Electricity Free For Winter

by Amy S. 

Thinking of the lights going out for a longer period of time is pretty bad in our day and age. We have become so dependent and reliant on energy, living without it would be a true challenge. This would be even more so if you are living in a cold climate during winter. So how do you prepare yourself and your family for the worst case scenario? It’s not easy, but here are a few pointers.

How can I heat my house without electricity?

This was one of the first questions I asked myself too. I’m pretty set when it comes to retaining as much of the heat in the house as possible. That’s why I insulated the walls, floors and ceilings of my home, to make it more energy efficient. If you haven’t already, you can still do it. Just be sure to get more than one quote for the insulation. The other thing you should do is ask your electricity provider if your county offers financial incentives if you improve the insulation of your home. Mine did and it paid off.

I also made frames, or as I call them “plugs”, to snuggly fit into my windows (from the inside). I covered them with Polyethylene Foam and filled them with cellulose insulation. I store them in the garage and have them ready to go at any time. These window- “plugs” too will help keep the heat in and the cold out.

However, you have to have heat to keep heat in the house. I have electric heating, so my next question was how can I possibly heat without electricity? Even if I used a generator, gasoline or propane could become sparse, if not impossible to come by, then what? That’s when I started scouring the internet for wood fueled possibilities. This site shows how to build an outside wood fired boiler. The one illustrated on the linked site covers my demands pretty well. However, every house is different and so are its heating requirements. There are other sites on the internet as well. You just have to look for the one that best meets your needs.

How do I light my house without setting it on fire?

I have a number of battery operated emergency lanterns, as well as a few hand cranked ones. I am slowly but surely moving away from the battery operated lanterns and getting more of the hand cranked versions, as well as a few solar powered ones. These emergency lanterns give good light for reading and for things that require strong illumination such as detail work like sewing. However, just to be able to see your surroundings, storm lights with candles work just fine. The perk of the candles is that they generate heat. Every little bit counts when it’s cold out.

How can I cook?

I’ve already nipped that one in the bud by using a gas range. But if gas runs out there has to be an alternative. And there is! Again, I surfed the net to find what would work. The site Mother Earth News had just what I was looking for. The good thing is it’s something I actually use now when we have guests over, or when it’s just too hot to be in the kitchen. Check it out, it cooks, it bakes, it smokes and it really works well.

How will we stay entertained?

This is the part I’m actually looking forward to. Back to basics means more family time. No more texting, phoning, playing video games or watching TV. There will be time to read aloud or in silence, board games are going to come back into fashion and learning an instrument will be a definite plus. Using our imagination to play is a skill we have been trying to bury, but in a case of powerless times it will definitely resurface.

There is much more we can do to prepare for different types of catastrophes and I know that all us preppers are. That’s why I’m grateful to be able to use the internet as a platform to share what I have learned and to learn what you have shared. Might as well use it while we can! Lights out? OK, I’m ready!