Electricity is a vital part of survival and comfort in the event of a natural disaster. There are many things that have been improved because of electricity and we often do not consider what would happen if the power grid went down.
There are 3 basic ways to regain power when the grid goes down: generators, batteries, and spot chargers. But how can you use them to get power without the grid? Find out by reading on!
The most basic and universally-used form of power is a generator. It uses gas to generate power for your house and can be used to keep vital appliances, like your freezer or fridge, working properly.
A generator helps you get power, but is not a long term solution because gas can be expensive, loud, and inefficient. Additionally, the amount of watts you can get from a generator are fixed, but you can find the right one for your needs. Generators can also be very pricey so be aware. They are good to have in an emergency situation because they are easy to use, portable, and convenient.
While generators are more commonly used to power things around the house, batteries are a must-have item for any survival kit. Make sure you have a supply of AA and AAA batteries in your storage.
Also, find things that run on batteries that will be helpful for survival. This could include:
- Walkie talkies
- Games and entertainment
- Smoke detectors
- Lights or lamps
Similarly, you can find lithium ion batteries that act as backup batteries for your home. These are special batteries designed to be deep cycle. However, there are varying ranges of battery capabilities. Some smaller batteries can be handy in a pinch, while more expensive batteries like the Tesla Powerwall can power your entire house for a week while the grid goes down.
Another great tool to have during an outage is a spot charger, which is a device with a self-charging feature. Spot chargers are highly useful because they often feature USB ports to charge phones and other devices that can be useful during survival. You can get lamps, chargers, lights, and radios that can attach to solar panels or hand cranks and charge themselves. A great example of a spot charger is the BioLite Camp Stove 2, which allows you to cook food, generate electricity, and charge your phone all at the same time.
As technology advances, there may be even more opportunities in this area. For example, the Hans Free Bike can power a small home for 24 hours after pedaling for just an hour. If technology like this becomes more readily accessible, it could greatly improve your ability to survive.
Conservation is Key
When the grid goes down, the most important thing you can do is conserve energy, especially if you are not sure when you will get power back.
You may consider storing candles and using them for light, instead of the generator. Or, start a fire instead of powering up your heater. Also, make sure you are turning off unused light and only using essential functions when necessary
These small steps can really go a long way to help your electricity last. By doing everything you can to make your electricity and power last, you’ll be much safer in the event of a grid failure.
Living Off the Grid
A lot of people have talked about living off the grid completely. While this is entirely possible, it may not exactly be the best option. While it may feel more green or safe from power outages, it may be more expensive. Also, it may not be as reliable as the energy from power companies. While the energy you generate may be from renewable resources, the equipment is much more expensive and just as vulnerable to outages.
If you are prepping for disaster and thinking of living completely off the grid, make sure you do your research and know what is ahead of you.