How Dependent are You on Electricity?


Now I like to think that I can get by without electricity.  So this week, I took the time to do a survey of our home to see how much we depended on electricity.  The idea being how much would a long-term loss of electricity affect us.  This study revealed some interesting results.

  • Clocks – I realized that all our clocks were electric with the exception of one older wristwatch.
  • Lights – here we had plenty of backup. We have a couple of small solar systems and kerosene that would supply adequate lighting if the power is out.
  • Heat – here we are a bit weak, but it doesn’t get very cold here for extended periods of time. If we dressed warmly, we would be fine.  We should work to improve this area
  • Freezer – We have generator backup for our freezers. This would give us time to use some of the food and preserve the rest.  However we need to improve our system for preserving meat from our freezer.  Because we would be dependent on salting it, I want to build a good smoker for preserving meat.
  • Garage door openers – We have an alternate system for securing our garage door, if we have to open and close it with the power out.
  • Phones – We have the capability of charging our cell phone, if they are still working. For landlines, we keep an older dial phone that is not dependent on the power in our home, but will work off the power in the phone lines, if the system is still functioning.  Power Outage Caused Phone Failure can Often be Prevented
  • Cooking – This not a problem for us, we have solar cookers, a kerosene stove and a rocket stove.
  • Communication – Battery operated ham and MURS radios can be charged by small solar panels.
  • Radio – We have a good solar and crank powered radio.
  • TV- I figure we will be better off without it.
  • Kitchen appliances – We have hand operated mixers and grinders. The rest we will do without.
  • Power tools – Electric power tools especially the battery operated ones are nice and handy and we will use them as long as we can. But when they fail we will go back to the old methods.  A Good List of Hand Tools You Need to Work Without Electricity.  Hand Tools for Carpentry After TEOTWAWKI
  • Well pump – we don’t have a well, our water source is municipal water, but we have a stream across the street and some water storage.
See also  Ways to Recycle Old Tires

Now I know that we have not covered everything.  Transportation and gardening both will require separate posts.  Take a look around your home and see what you will miss if the power goes down for an extended period of time.


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4 thoughts on “How Dependent are You on Electricity?”

  1. In the early 80s I lived (with husband & 6 kids) in the Colorado Rockies for 3 yrs with NO electricity (solar wasn’t a thing then). What did I miss most? ICE (Of course, we had plenty in the winter months) haha

  2. Good questions by the author. I won’t provide redundant issues here because most of the grid failure have been covered. However, have ya’ll thought of a bed warmer like our ancestors used to put warm coals in to heat the bed before bedding down?

    How about a sleeping cap while in bed? While we laugh at the old time black and white movies where the man and wife stumble out of bed wearing a stocking on their cabeza there is a lot of wisdom involved. A massive amount of body heat radiates from our heads.

    Retaining heat in winter is crucial for a body.

    Funny story approaching you now…….some years back I helped re hab a 1880’s farmhouse here in NW Ohio. I didn’t get paid for my carpentry skills but I did get free rent and these persons I lived with are still great friends.

    It was so cold one night that the Kerosene heaters and Oil fired furnace couldn’t keep up with the – 60 degree wind chill and the electricity had gone down as well. It was awful.

    So we did the next best thing…..we took one of the propane heaters and heated 2 gallons of water and poured the hot water into rubber flasks to keep our feet warm.

    Prior to that measure we sealed off the living room with duct tape and plastic to contain what little heat we had. the frickin’ wind was a howling like a banshee and you could feel the old farm house move a bit at times.

    We had no phone service or electrical so we had to do the best would could ( sp) The oil lamps and candles helped a bit but you could see the flame move a bit with the invasive winds.

    We did what our ancestors did…………..we piled on the blankets, put the dogs on the bed and slept together in the same bed to keep warm. Not saying it was a pleasant experience but when the electrical grid fails it is critical to have warmth for you to function and forage or find food for the next day of survival.

    I’d rather have a cup of hot coffee!


    Snake Plisken

  3. I was in Idaho and completely off grid for the last ten years. Had to move to Ohio this summer and want nothing but to go back to the quiet and safety of my little place in the middle of nowhere. It was very hard the first few years but you get used to it you quit thinking about having electric. People here think I’m joking when I say we didn’t have any indoor plumbing or toilet. My kids never really had it so they actually can’t get enough of it right now. Never felt so bad as I do now

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