Could Your Family Survive Off Grid? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-06-2013, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Opening this as a spin-off discussion from the $20/gallon of fuel thread... http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1387907/lets-pretend-gas-is-20-a-gallon/40#post_17452974

 

If the grid went down today, how long could your family survive? Are you prepared for emergencies? What do you think families should do to prepare for this possibility and how can low-income families do it?

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Old 09-06-2013, 07:44 PM
 
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1. No

2. A  week without utilities

3. A little at a time right?Buy an extra can of veggies or pasta with every grocery shop.

 

I really feel my family and I need to prepare.....for anything that could happen.

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Old 09-10-2013, 02:57 AM
 
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I think, for me, my community is my investment. 

 

At the point when the grid went down, assuming the emergency services and emergency measures didn't work-I would expect-hope-people to be sharing what they could and for shops that wouldn't to probably be raided.

 

I'm not prepared at all, lol, except in terms of investing in local community groups and green initiatives. I truly don't see it as a likely sudden possibility. If I saw it as a serious long term possibility I might consider moving somewhere with more land but good transport links. And I'd look to skilling myself in those areas I'm a bit less good in, and/or investing in certain tools (eg for the bike).


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Old 09-10-2013, 10:14 AM
 
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We have electric heat and stove so we'd be screwed. We do have a propane grill. We need to stock the groceries up more too, and I want a pressure canner to put up more shelf stable stuff. Right now we're only stocked up on tomato sauce, salsa, and applesauce, and a few extra meals of meat and broccoli in the freezer. We have eggs from our chickens, but at full capacity they still don't quite keep up with our demand.

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Old 09-10-2013, 11:52 AM
 
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Guys, I am genuinely curious, what is this grid collapse that you are talking about? How long do you expect it to continue? Do you expect it to be sudden? I've never heard of such a thing, tbh. 

 

If the grid permanently collapses, ie something very serious happens to our oil, suddenly-well I think we're all screwed. I don't think a few cans of kidney beans are going to be enough, quite frankly.

 

If you're talking about power outs, obviously that's different. 


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Old 09-10-2013, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, natural distaster cause outages quite frequently, so it is recommended for everyone in the household to have a 72-hour kit. Our stores don't stock more than 3 days worth of stuff so waiting for an emergency to happen and it is very likely that you will not be able to buy much if anything, especially if they are all down too. Also emergency response can take time to reach you.

 

As far as long term off grid, it could be conspiraricy theory type stuff, but I've heard from two different sources that they may be testing our grid at some point in the future which may have us offline for at least some amount of time.

 

And prices continue to go up, so like the gas issue, would at some point it become too expensive to rely on the the utility companies to supply our heat, energy, amd even water sources?

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Old 09-13-2013, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, we are not off grid right now, but for those who haven't seen our state is having major flooding and many areas are under a state of emergency. We are fine in our home here and have power and water and plenty of food stocked up, very thankful I was able to get to the grocery store earlier in the week as it would present some safety issues for us to have to venture out now.

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Old 09-16-2013, 04:06 PM
 
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Hm, where I am now, I would be ok in some ways, and less ok in others.  Our heat is natural gas,so that would be a significant issue.  However, I am looking at having a woodstove put in within the next 2 months (ideally a wood cook stove) which would help to some degree.  We do have a root cellar which is about 1/3 stocked.  Within a couple months it should be mostly full.  We have carrots, beets, potatoes, onions, kohlrabi, etc down there, and it would be fine for an extended time.

Electricity- well, that would hurt as I love my computer time, but I can survive without it if I need to.  Losing refrigeration for milk would be tough as well. 

Transportation?  Well, I guess I'd be looking for a bicycle or a horse.    I have ample space and resources for a substantial garden long term, but getting through the first winter would be hard. 

In this particular community, there is actually an historical museum that would provide ample security for all the members of the community should there be absolutely no services.  There is a cook house, a steam bath house, a granary, a stable, a blacksmith and  a large community building that could be heated with wood.  Additionally, there are community members capable of accessing and utilising all of these resources.  So I suppose,  I have substantially more community resource than individual, but we could survive. 

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Old 09-26-2013, 01:55 AM
 
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well....most of the world is actually off grid...


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Old 09-26-2013, 09:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post

Opening this as a spin-off discussion from the $20/gallon of fuel thread... http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1387907/lets-pretend-gas-is-20-a-gallon/40#post_17452974

If the grid went down today, how long could your family survive? Are you prepared for emergencies? What do you think families should do to prepare for this possibility and how can low-income families do it?
Did canyons address how low income families can do it?
Sorry if I missed that somewhere.
I love reading through this thread !
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:03 PM
 
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So off grid but in current home. Lets just say there is no civil up rest. Everyone is loving and had isn't going to shoot you for a can of tuna.

 

We live in a small city surrounded by farm and desert. A choice we made when we purchased this home 6mos ago. To be able to walk, be close to dh's job, have a lower cost of living, save up for a lake cabin.

 

Without power: We have electric everything, though our plan is to install solar within the next 18-24mos. But currently we have a propane grill, stove and then a backpacking mixed fuel stove. We aren't stocked up on propane and don't have much more than a few cookouts left as of this moment. As for the mixed fuel backpack stove we have enough that we could do about a months worth of dinners and maybe an additional 10 hot lunches. We have a solar charger for small electronics that can power a laptop for a bit, kindle or cell. All nice to have but not needed.

 

Water is a big one. We have city water and my assumption is if it was a grid down issue we wouldn't have water. We do live a mile from a river and do have some equipment for making that drinkable. Provided that there is no safety issue this would be the most obvious solution. If not we have at best 1 week worth of drinking water maybe 10 days.

 

As for food we have a year to 18mos of food for 4ppl. Or I think we do. Reality wise if we were to eat as we currently do we have about 9mos. We do have 5 chickens that provide us eggs daily (we usually get 4-5 a day) we do have a decent size garden and the knowledge to expand, we have planted 4 fruit trees but they need another year or two before they start producing. DH is also a hunter and deer and elk make up about 30-40% of the meat we currently consume.

 

Transportation: Well we have 3 cars all kept with a full tank of gas at all times. That would last a bit. We do live in a walkable area so if violence isn't a substantial issue there is that. We do have bikes but don't bike often.

 

Education for kids isn't a huge issue. We currently homeschool and I have enough curricula on hand to get to 10th grade. We also have a large family library with a diverse range of books.

 

Health: I'm a nurse by profession and we have several friends who are in the medical profession. Larger circle of friends include several midwives, a naturopathic doctor and herbalist.  We try to keep up with preventable healthcare, keep a 3-6mo supply of prescribed medication and have 2-3 pairs each of glasses for family members that wear them.

 

As for how I would start of preparing at a low income. We started simply by adding $5-10 a week to our grocery. White rice (longer shelf life than brown), dry beans, flour, canned goods, we purchased a dehydrator and dehydrate our own fruit and veg. I would also purchase some freeze dried food (takes less water to cook). I would also suggest only storing food your family actually eats and rotate through.

We eat from our pantry and replace as we go.


Pax, loving wife since 2001, Mother of DD1 (12) and DD2 (8 1/2). Entering our 5th year of Homeschooling: Eclectic mix of curriculum and child interest lead. Backyard urban chicken chasers.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:35 AM
 
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We would survive sure -- and parts of it would suck, but we would absolutely survive. Someone else mentioned that so much of the world is off-grid, and we forget that..I may not have all the canned food in the world, but between my friends, family, husband and I we have a wealth of knowledge on survival, wild edibles, etc so we would be okay. But I want to play this game;

 

electricity - we have a generator, and a stash of gasoline. I imagine we would run it for true emergencies/use it to barter especially if the situation is  more than just a power outage (meaning we would have cell phones or I could fill the tub with water because we have septic) During Hurricane Sandy we had no power for about 2 1/2 weeks, and we used it to charge our laptops/cell phones so we could keep in contact with family/rely on social media for updates.

 

food - we don't have a good stash. we have some dried stuff (beans, rice, popcorn)..a decent stash of water..but not enough for more than say a few weeks/month. We have a garden but it's small and sort of feeds us for the season and beyond that, we don't have much left over (unless you count herbs, loads of those!) I plan on adding to our garden each year but that's a work in progress. We have goats (milk/meat) and rabbits (meat) so if we could keep production up with those guys we would have some meat sources and again..for bartering (rabbit for honey or raw cows milk..)  WATER WATER WATER would be my concern! We have a small river/creek in the back that we could walk to (it's across train tracks, but if the world is stopped no train to worry about!) I have several different types of ways to filter water, so we would be okay for awhile...

 

health; we treat most things at home anyway - I have a ton of potions, herbs, oils and books to cure/heal most things (and I could barter with those too) 

 

...but I think we could survive, sure. Hunt, garden, not check my email will free up tons of time ) 


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Old 09-28-2013, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I try to keep my first-aid kit stocked. Need to work on getting more tinctures, dried herbs, etc...

 

We have a small propane-fueled stove but no extra propane at the moment. I think we could do a rocket stove with the materials we already have in our yard. Should stock up on matches though.

 

We have maybe two to three days of water for our family. Working on remembering to buy a gallon each time we go to the store. Storage in a small space is an issue for us though.

 

I could probably stretch our current food out for two weeks, longer with the beans and rice maybe. We do have a large yard and I really hope to get a garden started this year. I have read enough that I think I could save seed and reuse it once we get it going, for at least some things.

 

We have good neighbors. Not sure they have much themselves, but they would definitely work with us to do what we needed to do.

 

We live in a small community, so I am not overly concerned about riots or anything like that if that should happen, but maybe looting.

 

We have wells around the area. Could possibly figure out how to access them.

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