5 Things You Need to Go Off Grid Now – Pt. 5

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Welcome back to the last installment of our series on the 5 things you need to go off grid where we are discussing preparations you can make right now that could possibly save your life if you find yourself without the conveniences of the grid. As I stated in other articles, we frequently hear people planning of a simpler, more self-reliant life where they can live untied from the complex systems of our current 21st century lifestyles. For obvious reasons, this dream is one that many of us strive for, but frequently are unable to obtain.

In a disaster though, that dream of being untied and self-sufficient may not be something we opt for by making various lifestyle and geographic changes; it may come to us without much advance warning whether we are ready or not. The news of the impending blizzard in New York is a perfect example of the possibility of disaster. In extreme cases, the conveniences of the grid might be unavailable to people for an extended time. If a disaster strikes, what would you need to have prepared ahead of time to make it through your own off grid scenario?

To briefly catch everyone up; our first article talked about the importance of water and having a renewable source if we have any hope of lasting a long time without the benefits of modern utilities. The second article dealt with food and creating systems now that would feed you if the grocery stores never opened again. The third article focused on sanitation and hygiene so that as much as possible we reduced our exposure, and conversely our risk of infection from disease. The fourth article discussed topics of shelter. The last item we will discuss is the need to have an alternate source of power.

Electricity

It is hard to imagine our days without the benefits of electricity. We have become so reliant on this source of energy that most of our modern lifestyles are dependent upon having a reliable source every single place we go. Without electricity, the obvious things like light bulbs and microwaves no longer work, but I wouldn’t have a job without electricity. In the past when I worked in various other careers, if there was a disruption in power, there was always something to do. Usually this involved cleaning in some capacity or reorganizing supplies.

Now, in my current profession if the power went out I wouldn’t be able to do any of my job responsibilities. I rely on power which enables the internet for every aspect of my job, from computer to phone. Meetings are held over the internet as well as presentations and conference calls with our VOIP phones. Our service is a web based application and without internet, nobody can access your service. Zip. Zilch, Nada. It is that way for many millions of other people, but outside of work, almost every other system relies on power too. ATM machines, wireless internet routers, gas pumps, cash registers, credit card transactions and on and on. We can’t really conduct many of the main transactions of commerce without power, but we also rely on power in our homes for simple survival.

Having a backup source of power is important if some event or circumstances take down the power grid. In the example of the anticipated blizzard in New England, power could be lost for millions making an already undesirable situation worse. To prepare for power outages or blackouts I think there are several layers of backup power and associated items you can consider. They might be too late for the people in New York, but you can make plans now to prevent a disruption in your future.

When the elecricity goes out, so do the lights. Make sure you have backup lighting options.
When the elecricity goes out, so do the lights. Make sure you have backup lighting options.

Short Term Power Outage Supplies (up to 8 hours)

For this relatively short duration you shouldn’t have to worry about more than simple navigation (light source) and minor power needs. Batteries should all be topped off in anticipation of outage if possible.

Small generators will greatly improve short-term outage conditions.

Medium Term Power Outage Supplies (1-3 days)

Alternate sources of power will most likely be needed for essentials. You can plug an inverter into your car’s auxiliary outlet and power a decent amount of items. Plan for storing fuel.

  • 1000 Watt Inverter connected to car battery for charging devices/running small appliances
  • Spare fuel to run vehicle (min 25 gallons)
  • 5 – 5 Gallon gas cans
  • PRI – G gas treatment for long-term fuel storage.
  • 2000 W Generator
  • Headlamps for each individual – infinitely easier and more practical than flashlights. Allows for hands free tasks.
  • Propane lanterns – great outdoor lighting option or use within well-ventilated area. They also put off a decent amount of heat.
  • Battery Recharger – It is important to get one that can charge multiple battery sizes if you have different battery uses.

Long Term Disruption in Power Supplies (4 or more days)

Larger generators and solar are good options to consider for longer outages.

So there you have it. 5 areas to consider now if you want to be prepared for an unexpected Off grid moment in your life. Are there other areas to consider? Of course, but I think this covers some of the most major bases we have. If you have a plan for Water, food to feed your family, Shelter from the elements, Sanitation to keep diseases at bay and Electricity, I think you have a good handle on the crises and should be able to weather the disruption. There are security aspects too, but those are dealt with in other posts on the Prepper Journal that can be read here, if you are interested.

I hope this series was informative or helpful in some way. As always, I love to hear comments so please let me know what you think and stay safe!

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11 Comments on "5 Things You Need to Go Off Grid Now – Pt. 5"

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usmarinestanker
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Electricity…such a double edged sword. It makes our lives so convenient and safe yet it really isn’t needed for life except for the fact we have engineered our lives to depend on it. It’s like running water, sewage, refrigeration, and cars – all these things used to be luxuries, but without them you can’t function in this society, and lack of basic utilities can get child protective services called on you and your kids kidnapped by the government “for their safety”. I personally think its more bane than boon for humanity – a type of Pandora’s Box or Tower of… Read more »
Pat Henry
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I know what you mean Matt. I have considered the value in learning skills like this but not as a replacement for my current job for the same reasons you mention. My mortgage still needs to be paid so for now, I am married to electricity. I could say that once everything is paid off, I could move into something like this, but again, how would I pay the bills with a skill that doesn’t make any money. I completely agree that skills like this would be vital in a collapse of society, but I don’t know if they would… Read more »
S. Cullen
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I agree with everything Pat says… But I’m planning on supersizing my needs with 600-1000 gals of gas and 2 generators…7,000 & 4,000 watts units….and be able to go for between 100 -200 days…. That should allow me to cover most of the bases if needed. Eventually I’ll run out of Refrig and freezer items so I won’t need those running…. Still may need heat or AC…. But it should get me past where about 95% of the population will be and or drop off, because they won’t be able to make it that far…. I might not end up… Read more »
BobW
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SC, noise discipline will be key to your plan. With the world dark and suddenly terribly quiet, a basic Allison V12 powered 7k genny can be heard for more than a mile.

My little inboard Onan 4k runs at 53db, which sounds quiet, but can still be heard for easily 1/2 a mile.

You might consider some sound deadening material as part of your preps.

Pat Henry
Guest

Yeah, that is one of the drawbacks of generators. Solar is far superior from the whisper quiet perspective but of course you don’t get as much juice and they won’t perform at night…

Still, if S. Cullen has his generators buried on in a basement room with ventilation (and he is a good distance from the neighbors) that is still a nice setup.

Pat

S. Cullen
Guest
My situation is probably different than most people… I’m in rural TN. and my neighbors are a good distance from me….like 500 ft. to 1,000 or more….Plus in the rear of my property I’m surrounded by 2 tracts of dense forest of 45 acres and 15 acres as well…. But as far as sound goes coming from running the generators I’ve thought about that as well. My plan is to build a perimeter around the generators allowing probably at least 3 feet away from the made of bales of straw which are readily available and are about 16″ thick and… Read more »
Ethelyn Schaeffer
Guest

What’s the best generator for an EMP or CME?

Pat Henry
Guest

The best one would the one that survives the effects of the EMP. With EMP, you run the risk of electrical components being fried but if you have a generator that is protected, any should work. EMP would seem to be less likely than a lot of other events though in the grand scheme of things. I can see this with an all out nuclear war, but then you would have bigger problems I think.

greenkiss
Guest

May I suggest a little research into solar panels, pure sine 3000 watt invertor, deep cycle marine batteries, and a charge controller. By doing it yourself and learning how each component works you can replace it yourself if one of parts fail. You won’t be reliant on the manufacture/supplier of the newest wiz bang “all in one” gizmo. Except for the deep cycle batteries, and the 4 guage cable/fittings I took advantage of Amazon and Youtube to put together a silent and reliable AC power source.

Dennis Osborn
Guest

Where do I find articles of parts 1-4 of off the grid by Pat Henry? I am very new at this and need to start at the beginning. Thanks.

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