Have a Grid Down Weekend

You’ve prepped for the “big one”, you have your emergency food rations, water, and lighting, along with a lot of other “tools” to help you get through a storm, disaster, civil unrest or just plain old WTSHTF .

The big question is, have you tried to eat those rations, and used the emergency lighting and other items in “real time” to see just how effective they are?

If you answered no, then you’re in for a rude awakening. Having things on the shelf “in case” is a lot different than using your tools and skills during a real disaster.

A friend of mine recently decided to put his “prepping” to the test and go a weekend without power to test his gear. He pulled the main breaker on his house on a Friday to see where it would lead, and two weeks later he’s still “off grid”. I also consider this guy the “Yoda” of prepping, as he has the skillsets required for a broad range of contingencies from plumbing, electrical, building, solar, gardening, emergency medicine and so on.

Up here 7000 feet in the mountains, we’re used to power outages and major storms. Over the past two weeks, we’ve had several storms that have dumped well over three feet of snow, my powerless friend reported four feet on his roof, and twelve-foot drifts, and he’s heating and cooking with wood only and doing fine.

When the power goes, I go to the box that has “power Outage” written on it and pull out temporary emergency lights for each room, while I prep the solar generator for a longer outage if necessary.

The bottom line is, if you think everything will work exactly as the sales pitch on the emergency gear you purchased and put up, you are in for a shock. The first thing you will probably notice is that you don’t have anywhere near enough light to feel comfortable. The darkness is unnerving, to say the least, and if you think your emergency flashlight or candles will provide enough light, you’re mistaken.

With a solar generator, and numerous rechargeable LED lights, coupled with my Ryobi work lights, we have unlimited lights in the house, enough to carry on as usual, and top them all off the next day, in perpetuity.

The reason we have such an overkill of lighting is due to the storms we’ve weathered without power showed me just how much light is necessary to feel comfortable.

Give it a shot, see what a weekend without power, lights, or internet or TV will do to your sanity and your preps. I guarantee unless you’re like my friend, you will go to the store on Monday to bolster your prepping gear.

Nothing shakes out the junk from the useful gear like use.

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4 Responses to Have a Grid Down Weekend

  1. poorman says:

    Completely true. Everyone should do this a couple of times a year as it is different being without power in the summer and winter. I also live in the mountains though only at 4000 ft and recently went 4 days with out power due to storms. This is an occurrence that happens several times each winter and you will learn from each one something new you need to make yourself more comfortable. After 30 years I have it to a point that as long as we don’t run out of fuel for the genny that is used to power the fridge,freezer and the TV for the wife we really don’t notice any problems.

  2. Mic Roland says:

    Real-time practice is great. It not only teaches you how to use your gear (what works and what needs work) it also tends to point out what you didn’t really need as badly as you thought you did.

    For instance, many people think they can’t live without 24/7 social media. A few days without it shows them that life actually does go on without knowing what’s “trending” every moment. For the less techno-addicted, it can be discovering that the faucet is not the only source of warm/hot water — or water at all, for that matter.

    “Doing without” is a good way to shake you out of routine tunnel vision.

  3. Judge Holden says:

    We just spent a week camping completely off grid in the desert on the banks of the Rio Grande, along the good old state of emergency border. Everybody needs to do something like that at least a couple times of year. What does one gallon of water per person per day really mean when divided between hydration, cooking, and sanitation? What happens to your meal plan if it rains? How will your setup do in a 24 hour windstorm with gusts to 60+? How many inches of foam between your bum shoulder and the ground is enough (not even 1000 inches for mine!)? Should you show your girl friend the paw print of the mountain lion that went several inches deep into the muddy bank?

  4. Pingback: Your Hump Day Reading List for November 27, 2019 - www.GrantCunningham.com www.GrantCunningham.com

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