have water, you can't water your plants. So much for survival gardens in dry climates!
    2. Electric garage doors don't work without electricity. I've heard of some combinations of computer UPS (uninterruptible power supply) strips will power a garage door, but I haven't found one yet that will power mine. That means that everyone in the family needs to be able to get the garage door open without power. It may mean getting your springs adjusted or even replacing your garage door if you have an old heavy one.
    3. If all you have are cordless phones, your home phone won't work.
    4. Your security alarm may have a "power out" alarm that is quite annoying. Our original alarm backup battery is only designed to work for 12 hours.

    What lessons did you learn? Were they simple lessons that were obvious after the fact, or were they truly profound?

  2. #2
    microcarl
    Guest

    Re: What did you learn with no electricity/water?

    Hi,
    I haven't taken course 2 yet, as it isn't time for it's arrival.

    But some things that we have been working on as a result of the 7 day electrical black-out in the Cincinnati area last September, 2008.

    We were lucky! We only lost electricity for about 20 minutes. But oddly, the entire Cincinnati area lost electricity for the better part of a week.

    My wife and I are grateful that we weren't affected in the same way as our surrounding communities. But we did learn a valuable and free lesson at the expense of those who live in the surrounding area!

    Since that time, we have moved from the thinking about, talking about, survival mode, to actually preparing for the eventual crisis.

    We have purchased quite a bit of camping supplies - cook stoves, fuel, a few days of short-term food supply, flashlights and many other supplies. In particular, the flashlights we bought are the type that have a hand-crank type generator. You simply crank the handle for a few minutes, and you have about 1-1/2 hours of light. Some come in the old lantern style, while others actually have an emergency radio.

    Of note, I recently purchased one of those emergency radios from Newsmax.com. My advice - DON'T!!!

    YOU ARE FAR BETTER OFF BUYING THE HAND-CRANK TYPE FLASHLIGHTS AND EMERVENCY RADIOS SEPERATELY, AS THE QUALITY OF THE COMBINATION TYPE ARE SIMPLY NOT WORTH YOUR TIME, MONEY OR EFFORT TO PURCHASE THEM!

    For those of you that live near a Harbor Freight, pick yourself up a couple of solar voltaic panels, at about $35.00 each. You can uses these to charge a 12 volt car (or motor cycle) battery which can then power a 75 Watt to 150 Watt inverter to provide limited 110VAC for small devices. This will not run a refrigerator, but it will run a small 110 VAC motor to open your garage door. The 12volts could also operate a small 12 Volt cooler - for a limited time - to preserve food that must be refrigerated.

    Make sure that you have a good radio! I have a Grundig (under a Radio-shack label) that operates on C size batteries. Using rechargeable (NiMh) C size batteries, the solar panel arrangement can power a 110 VAC inverter, which can then charge the rechargeable batteries. It's not very efficient, but what about emergencies is? I don't recommend the standard carbon or Alkaline type batteries because they aren't safe to recharge - they have a tendency to explode!

    I know I'm a bit new here to be handing out advice, but I hope this helps.

    For those who are interested, I can provide more details of what I currently have in place. And that's not to say that I can't improve it, I can.

    Happy Camping!

  3. #3
    RugerDog
    Guest

    Re: What did you learn with no electricity/water?

    We were without power, phone and cable for a week after hurricane wilma. Afterwards, we put together a list of the things we missed, and a plan to replace them. The things we missed were:
    - communication with the outside world. We lost our land lines, and since many cell towers were down, we also lost cellular service. Solution- I studied for and got a ham radio license.
    - electricity. light, cooling, refrigeration, communication. I put in a large solar panel, which charges a large deep cell battery. We got 12V lighting, cooling, refrigeration, and a portable ham radio. I calculated the total load of these devices, based on the time they'd run every day, to size the battery an solar panel.
    - water. with the total lack of electricity, the pumping stations and lift stations didn't work. I got a First Need water purifier, which is hand pumped, and can purify standing water.

    Remember, gas stations won't be able to pump gas, ATMs won't work, grocery stores won't be open. Plan accordingly.

  4. #4
    DocLRRP
    Guest

    Re: What did you learn with no electricity/water?

    I learned to not hug strangers.
    I learned to wear shoes.
    I learned to go down the stairs slowly.
    I learned not to talk with my hands.
    I learned how to duck .

  5. #5
    DavidMorris
    Guest

    Re: What did you learn with no electricity/water?

    Quote Originally Posted by DocLRRP
    I learned to not hug strangers.
    I learned to wear shoes.
    I learned to go down the stairs slowly.
    I learned not to talk with my hands.
    I learned how to duck .
    You can't say "I learned to not hug strangers" or "...talk with my hands" without an explanation

  6. #6

    Re: What did you learn with no electricity/water?

    1. I always have plenty of water on hand. Wish I’d had some bulk water, such as a rain water barrel, for commode flushing… Hated to waste drinking water on that. (Didn’t feel like including latrine digging in this drill…)

    2. Even at home, camping can be fun. Head lantern for navigation; reading and emergency radio for entertainment; heating my favorite MRE on my backpacking stove on the patio...

    3. Turn off your head lantern if you’re going to peek out the front blinds. Neighbors can give strange looks.

    4. Most important for me: Having lived alone for a while and being quite comfortable with it, this lesson gave me a very small taste of how a lack of modern amenities affects that situation. I can better see the need for finding/forming a local circle of like-minded people. As I sat in the dark and imagined a prolonged outage/crisis, I sensed an “aloneness” I really haven’t felt before. I’m looking forward to learning more about that subject; and how to go about it without compromising OpSec.

  7. #7
    DocLRRP
    Guest

    Re: What did you learn with no electricity/water?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidMorris
    Quote Originally Posted by DocLRRP
    I learned to not hug strangers.
    I learned to wear shoes.
    I learned to go down the stairs slowly.
    I learned not to talk with my hands.
    I learned how to duck .
    You can't say "I learned to not hug strangers" or "...talk with my hands" without an explanation
    Sorry for the delay. Am I missing a response notification??

    Actually, those two points were strictly Bravo Sierra, sorry.

    The key to this entire exercise for me was a reminder to slow down in the dark. Just brought back a few night time lessons from a distant past.

  8. #8
    organic granny
    Guest

    Re: What did you learn with no electricity/water?

    Well, Hello everyone we live in the country so the no ulitities was ok. My husband and I took our sleeping bags, flashlights, and powerbars, and water and a 5 gallon bucket and slept on the porch. We watch some of the deer with their fawn come to the back.
    We watched the stars and talked. The candle did fine until the breeze came. We are campers so this part was'nt so hard for us.
    I do have some advice though. For all you who like to dehydreated your food. Try some veggies and they travel well in backpacking. Then you can make some great soup. :P

  9. #9
    organic granny
    Guest

    Re: What did you learn with no electricity/water?

    If you would like a good crank radio go to www. CCrane.com. We bought one about 10 years ago and its great. am/fm and wea ther.

  10. #10
    cricketdragonfly
    Guest

    Re: What did you learn with no electricity/water?

    It is fun to read the postings and see how others are handeling life without electricity and water. We are without electricity on a regular basis, sometimes by choice sometimes not. So it really isn't an issue for us. We did however put a hand pump on our well so that we would have access to our water when the submersable pump doesn't run. A couple of books that we have found very helpful...
    How to Live Without Electricity and Like it by: Anita Evangelista ISBN 0-9666932-1-3
    When I bought my dehydrator I bought this book that is not only fun but saves me a lot of money.
    Backpack Gourmet by: Linda Frederick Yaffe ISBN 978-0-8117-2634-4
    Cricket

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