About the time you decide how to keep your family warm without electricity, stomachs will begin to growl. What to do and how?
- Deal with water first. Now you get to use that stored water you’ve put aside. When the power goes off, you may lose access to well water (pumps are electric) or city water if the water treatment plant’s power goes down too. If you suspect that the power will fail, draw a bath tub full of water. There is even a waterBOB made of food grade plastic available that will hold 100 gallons, fit into your tub, and is around $25. Water can stay fresh and clean inside this for up to 16 weeks. It comes with all the necessary accessories to connect to the tub and a siphon pump to transfer water to pitchers or jugs. It takes about 20 minutes to fill. Keeping hydrated is critical to survival in hot or cold weather. Drinking water minimizes hunger pains.
- This will be the time you’re glad that you have food storage. But before you run to the pantry, think about what’s in your refrigerator that is perishable. Eat that first. To make perishables last longer, limit the number of times you open the refrigerator door. Putting everything close together will minimize heat gain. Add frozen water bottles to refrigerated section.
- Store foods that don’t require refrigeration. Canned meats, fish, soups, vegetables, and juices can be kept for months. Crackers, cookies and snacks don’t last as long because the oils in them go rancid after a couple of months. Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper has a great list of no cook items to store for power-outage days.
- When the sun is shining, set up your Sun Oven® outdoors to cook those perishables or bake an entire meal. On a cloudy or rainy day, use the Cloudy Day Cube Stove. These are both designed for quick, convenient set up. They can be used to cook a variety of foods from reheating to longer time slow cooking. Cook with the Cube under cover if it is raining, but not indoors.
- Using a grill is a great option during an electric outage; however NEVER, NEVER use a grill inside. Carbon Monoxide is a byproduct of burning charcoal or propane and is deadly in enclosed spaces. Gas or charcoal grills can be used to heat bricks or even rocks to bring localized warmth into a home. Handle them carefully and wrap them in a towel. They’ll hold warmth a long time.
- Use the flat surface of your wood stove, if you have one, to heat up food. Pay attention and stir frequently to avoid sticking or burning. Use a potholder when handling cooking utensils.
- Theresa Crouse at Survivopedia lists a dozen additional alternatives.
Billie Nicholson, Editor