• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Can you be comfortable for a week without electricity?

how to be comfortable without electricity
600 390 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness
A storm is coming and the electricity may be out for some time.
Here is what you can do to prepare.
by Lady Pantenburg

I grew up in Mississippi in the 60s/70s when it was common at least twice a season to lose power for several days at a time. I have vivid memories of my mom uttering the doom ultimatum: “If the power isn’t back on by morning, we’re going to lose $1,000 in food!” and “Don’t open the Fridge!” By morning, she would start dragging cases of food out to our backyard “cooking deck” where the entire compendium of barbecues, smokers and propane cookers would be busy grilling, sauteing, and frying like crazy. Everyone was invited over to eat for days on end. My dad would just shake his head and go out for more ice from any grocery that was open.

Debbie cooking in dutch ovens in the Oregon Outback in June.

Extended family members, neighbors, and friends were all expected to do their part to consume our food before it spoiled, which led me to wonder why they didn’t have the same problem. My dad said, usually laughing, it’s because they always came to our house to eat! It’s true my mother was quite the entertaining hostess and folks knew to come by anytime for the latest fried whatever or recent pot of gumbo.
Those times taught me quite a few things, including not to store $1,000 worth of cold and frozen food, and how to cook for a large crowd. It also taught me that power outages aren’t the end of the world. Like they say in the South, “We aren’t afraid of hurricanes. We’re afraid of no air conditioning.”
My husband, kids, and I have a bit of an advantage when it comes to being comfortable without electricity. We’ve spent many nights camping in the western states and we’ve lived in houses without air conditioning, which isn’t uncommon in Oregon.
But, we’re also well prepared for a house without power. Here are the things we have at the ready in case of a natural disaster or just an unexpected outage of power, gas or water. It’s not difficult to get your home ready, but pretty uncomfortable if you don’t.
The best thing you can do to be comfortable without modern electrical conveniences is to prepare and have these items easily available.
Room Fans for warm weather
Sleeping bags for cold weather
30 Gallons of Water

1 Gallon ‘Zero’ Filtered Water Pitcher

10 Gallons of Propane
2 Burner CampChef Propane Cooker
Barbecue grill
Cast Iron Pots and Pans
Paraffin Oil Lamps
Glass Hurricane Globes and a case of votive candles
Flashlights and batteries
Instant Coffee (we prefer Starbucks VIA)
Bread, Mayo, Mustard
Peanut Butter and Jam
Boiled Eggs
Canned Tuna, Chicken, Sardines, Oysters
Packages Summer Sausage
Canned Beans, Vegetables, Fruit
Canned Spaghetti Sauce
Dried Mixed Nuts
Dried Fruit
Dried Pasta
Dried Rice and Beans
Pancake Mix (just add water)
Dried Eggs
Powdered Milk
Spices and Spice Mixtures
Pure Honey
Maple Syrup

Debbie Pantenburg

Lady Pantenburg is Debbie, or Mrs. Survival Common Sense. She has been married to Leon for 31 years and they have traveled all over the west on camping and outdoor adventures with their kids, and now as empty nesters. She is an accomplished Dutch oven and campfire cook. She figured out early in the marriage that outdoor activities were part of the whole package – their honeymoon was a 4-day canoe trip on the Potomac River.

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