Sunday, January 27, 2008

How Long Could You Live "Off the Grid"?

Here's a post that's been rattling around in my head since just before the last big snowfall we had here. While I was checking on my emergency supplies (generator, gas, flashlights, food, water, etc.), I started to wonder just how long my family and I could survive completely shut-off from the outside world.

I mean, completely, shut off.

No incoming utility services.

No telecommunication devices of any kind.

No radio, television, or access to the internet.

No neighbors to interact with.

No access to local businesses (gas stations, grocery stores, etc.).

In other words, using only equipment and supplies on hand at the present time, how long could you survive? Granted, some of the parameters of this exercise might be a little far-fetched, and wouldn't realistically apply to someone living in the middle of a large city.

So, for the purposes of this discussion, we'll go all out and invoke the post-apocalyptic hypothetical scenario. Whether you either live out in the sticks or you in the city, everything man-made around your house or apartment has been reduced to rubble or otherwise rendered useless. Call it an act of God or just blind luck, but your house survived, so you don't have to worry about shelter from the elements.

Naturally, if your list of supplies on hand includes firearms and ammunition, and there are edible creatures nearby, you're free to kill 'em and grill 'em. Yes, we'll assume the local critter population survived whatever doomsday event brought us to this day.

So, how long could you stick it out? And, what supplies would you add to your existing inventory on hand to prolong your survival in this scenario?

I'd add a manually-operated well pump to keep a supply of fresh water on hand. Eventually, I'd run out of gasoline for the generator, and that would pretty much be the end of the running water (not to mention the refrigeration of food and the ability to use power tools).

We'd be set for quite a while as far as food and water are concerned. Sure, we'd grow tired of eating turkey and squirrel every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but meat is meat. I'd probably want to brush up on my jerky making techniques for preserving the meat of anything bigger that crosses my sights.

What say you?