You decide you are hungry, you get up from the couch, you pause your TV show on the way to the kitchen, you get a can of soup, you use the electric can opener, you pour the soup into a bowl, you pop it into the microwave for a couple of minutes, you get a soda from the fridge, pour it into a glass of ice from the freezer, you take everything back to the living room and resume watching your show as you enjoy your food…
Now lets assume the power has gone off for whatever reason, doesn’t matter if it’s a major power outage, or some drunk ran into the power pole at the end of your street, how would that scenario play out differently? Well, obviously you aren’t going to be watching TV, and when you get hungry, you still have everything in your kitchen, but you aren’t going to be using most of it.
How are you going to eat? If you are smart, you will plan ahead, long before you are sitting in the dark. Cans of food are great for blackouts, they don’t require refrigeration. But with a can, unless it’s a pop-top type, you will need to open it, that requires a can opener, hopefully you have a manual can opener in some forgotten drawer, hopefully you know how to use it, yes some can openers can be tricky to use. I only use a manual can opener, and as a backup, I have a P38, an old style Army can opener that works no matter what.
Now, how are you going to heat your food? Forget the microwave or electric stove, if you have a newer gas stove they usually have piezo electric lighters, but you can still light the top burners with a lighter or matches. If you don’t have a way of heating your food, then you can get a propane camp stove, they come as one burner all the way up to a regular stove top with an oven. Of course you can always use a grill (USE IT OUTDOORS!).
Hopefully your electricity isn’t out long enough that you run out of water, yes even your water tap will stop pumping water eventually, so you will need to have a source of water for drinking, cooking and cleaning.
It’s good to have some other manual tools for the kitchen, instead of using a food processor, you can use knives or even a manual chopper. A whisk will mix your food or drinks instead of a blender.
There are many foods you are probably keeping in your fridge that don’t really require the colder temps, things with vinegar in them, pickles, relish, ketchup, mustard and the such. Of course mayo doesn’t last long outside of the fridge. Butter and eggs will last a surprisingly long time outside of the fridge.
Having backups for the electrical items we use are not only handy but can help us get through in more comfort. What things can you think of that would have a manual counterpart that could be used?
For more stories from off-grid.net search here
Our Our fastest solar ovenBake, roast or steam a meal for two people in minutes, reaching up to 550°F (290°C). GoSun Sport sets the bar for portable solar stoves.
Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site