In modern society, we’re accustomed to plugging into an outlet and getting a steady stream of electric current, but living without electricity often becomes a reality during hurricane season. Whether you have to adjust to life without electricity for a few days after a storm, or just a few hours during a rolling brownout or blackout, knowing a few electric tips can help you manage the inconvenience. Remember, living without electricity used to be the norm, and it can still be handled without too much trouble, as long as you know how to handle five areas: light, water, cooking, heating or cooling, and communication.
Light may not be too much of a problem, especially if you believe in being early to bed and early to rise.
However, for your safety and convenience, you’ll need to have reliable light sources in your home. A flashlight for each member of the family is a good place to start, and an easy way to prepare for living without electricity, long before a crisis hits. Make sure you have backup batteries, and remember, rechargeable batteries can use a charger plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter outlet. Candles are cheap and easy to use, but you must be careful to place them out of the reach of children and pets. Oil lamps provide steadier light than candles, but you must be sure to keep a supply of oil on hand.
Water that is free of contaminants is vital to survival, but may be hard to get during times of emergency.
Knowing that the average person uses about seventy gallons per day, it is not unreasonable to stock up, storing at least 5-10 gallons per person, per potential day of crisis. If you’ve neglected to store water, you can collect rainwater and water from streams and rivers, and purify it by adding fifteen drops of plain unscented bleach per gallon, a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide per gallon, or boiling the water at a hard rolling boil for twenty minutes. A Brita Pitcher or Pur filter will remove the taste of the bleach or peroxide.
Cooking can be easily accomplished using outdoor equipment.
Grilling or cooking over a campfire or camp stove are easy alternatives to using your kitchen, and food can be stored in a kerosene-powered refrigerator or freezer. Living without electricity might not mean gourmet meals, but you can keep your family fed for a while without power.
Heating and cooling without electricity requires advanced preparation.
A wood stove is an excellent heat source, and today’s propane heaters don’t require outside ventilation. Close off rooms that are not being used, and keep your family together, to keep each other warm. If it’s hot outside, you’ll want to use battery operated fans, and stay in rooms that are naturally shaded. If there is a good deal of wind in your area, soak a sheet, wring it out, and hang it in front of a window to use the wind to cool the room.
Communication may be limited, but modern technology has made it easier.
Your cell phone and battery-powered laptop can be charged using your car’s power, and chances are good that satellite Internet is available somewhere, to keep you connected with the outside world. A radio is the old standard, so make sure you have one that is battery powered, and consider a small television that can run on batteries, too, to help your family comfortably live without electricity, without too much disruption of routine.
Knowing how to live without electricity is important, in case of emergency. However, it’s also important to know how to find the right source of electricity for your everyday life, which will provide reliable energy at affordable prices. In Texas, consider Payless Power, a company committed to providing customers with low cost energy plans to suit their personal and business needs. Visit the website to learn more, or connect with the online community on Facebook , Twitter , and YouTube.