Electrical Grid Down For 2 – 4 Weeks (Level 2 Preparedness)

My hypothetical for level 2 preparedness is being prepared for 1 month of disruption.

Previously I discussed Water & Food and Water Storage & Availability.

This time lets think about electricity being out for several weeks, up to one month.

Chances are that a level 1 (1 week) or level 2 (1 month) event will be local or regional, so one could always travel outside the affected region to where services are uninterrupted. But that wouldn’t make for much of an article or discussion ;)

Lets say that you don’t have the means or ability to leave the affected area and you’re going to be without power for 2 – 4 weeks.

That’s a long time without electricity!

Lets think about what type of interruptions that might have on your life.

All of the stores, gas stations, banks & ATM’s will be closed. And you can’t drive out.

What you have is what you’ve got. You will need to make it work for one month.

Your fridge, freezer, lights, internet, cell phones, stove, microwave, air conditioning, heating… NONE OF THEM WILL WORK.

Tip: If you have a gas stove, the stove top will probably still work.
Tip: If you have a wood heating stove the house will stay warm in the winter.

So how do we deal with the issue of no electricity for 2 to 4 weeks?

1. You will simply do without some conveniences.
2. Have substitutes that don’t require a functional power grid.
3. Have a generator with lots of gas (use sparingly).
4. Solar powered systems.

What can you do without? Yes you will survive without the internet or TV. However you can still get some news & information if you have a portable emergency radio.

[ Read: 3 Emergency Radio Choices ]

Your cell phone will lose its juice. The local towers may or may not be up and running (I haven’t specified in this scenario). However you can still charge your phones and other devices using solar power.

Check it out: 24W Solar Panel with 3 USB Ports (amzn)

A portable butane stove may be a real advantage. Why? Because butane is safer to use indoors than others. Here’s more about it:

[ Read: Single Burner Butane Stove Safer For Cooking Indoors ]

If you have a well for your water supply, you will need alternative energy to run that well pump. A generator that runs for just a few minutes will be enough to refill the water pressure tank in the house (typically 40 gallons or more). Note that a well pump will require 240 volts, so be sure to choose a generator that has that capability.

If you have municipal water, chances are that your town’s tower and pumps will have generators with plenty of backup fuel. It’s not until we get into level 3 and level 4 preparedness where our assumptions are much worse…

It’s always a good idea to have water storage in the house.

Heating and air conditioning without electricity! This could be a big issue. Think about it. It’s the middle of winter and you live in the north cold country. Or it’s the middle of summer and you live down south where “hot” is truly defined…

Wood stove. No problem. Even a pellet stove or conventional furnace will function if you have a large enough solar array and battery bank. However most people are not set up for this. Again, a generator will run these systems, but how long until you run out of fuel? They generally drink a lot of gas.

Lights. We can live without lights at night. However it’s so ridiculously easy to get your lights back on by using LED lanterns and flashlights. Even solar powered yard lights will charge up by day and you can bring them in at night.

Just think about it. Think about all of the things that you use at home that require electricity. Go through room by room. If you need it to be operational, figure out a substitute or alternative power.

You might be wondering what I do or how I would handle this situation. I have generator capability, and I have also put together a small/medium solar power system that will run all of my essential needs in the home.

Tip: If you’re storing lots of gas for your generators, be sure to add fuel stabilizer for longer shelf life (up to one year or more is possible). And rotate your gasoline. PRI-G (the best)

[ Read: Preparedness Level 1 – 4 Series Overview ]