Life Hacks When Technology Fails Us
Highlander “Tech Preps”
If you missed this show last week your not alone. Because of technical difficulties we all did. Tonight we give it another go. Thanks for your patients.
When Technology fails us, when the power goes out, when stuff breaks, what do we do? Who do we turn to? In this episode I will be talking about simple life hacks that you might not have even realized that can get you thru a rough patch; such as power outages, electronics failure, icy sidewalks, how to get water if the power does go out, how to cook, how to generate electricity.
The ole winter is right around the corner let’s talk about a few things that you should prepare for such as; what you should do if the power does go out, what steps to take to keep you fed, hydrated, and heated. How about some nifty ways you can keep yourself warm if the power goes out like the Peltier cooler. This is a neat device that you can generate electricity with cold or heat. It is a neat way to run small devices and have lights generated for free!
Cooking is also on the agenda with some cheap tricks to cook with, such as a wood stove of course, everyone should have one where available, and it can be a very valuable prep. A wood stove can be used for not only heat, but boiling water, cooking, and for Peltier coolers, to generate a small amount of electricity. If you do not have a wood stove, there are other ways to generate heat. One example, a kerosene heater, they can warm your house pretty well in an emergency however I would use this at your own discretion because of the dangers.
Another thing you can do is get a propane work heater, these are used in construction a lot, they can take small propane bottles and will generate a fair amount of btu’s. (British thermal unit). The next item is something that may or may not work for everyone, but I have used this before, a jumper box. If anyone has a jumper box in their vehicle (a box that generates 12volts of electricity to jumpstart a vehicle) these boxes have high amp output and usually comes with a cigarette lighter plug. These can not only power 12volt lights, charge cell phones, but they can also power small ceramic heaters available at your local auto parts retailer store. These little heaters are designed to heat a car if your heater is damaged. They work well in a pinch to heat a room.
If you have to use any of these methods I would suggest going to one room in your home, open all window shades and curtains and let natural sun in. I would also put a towel at the bottom of your door to keel heat in.
I will discuss how to cook if the power goes out, of course wood stove is the best, however, you can get cheap alternatives if this is not available. One way of course is an outside grill, so always keep charcoal or propane handy even in winter for easy cooking and boiling water. Also the dollar stores sell little fuel stoves that will burn for roughly 2 hours for 1$. These will not cook a steak, but can boil water, or heat a can of stew or something small and they are cheap!. If you have a propane camp stove these are awesome for emergencies, most of them come with a burner and replaceable propane bottles, so always keep a few bottles around just in case.
As for water, of course water storage in barrels is the best and rain catchment is very efficient, however some laws in states prevent it so check laws before you attempt to do this. Also people do not realize the hot water tanks in your home will carry 50-100gallons of water depending on the size, and most have a release valve on the bottom where you can get water from it. Also you can get water from the back tank of your toilet I know eww right? Well no this water is merely a storage tank it is what comes directly from your cold water line till it is used to flush the toilet, as long as you keep your toilet tank clean the water should be safe to drink, however with anything like this boiling and filtering would probably be best.
Here’s a few other Life Hacks tricks. Removing ice, every time there is a storm here all of the rock salt is gone form the stores (of course!). There are a few house hold chemicals you probably already have that can melt ice safely, such as deicer. I carry this in my truck for my windshield fluid, it is very, very cheap, about a buck for a big gallon jug of it, and I keep it on my back truck. If it is going to snow take a jug of it inside or buy a jug and keep it around, it is some very effective stuff. Most people do not know that simple vinegar and water mixed together make an excellent deicer, (also good for icy windshields). Simple baking soda is a form of salt that can melt ice pretty efficiently and most people have it lying around. Fertilizer is also very good at melting ice, however if you have a sidewalk fertilizer can destroy concrete, so be careful with it. Last two are sugar and bleach, bleach works well but it can be corrosive so use sparingly!, sugar is like salt it will lower the melting point of ice.
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