Other than getting very odd letters from people that think people who live frugally take money from other people, eg. relatives, the government, and some other suggestions too laughable to repeat, etc…, instead of the obvious --people who are frugal don’t need anyone’s money. Like me, they do it themselves. I find this particularly concerning as the "the Myth of Neediness" is how abusive people keep their victims enslaved. They deprive them of information on money management in order to control them.
But all this aside, I have been quite surprised to find out that many of my readers are from overseas. And Many people expressed concern that as urban people they would be helpless in some sort of urban terror power outage scenario. These concerns were expressed after the USA east coast power outage a month ago, and the more recent one in Britain. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Most people have plenty of ways to get by right in your home at this moment.
People seemed most concerned about lighting , cooking and food preparation, cooling or heating. On an emergency basis most of the necessary means are right in your kitchen or cupboards!
These involve for the most part live flames so take proper precautions. Remember in the old days homes burned down with amazing regularity from live flames in the house. To light your house you only need to get the salad oil, and hard shortening like Crisco. You also need some wick material. This can be braided string, or even rag scraps. REMEMBER, the thicker the wick --- the bigger the flame.
Salad oil can be used for a make do oil lamp. Few people have an Aladdin’s type oil lamp with a small chimney and a big oil reservoir. If you do, pour in the oil and dip the wick into the oil, and light. The oil burns on the wick giving light.
Since few of us have these, you’ll need to make up an equivalent. You need an oil reservoir –a ceramic cup is fine, and a way to suspend the wick in the oil. A twist of wire will hold it just fine. Put the wick in the oil, and support it with the wire ( a piece of coat hanger, or several bag twists, --- works fine), and then light. Put in a safe location away from kids or pets. Spilled oil can create a terrible fire!
To make a mock tallow candle, take a can of shortening and use a piece of wire or chopsticks to poke braided string or thin rag strips into the fat. You can poke several wicks into a three pound can of fat. These will burn with a smoky flame like they talk about in the old time books, but give light.
Emergency cooking can be done over these " make do live flame lights, or during the day in an outdoor solar oven. To make one you’ll need two boxes, paper to stuff for insulation, glass or plastic to cover, and aluminum foil for the reflectors. In brief you put the small box inside the larder and stuff the space between them with paper to insulate. You put dark colored cooking pots with food inside the box to slow cook. Cover the top with plastic or a glass scrap (a storm window works great in a pinch. Reflect sunlight into the box with foil covered cardboard. The see many plans for this method got to:
All these materials are readily available in urban environments –even in emergencies.
To get Emergency Cooling ideas go to may article "Beat the heat!"
For Emergency Heating go to the article:
Remember to Check out these other articles on Frugal Emergency Prep:
Frugal Emergency Prep
Make Your Car a Power Supply in An Emergency:
Long term you may wish to keep several flash lights, a battery radio, solar lanterns, and a auto battery charger which has a battery, light and power receptacle to give you a portable light.
We have solar porch lights we popped loose and used for light to gather the candles, battery radio, and a few other items we used to comfortably get through the recent East Coast power outage. We found the battery radio invaluable and reassuring to give us information on what was happening.
Overstock.com has a great sale on the car battery booster with light contraption. Look in under the Home and Garden section in "Automotive" or click below.
Carries many inexpensive Supplies for Emergencies.
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For more ideas Check out these Frugal Living Books!
Complete Tightwad Gazzette
The Complete Tightwad Gazzette
Declare Your Finanacial Independence
Declare Your Financial Independence
Mary Hunt's Complete Cheapskate
You Can Afford to Stay Home With your Kids
You can Afford to stay Home WIth your Kids