Saturday, February 7, 2015

Surviving with No Power - A Comprehensive Post

Surviving without Power
Taught by Shalyse Clayton - E-mail me at with any questions or


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·         Begin by conserving body heat by putting on extra clothing. Your bed may be the warmest place in the house. Use extra blankets and covers to trap body heat; this is an especially good way to keep children warm. Cover any drafty doors/windows. Stay in a room with inside walls, if possible. Outside walls are colder in the winter. Play games or read a book together as a family. Eating food can also help you stay warm.
·         Find or improvise an alternative heat source: Your possibilities may include a fireplace (electric ones can sometimes be click started from underneath manually, even when the power is out), space heater, catalytic camp stove, wood, gas or oil heater, or a gas-fired hot water heater...While the chances of freezing to death in your home are small, there is a greater danger of death by fire, lack of oxygen or carbon monoxide poisoning. Safety is of extreme importance in heating emergencies. Follow these precautions: Do not burn anything larger than a candle inside your home without providing adequate ventilation to the outside. Any type of heater (except electric) should be vented. You can also cross-ventilate by opening a window an inch on each side of the room. It is better to let in some cold air than to run the risk of CO poisoning. Do NOT use a gas or electric oven or surface units for heating. Do not use charcoal inside, even in a fireplace. One person should ALWAYS stay awake to watch for a fire and to make sure ventilation is adequate. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand nearby, just in case. Lots more info on this post, so check it out (link is above). (*I have and recommend a Mr. Buddy or Mr. Big Buddy heater - ~$100 + propane with hose to connect. Can be found on Amazon or at Walmart.)
·         What to Do If the Power Goes Out in the Winter - Great step-by-step to print out now -
·         How Will You Stay Warm Safely If The Power Goes Out? -
·         6 Emergency Essentials for Surviving 72 Hours Without Power -
    1.) Shelter  2.) Heat to cook/warm with  3.) Water  4.) List of everything if you need to grab it and go  
    5.) An assembled preparedness kit including some comfort items  6.) An easy to find 1st Aid kit. 
1.       50 Tips to Keep Cool When the Power is Out - - *Print out now


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·         Store a 2 week’s supply of water (1 gallon per person per day). Buy 55 gallon barrels, get several 5-6 gallon jugs, or fill up empty soda/juice bottles. Make sure it is food grade plastic, but not milk jugs as they deteriorate too quickly!
·         Water Saving Tips - *Print out now - When you lose your water supply, you quickly assess what water needs are most important. First off, it’s important to have drinking water. After that, cooking probably takes a close second. Laundry and personal hygiene can take the back burner for a few days, but after that – you need to start figuring out how to make the most out of your stored water.
·         Have some flats of water bottles on hand that are easy to grab and put in your trunk or shove in a backpack.
·         You can also rinse out and refill 2-liter soda bottles with water. Rotate water in soda bottles every 6 months. You can recycle the water by watering your garden/house plants/etc.
·         55 Gallon drums filled with water - If you put some bleach in it, you won't have to refill for a few years for drinking.
·         Rain Barrels - Pickle barrels on Craigslist (cheap), turn into a rain barrel and have water for garden, flush toilets , etc.
·         Have something to filter/purify/clean water for when you run out of everything else. I have and recommend the Sawyer Mini and Sawyer 2-Bag Water Filtration Systems on Amazon. Cheap coffee filters work great as a first filter for dirt, twigs, etc. There are bleach tablets, iodine, and other things. You can get a WAPI here: water pasteurization indicator (WAPI) tells you when your water is safe to drink. Suspend the WAPI, wax end up, in a container of water and place in the SUNFLAIR solar oven. The wax inside melts at water pasteurization temperature (149 F). When the wax has melted down to the bottom of the tube, the water is safe to drink. Flip it over and reuse again and again. Ideal for campfires, stove tops, and other methods too!


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·         No-Cook foods - See what you have in your kitchen and pantry. You should always have plenty of food you can eat without having to cook: fruit, cereal, nuts, bread, veggies, crackers, chips, cheese, canned tuna, canned fruit/veggies, dried fruit, sprouts, etc. (Make sure you have at least one extra hand can opener.)
·         Freeze Dried Meals and Dehydrated Meals (easy and quick to prepare) - These need some heating and minimal cooking (ex. Thrive Express meals -, Mountain House Meals, other food storage company meals, or try and make your own to save money.)
·         Meal in a Bag - Everything you need for one meal in one bag. See the It's In the Bag book or Google for ideas.
·         Alternative cooking fuels - Most are not safe to be used inside your home (BBQ grill, camp stove and propane or butane, etc.). Chafing fuel/Sterno canisters are safe to use indoors to cook.
·         Fuel Efficient Cooking - Solar ovens (can make a cheap one from a car windshield reflector, make one from a box, or buy a fancier one (price range $100-400), Wonder Oven, Thermos (bring to boil, then finish cooking over time), Rocket Stove, Sterno/Chafing Fuel canisters (use for reheating or very quick cooking), Tuna can with homemade fuel, Wood, Pellet Stove, BBQ Grill, Box Oven, Dutch Oven.
·         I would recommend having paper plates/cups/silverware/bowls so you don't have to wash dishes that would use up your water storage quickly. Have at least a week or more worth on hand. On another note, make sure you have a few weeks of pet food too!


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·         Flashlights or battery-operated lanterns w/ lots of extra batteries
·         Wind-up Flashlights, radios, and other things - Many require no batteries. Some can even charge elec. devices.
·         *Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern  - $12-14.95 on Amazon  -
·         Oil lanterns
·         Candles - Fire hazard, but an option. Also look into 100 Hour Emergency Candles (liquid) ~$3-4/each; you can get a plastic wind screen to fit on top.  
·         Open your drapes during the day for natural light and to warm the house a little.


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These are important too!  
·         Chocolate, candies, snacks for little ones and pets too.
·         Board Games/Card Games, Sudoku/Word Find/Crossword Books & Books to read to help pass the time.
·         For Kids: Colored pencils, crayons, coloring book, play dough, matching game, little toys, pacifier, small blanket, etc.

Great Food Storage/Emergency Preparedness Websites:
· - sign-up for their Free Emergency Checklists (e-mailed every 2 weeks) to get started.
· - so many great recipes on her website and in her cookbook below
Great Food Storage Cookbooks/Resource Books:
by: Crystal Godfrey
·         100 Day Pantry: Quick and Easy Gourmet Meals by Jan Jackson
·        *Start your own binder with printed food storage recipes your family likes or wants to try. On the computer or internet is of no use with no electricity.
·         Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family by: Arthur T. Bradley

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