Have you ever considered which room in your home would make the best Off Grid Room in an emergency? After reading Fernando Aguirre’s book, The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse, I began looking at my living space with a new perspective. The book is based on the author’s experience of living through the 2001 economic collapse of Argentina. Fernando describes in detail how his family all slept in the same room to keep warm when they lost power. To have an off grid room you don’t need costly, complicated solar panels or a bug-out location in the mountains. Create an off grid room by designating an ordinary room in your home to be the gathering place in a power outage. This will be the room that helps to conserve your emergency resources. Think about it. If you have multiple people in your home and everyone uses an emergency light in every room, that can use up resources fast. If you’ve got an emergency heater, are you going to use it in the draftiest part of your home? That would be a waste of resources. Below are ideas that will help you choose a room in your home that will help you maximize the emergency resources you have.
Off Grid Room Requirements
- Small – most portable off-grid heaters can heat an area between 200 to 600 sqft, depending on the heater. The smaller the room, the more body heat has the potential to help heat the room. You’ll also need fewer resources to heat a smaller room.
- Enclosed – the room should be closed off on all sides. If there is a stairwell it should be sealed off when used as an Emergency Off Grid Room.
- Windows – consider choosing a room in your home with the fewest & smallest windows. Windows can let out a significant amount of heat!
- Comfortable – yes, you want a small room but you also want a room that your family will be comfortable in. Nights are usually the coolest so I want an area where my family and I can gather for the evening and enjoy each others company in warmth.
Heat Source Ideas:
- Fireplace – we have a room adjacent to this one full of firewood. We also have the necessary tools like chainsaws and axes to cut down trees for additional fuel.
- Body Heat – I believe in having resources that do not deplete. A good blanket or sleeping bag traps body heat. If properly taken care of, a wool blanket is a resource that can last indefinitely.
- Propane Heater – it’s never a bad idea to have multiple resources to heat your Off Grid Room. I have a Big Buddy Propane Heater.
- It is safe for indoor use and has an auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if detects low oxygen levels. I also have a carbon monoxide detector mounted to the wall as a backup.
- Luci Solar Lantern – Renewable, bright, and my first off grid lighting choice. It lasts 12 hours or 2 nights fully charged. Solar hang bulbs can also be a good option.
- Kerosene Lamps – I grew up using these when my family experienced power outages. They are brighter than candles and not as messy but they have a strong smell.
- Power Failure Lights – LED lights are far superior to candles, especially, when they are combined with power failure technology. When the power goes out these lights turn on.
- Functional – we’ll be sleeping in this room so it should be a large enough room for everyone to lay-out.
- Cots – we could fit 3 cots into the 500 sqft room you see in the picture above (the full length of the room is not captured in the picture; the room extends behind the couch). I like the idea of cots because they fold up small and can be put away for more space to move around. With the cots, we could sleep 6 people comfortably in this room (with 3 on the couch).
- Mattress – we could also use a mattress by moving the couch back and laying a mattress on the floor. Camping mats are also a great option and resource.
- Board Games, Dice, Cards
- Battery/Solar Power Radio
- Musical Instruments
- Writing and Coloring Utensils
- Battery powered DVD player
- Emergency food is kept in a cool, dark room adjacent to the Off Grid Room so that it is not affected by the heat sources.
Don’t get caught in the dark. Make sure to have some supplies that can help you and your family be prepared. Turning an ordinary room into an off grid room can be as simple or as complex as you make it. The room requirements listed above should help you determine which room in your home would be a good fit.
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Originally Posted: Apr 28, 2015
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