Power outages are common occurrences during violent storms. Even if your homestead has an alternate power source, you still need to plan for every possible scenario. What happens if all your power sources are unavailable? This guide will help you fully prepare your homestead if and when there’s no electricity.
Food and Water Preservation
Preserving your food and water should be your first priority during a power outage. Every homestead needs to have multiple food preservation methods at its disposal so your food supply doesn’t spoil. Canning, pickling, fermenting and drying are all great options, as your fridge and freezer will only retain their temperatures for a few hours after the power goes out.
The best place to store your perishable food is a cool, dry and dark room because its climate remains stable all year with little effect from outdoor weather conditions. Most homesteads use a basement, enclosed pantry or underground root cellar. No matter which location you choose, climate control is the key factor as bacteria will grow in environments above 40 degrees.
Water shouldn’t be an issue if your property has a well or stream. However, if you need to get more water from another source, you should boil it just to be safe. A wood-burning stove will allow you to purify dirty water and cook meals simultaneously, killing two birds with one stone.
Means of Communication
The next essential factor you need to address when there’s no electricity is your means of communication. Your phone lines are down and your mobile devices will eventually run out of battery because you can’t charge them. You need a reliable way to contact emergency services if something goes wrong.
The best tool for a power outage and any other emergency scenario is a hand-cranked radio that powers itself. One minute of winding gives you three to five minutes of AM and FM radio and about 10 minutes of light. You can also choose between shortwave radios to get global signals or weather radios to get the latest weather updates.
Non-Electric Light Sources
Get yourself plenty of non-electric lights such as candles, gas lights and slow-burning lanterns that rely on fuel instead of an external power source. If sustainability is a top priority, you’ll be happy to know using fuel-based lights can also improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Other reliable light sources you should consider using are battery, solar and LED lights. If you stock up on batteries, these lights can last for weeks with no power. They’re also easy to pack and carry, which can be a lifesaver if you must evacuate due to bad weather. Devices with the longest-lasting batteries are worth the higher prices.
Fire is the most basic and reliable heat source when electricity is unavailable. Homesteaders have been using wood-fed heat stoves to stay warm for centuries and they remain the most surefire heating solutions when centralized heat isn’t available. They’re low-maintenance and low-emission, so they have virtually no downside.
Additionally, you can maximize the effects of your heat stove by getting some hearth accessories such as stove fans, bellows and firestarters. These devices will keep the flames big and bright without burning through your wood supply. Wood is a limited commodity you can’t afford to waste, especially in a power outage.
Leave No Stone Unturned
People often take electricity for granted in today’s technologically advanced world. Most homes would stop functioning without it, yet many people haven’t prepared for a power outage. If you account for food, water, communication, light and heat, your home will always be ready for a world without electricity.