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Unless you’ve ever been without power, you probably don’t realize what an important role it plays in your life. For people in the city, power outages mean no heat or air conditioning, refrigeration or means of cooking if they have an electric stove or simply a microwave. A major disaster would wipe out water utilities or contaminate them, while also eliminating gas lines. Those in the country also lose water, unless they have a hand pump outside that doesn’t require electricity.
If you have planned in advance, you have water available, which solves one problem temporarily. Keeping the house or apartment heated or cooled is the next vital step. In short term disasters, a generator can provide the power to heat the house, cook and even run the pump, but if the disaster is extended or one of a SHTF nature, eventually the fuel to power the pump runs out and you’re back to square one.
Solar panels and solar battery chargers can supply a source of energy, if there’s adequate sun exposure. Not only are they a good backup source, they can also provide much of the electricity to your home during non-emergency times. The problem is that these panels, unless you are extremely good at doing it yourself and building your own, are extremely costly. They are a viable alternative, however, and useful for anyone who wants to live off the grid.
Causes of power outages don’t have to come from natural or manmade disasters. They can be a result of overload and power grid failure. Having adequate supplies and preplanned methods of handling power outages is important. Having a plan that includes ways to deal with food preparation, including having a stockpile of food, adequate water, heat or cooling, sanitation, lighting, first aid and communication if the power goes out is of primary importance. It can keep the family comfortable, safe and fed during power outages and can save their lives if the outage is long term.