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When the lights go out

After thirty years of designing homes and other structures I’ve learned what things are truly important. It’s not the style, type of materials or the color of the carpet. The most important part of any structure that we humans’ use, are the systems that make up that structure. Briefly they are, the ability to stand up [engineering], power to run the systems in the structure and plumbing; because humans must drink water and eliminate.

It only takes one power outage to understand how important electricity is. We take it for granted every day. When the electricity goes down this is what stops. The lights, all appliances, TV, Internet and all electric gadgets will quit working. If the electricity stays off, it won’t be long before everything in your refrigerator will turn into a science project. Also, you lose all public lighting and traffic signals and you can’t pump gasoline. Stores with electronic cash registers will close (at least until they can find people who can make change the old fashioned way). We are very dependent on this “system” among others. The problem with this dependence is that it makes us vulnerable if any of these systems fail or we are not able to obtain them.

Even Congress is worried about it; Power Grid

The Solution

Due to the increased frequency of disasters of all kinds it is prudent to take measures that will enable us to survive if any of these systems is interrupted. Here’s a partial list: Portable generators (still require fuel), Solar Collectors (small ones can charge batteries such as AA) wind power. Another thing to do is to reduce dependence on items that require lots of electricity.

Improvise, adapt and overcome.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. June 13, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Harold, you are right on about this house of cards we live in. Add to your list of things that will survive (and no, I don’t master all of them):

    1. knowing how to do math without a calculator
    2. growing a garden and learning how to preserve your produce
    3. befriend your neighbors

    • June 13, 2010 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks Renee, I haven’t mastered them either but we’re headed in that direction. I was fortunate to spend some time on our farm as a kid where we did everything the old fashioned way. No power equipment at all.

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