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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
background: my dh's company is laying off BIGtime, and IF our income shrinks to practically nothing, we are going to put every dollar to the morgage, and try to keep the house.<br><br>
we are putting in a hand pump well out in the garden and i think we have food covered. but, electricity. hmm.<br>
i mentioned preparing to possibly live w/o elec. & h2o, and both dh, and my mom think that dcf (like cps) will be able to take our kids away. they also think that the city will report us if we cut off water, and the elec. company will report us if we cut off elec.<br><br>
we are in a rural area, in fact the last house in the city limits...<br><br>
worst case, could they take our kids for not having elec.? (w/ no neglect or abuse)
 

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If you still have the electric service to the house, but your usage is zero, I do not think they can get you. But what about food storage and running the fridge? Electricity for the fridge will be cheaper than having an ice box, and making ice runs every 2 days.<br><br>
Won't you need a computer to look for new employment? (hint: local craigslist.org)
 

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Same as the pp. An ice box would cost a fortune to maintain. Bytthe time you drive and get the ice and so forth you have wasted a lot of fuel. Much cheaper to run a fridge. If you hardly use any electricity you can keep your bill below 30$.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hadn't thought about the possibility of keeping just the fridge on. i like that. i just don't know if we are capable of the self dicipline not to run the washer just once, or turn that light on for just a few minutes, kwim? and no, we wouldn't have a computer, b/c one of the first bills that we *hypothetically* would cut is the t.v, phone, internet bill.<br><br>
sure dh would get another job, but we both know that it will not pay nearly as much as his current. and entry level will not come w/ a gas card like he has now.
 

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Don't know about CPS taking your kids or not, but could you use a pot in a pot instead of a fridge (look it up on Wikipedia if you're interested)? Or, you could figure out a way to run the fridge with batteries, I'm sure. You don't necessarily need an icebox. There was a thread about living without a fridge not too long ago here.
 

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I would unplug all you can and use crank ( or the ones that hang out in the garden on hooks that are solar) LED lanterns for in the evening. Also water just lower your usage. run the washer with bath water and its not going to cost you more then coin laundry.<br><br>
If you have time to prepare now sell what you can and set your self up to be more independent now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
If you have a library then you can use their computers <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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what will you do for toilet? are you on septc or sewer? If you are on sewer... do you pay that charge with the water usage on your water bill, it would be one thing to be flushing every now and then with pump water or even rain water but to use the sewer constantly without paying for it might truely raise red flags. Around here you can actually get a privy permit at the health dept but it has to be built to some pretty tough regulaions. Could aslo rent a port-o-poty but that too would be an added expense and there may be city regs regardeing that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lightheart</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10799809"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">what will you do for toilet? are you on septc or sewer? If you are on sewer... do you pay that charge with the water usage on your water bill, it would be one thing to be flushing every now and then with pump water or even rain water but to use the sewer constantly without paying for it might truely raise red flags. Around here you can actually get a privy permit at the health dept but it has to be built to some pretty tough regulaions. Could aslo rent a port-o-poty but that too would be an added expense and there may be city regs regardeing that.</div>
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we have our own septic tank. i would pump a bucket of water from the hand pump and just dump it into the toilet. if you dump it quick, it flushes the toilet. that would be free, and don't have to worry about any red flags, b/c it is our own.<br>
thanks for replying <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>p1gg1e</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10798535"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would unplug all you can and use crank ( or the ones that hang out in the garden on hooks that are solar) LED lanterns for in the evening. Also water just lower your usage. run the washer with bath water and its not going to cost you more then coin laundry.</div>
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thanks for the idea... i was limiting myself to propane lantern or candles as my only alternative to elec. lighting. crank and solar are 2 awesome options <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SleeplessMommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10797854"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If you still have the electric service to the house, but your usage is zero, I do not think they can get you.</div>
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I think that this is what we'll plan on. not disconnecting, just keeping it as low as possible for now. if $ gets really tight... cut down to just the fridge.
 

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oh, and sorry your mom is giving you a hard time.<br><br>
I would think that they really couldn't take your kids for that alone.
 

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If someone cares enough to report you, and the worker you get believes you <i>should</i> have electricity and running water... then yes, they could take your kids. Its all a crapshoot when you're dealing with CPS.
 

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Just be careful with the propane lanterns. I lost a dorm that way. Also there was a big fire in some Urban area last year or the year before due to propane lanterns and/or candle use a large family died<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Cover all your bases. We have a cottage off the grid and there are many people with families who are totally unplugged, and the kids go to school on the bus..I don't see why it would be a child welfare issue. Just the propane thing scares me.
 

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You could remove your lightbulbs and shut off water to your washer (and toilets?) then you can't be tempted to use it. Or at least you would have to actively turn them on screw in the light. That way if you ever have an emergency the stuff is there to use.<br><br>
I do not think your children can be taken away for that.
 

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Are there any programs for lower income customers with your electric service provider?<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s Hope things get better soon<br>
Jen
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>we are putting in a hand pump well out in the garden</i></td>
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I am assuming this well would be used for drinking water.<br><br>
How deep will this well be?? Do you have a water lab nearby to have the water tested before using it (you MUST do this!)? You'll want to check with the county as far as health issues with a shallow well. You can NOT take any chances with possibly contaminated water (especially if it is IN the garden)!!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>i just don't know if we are capable of the self dicipline not to run the washer just once, or turn that light on for just a few minutes, kwim? and no, we wouldn't have a computer, b/c one of the first bills that we *hypothetically* would cut is the t.v, phone, internet bill.</i></td>
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Shut off the power at the breaker (fuse box). You can turn switches until your finger pops off and it still won't bring the power on!!<br><br>
I could not see living without <span style="text-decoration:underline;">some kind of phone service</span>, if only for emergency use. How would you call 911 if needed???<br><br>
Contact your power company as to help with paying your bills. Most power companys have a sharing program of some kind. Many people that can afford to add a bit to the program do so and then it is shared by those in need.<br><br>
And, honestly, I would simply call CPS and ASK them about your concerns! You needn't give your name or address (you could even phone CPS in a different nearby city). Ask them what is needed to prove non-neglect if you should have to live without power. You'll have answers to your concerns and answers for your dh and you Mom (is there any way for <span style="text-decoration:underline;">her</span> to help in some small way, financially?)
 

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As a pp said, it depends on teh cps worker. And as another said, call and ask. DO NOT give your name or address. Just say you are having financial problems and these are the things you're facing. They may well be able to offer you some helpful phone numbers.<br><br><br>
APPLY for food stamps, even if you don't think you qualify. (Some states let you do it online. ) If you are within certain income guidlelines, you get a different rate for phone and electric. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Maybe you qualify for fuel assistance. Maybe they have some other info for you. They are only to be feared while your children are young and if they have your name and info. Otherwise, they do actually know some stuff.<br><br>
Sell evrything. Borrow toys, books, art, movies, etc from your library. Mine has a big box of coupons from all teh papers!<br><br>
Hang tough. (and hang out here.)
 

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in our area if your phone gets cut off the 911 service still works, I don't know if you choose to cancel the service if you still have the 911 but would assume you would. (be sure though to have a basic phone, not a portable because no power no phone with the fancy ones.)
 

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I can't imagine that they could- all the Amish I know don't have electricity.
 
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