One fact of modern life is that almost everyone is dependent on the convenience of electricity and tied to the grid. It is probably safe to say that most people do not even think of the grid while going about the activities of daily life. It is expected that lights will come on when a switch is flipped and the refrigerator humming in the kitchen will keep the food supply fresh and ready to eat. Along with the convenience, however, comes the electric bill and government regulation. A growing number of people are no longer satisfied to pay the bill, including whatever the government wants to add on in order to pay for other people’s convenience.
Living off the Grid
Adding to their dissatisfaction is the fear of the grid failing, and with it, their entire way of life. Quite a few people have decided to do something about it. They have found ways to reduce their dependence on electricity and not only prepare for an emergency, but lower their energy bills as well. Still others have taken steps to do without electricity and be free from the energy companies altogether. The latter class of people has become known as “preppers,” who are preparing for a disaster situation, or preppers who are living completely “off the grid.”
Essential Prepper Technology
Since living without electricity not as easy as it sounds, prepper technology is necessary to find solutions for basic needs. As anyone would suppose, food refrigeration would be one of the first considerations. Several options are available from which off grid homesteaders may choose, depending on their expertise and their budgets.
One way to keep food cool is by using solar power and evaporation to cool the refrigerator box. It works by creating electricity from the power of the sun through solar panels and then using the energy the same way a traditional refrigerator uses electricity. Some refrigerators can be connected directly to a solar panel. Although a solar refrigerator can be expensive, it is possible to convert a regular refrigerator into one that is solar powered.
Anyone who owns an RV or boat may be familiar with refrigerators that use propane or gas as a source of energy and does not have any moving parts. This may not be the best option unless one has a natural gas well on the property. Otherwise, a refrigerator of this type can burn lots of gas, making it impractical to use long term, especially if a disaster causes a fuel shortage.
Aside from keeping food cold, drying food is an excellent preservation method. It costs practically nothing to sustain the process after the initial purchase of equipment. Most food can be dried and takes up very little space when finished curing.
Battery Banks for Energy
Many preppers use battery banks for their sustainable energy needs. The kind to use is mostly a matter of choice and budget.
Golf cart batteries are exceptionally durable and last up to five years. They will function well even if undercharged. L16 batteries made for commercial floor scrubbers last for five to eight years, but are very heavy. A 6-volt battery produces about 350 to 400 amps. Sealed lead-acid batteries need no maintenance except for proper charging. They also do not produce gasses while charging that need to be vented. Preppers may have battery banks that include all types of batteries.
Advantage of Planning
It would be hard to imagine prepper technology that did not include a battery operated radio to keep abreast of news and stay alert to conditions including weather and special announcements. Having alternate energy sources and basic hand tools that use no fuel readily available is advantageous, and everyone should have at least some sort of plan.
Whether one is preparing for a natural or manmade disaster or just wanting to save on energy costs, making the right choices in the kinds of prepper technology to use will give any individual or family a distinct advantage in saving money, saving lives and providing comfort for all.