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ARE YOU PREPARED FOR NATURAL DISASTERS? How will You live Off the Power Grid?

Updated on September 22, 2016
kmartel profile image

K.D. Martel is a writer, published author and artist working from her studio in the province of Québec, Canada.

In the case of natural disasters, how are you equipped to deal with the situation? I have been asking myself this question for several months now. With all the bad weather going on, earthquakes, volcanoes erupting and solar flares intensifying, it seems we are always on the brink of losing our power grid.

We are so dependent on electricity. In 1998, I was affected by the ice storm that hit eastern Canada. I was lucky, only nine days without power while municipalities only a few kilometres away had nothing for over a month. People had to abandon their homes to the cold; we were in the deep of winter. It was mild, raining during the storm, but freezing on contact, coating the trees with a thick layer of ice, then the cold set in. Trees snapped, exploded, bringing down our fragile electrical supply system. Hydro electric towers were smashed by the pressure of the ice. I stayed in my home, luckily,we had a wood stove that worked 24/7, we heated our water, cooked our meals and stayed warm and cozy around the stove. We played cards A LOT! Lots of candlelight meals! Lol

The only drawback was that we had to get our water from the village town hall because they had a generator to pump well water. We had a well, and with no electricity, no water, period. People living in larger towns, at least had water running, yet no heat if they lived in apartments our places without wood stoves. Many had their pipes burst from the intense cold (it got down into the minus 20’s Celsius.)

I moved not to long after that, again in the country, depending on electricity to pump my well water into the home. Every time a storm comes up, snow, rain, wind.always a risk of losing electricity. Back in April we had a surprise snow storm, we lost electricity for about six hours. Others, for days in the region.

We are so dependent on the grid. I have been looking into buying a used generator or solar powered generator because my feeling is that, I will need it sometime in the near future. At least, for the essentials, keeping the refrigerator cold, pumping the well water into the home, a bit of lightning when needed and for starting up the furnace...heat is important until I one day get the money to build a wood stove in my home.

I have a feeling that we should get prepared, try not to rely so heavily on technology in the years to come. Get yourself a generator, either solar powered or gas (make sure you have extra reservoirs for the gas). There are diesel and propane generators too. Good used ones are available, but shop around and inform yourself on the technical specifications of the equipment you want to purchase. If you have the chance to do so, go ahead and prepare yourself. Try to wean yourself of the power grid because a good storm, solar flare or other natural disaster could be severe enough to keep you off the grid for weeks, months and who knows, years.

© 2010 K D Martel


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    • marshacanada profile image

      marshacanada 7 years ago from Vancouver BC

      An interesting article.

      Solar powered generator are a good idea. They might not work in Vancouver where we can go weeks without seing the sun. But we dont need heat so much since it rarely freezes here on the wet coast.