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Sunday, September 7, 2014

When the Lights Go Out: Our Plan A, B, C

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand, as in what direction you are moving.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes


     We experienced yet another stormy weekend and power outage for 24 hours and once again, we were well prepared.


Many of you already know that our power grid is on shaky ground and it doesn’t take much to create a black out situation. Storms here in Michigan routinely knock out power, so we’re kind of used to it.


When the lights go out here is our Plan A, B, and C include pulling out the candles and lanterns (we have battery and oil-based), and sets of solar LED lights [we got them at a dollar store].


We turned on our emergency radio which can be hand cranked or operated on batteries.  In the morning we made coffee with a sterno-based heat source and an old percolator coffee pot and had planned to cook using our gas grill but went ahead and hooked up our 5000 Watt generator in order to recharge our phones and a medical device I wear.


The storm had been so bad it knocked out a local cell tower and our remaining land line which uses a cordless phone which, unlike older landlines, does not continue to operate without electricity. Our cheap pre-paid wireless phone works best during such outages.  We also own universal device chargers which can be plugged into a car for fast charging [see below to get one for yourself].


We have an electric security gate which operates on a code but we’re able to manually open it during power outages.  I keep looking at solar generators or a Generac Whole House system but they are cost prohibitive at this time.


A blackout can happen at any time. Often the grid may be down for days or even weeks. Backup power systems can supply electricity to critical loads or entire house when the grid is down. There are various kinds of emergency backup devices depending on the type of energy source they are using to produce electricity. When you are choosing your system, the main things you get to decide are: the amount of electrical power you may need during a blackout, the length of time you want to produce it, and of course your budget.


Find a comparison chart of different systems here:




Most hot water tanks will retain hot water for at least 24-hours but you may wish to explore a solar heating system…


Solar Water Heating

Solar water heating systems have a good economic payoff, and are manageable systems to install or build as a DIY project.  Some of the solar water heating designs are very simple and low cost.  You can save as much as $7000 by building your own system.  There are just over one hundred projects with full construction details listed below -- all free.


You tube video how-to’s



You’ll find many useful off-grid devices, books and goods at our storefront including a Duracell Mobile Inverter 30-Dual AC/USB Power- at:



Ways to save money at these very helpful websites. 


Beyond the CSA: Four Ways Communities Support Everything From Books to Beer

You know the model: Consumers purchase a share of the season’s harvest upfront and get a box of fresh produce each week from the farm. Now you can get your medicine that way too.   READ MORE »

These are 16 of my favorites.  Check them out.


DIY Garden Boxes

Spruce up your garden and homestead with a few simple do-it-yourself projects including garden boxes, a pallet shed and backyard bees.



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Click on each link to discover how to make extra money for your family…Demographic report to assist you in choosing trending businesses.  Please share our site with your friends.






Find DIY and Homemade ideas here:

Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


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