It seems every day brings news of potential disasters that threaten our way of life. Our public infrastructure is at risk and even when it is at its best, not a year goes by without brownouts or blackouts of the electrical grid, interruptions of the public water supply, and other serious problems. More and more we’re seeing changes to our country that lead to ever-increasing demands for these public resources, and meanwhile the supply of power, water, sewer services, and other necessities is dwindling. Worse still, when do these shortfalls affect us? Usually during the times of greatest need!
Whether the causes of these issues are driven by misfortune, incompetence, or malice does not matter because when a severe ice storm strikes, people need power for heating. When summertime temperatures soar, you and your family need power to cool off your home! What has become clear as day is that if you can’t always rely on the public infrastructure, you need to prepare so that you can take matters into your own hands when the grid has an outage.
Most people recall the discomfort of the heatwaves across the country in recent summers. It’s almost like clockwork how power brownouts and rolling blackouts come on the heels of everyone turning on their air conditioner units. One thing is for sure; prolonged peak summer heat can be dangerous and there’s no telling when it will change. On top of that, more and more families are replacing their older gasoline-powered cars and trucks with electric vehicles. That means even more demand on the electrical grid on top of the draw by all the air conditioners!
If you don’t want to be stranded without a vehicle during a heatwave or other bad weather and you don’t want to be stuck without the air conditioner, it is definitely time to take action. Start by doing a little easy homework so you know what your best options are. Then, leave it to the experts to guide you to energy independence.
Let’s face it, the idea of living without grid power doesn’t sound appealing at first. It sounds like you and your family would be doing without lots of what you’re accustomed to, but there is a reason more and more people are building new homes with off-grid capabilities in mind. Some estimates suggest that more than 70 percent of new electricity connections will be via off-grid or mini-grid solutions by 2030.
Partly, this is to reduce utility bills in the long-term and partly these new off-grid homes are easier on the environment in terms of air pollution. These buildings are designed to be more self-sufficient and sustainable, whatever is going on in the world outside, but there are plenty of upgrades and modifications possible for existing homes. Of course, alternative electrical supply and storage is a big part of going off-grid, but our country’s vulnerable electrical infrastructure is not the only weak point to consider.
After a disaster strikes, whether it is a natural catastrophe like a hurricane, ice storm, or heat wave, or the result of long mismanagement of resources, securing your home’s electrical power might be the first thing that comes to mind, but it shouldn’t be the only concern. Electricity alone won’t save you or your loved ones from trouble if the water supply or sewer system are compromised. Most people are shocked to learn how vulnerable our access to clean water and efficient sewage disposal is when we rely on old, outdated civic infrastructure designs that were never meant to take the strain they’re now under.
As a thought experiment, imagine all the clean drinking water you have stored in your home right now. How long would that last you and your family if the city supply shut off or became unsafe and if conditions made it unsafe to go out to get more. How long would you last? Independence from the city water supply can take many forms, depending on your locale and situation. In some areas, it’s possible to harvest, purify, and store enough rainwater, at least to make it through a few days or even weeks and months without a drop from the local water department. In other cases, a well or other strategy is the way to go.
Did you know that the laws in some areas prohibit rainwater harvesting? This is the sort of thing most folks don’t think about. Those people are in for a surprise when the system they rely on is upset for any length of time. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to learn what is possible to improve your prospects, when a disaster happens and the time to take action is now, well before trouble starts.
The comfort and confidence you and your family will have once you begin your journey toward cutting out your reliance on the vulnerable public systems that make up the grid will make it all worthwhile. Then you can focus your attention on other pursuits, sure in the knowledge your home is prepared, whatever may come, but the best part is, once your home is truly grid-independent, it won’t matter if there is a catastrophe or not.
Part of shifting to an off-grid lifestyle is a change in habits and mindset. Your increased self-sufficiency will become the new normal for you and better still, if you do it right, your improvements will even be saving your money when they’re not saving you from trouble, injury, illness and even death.