On Tuesday the 4th of August 2020 at 2.30pm, we lost power. We lost the connection to the outside world. We lost part of our humanity that day. We will never be the same again!
This is short story about our adventures of becoming cave people. Learning to live without Internet or electricity. We can and we will survive!
Thankfully Viking blood is pumping through my veins. I just had to rekindle some of my Viking berserker and scouting skills, which has been passed down to me for generations – or perhaps in my vivid imagination.
Nevertheless, it was time to take on the family leader role, becoming the patriarch in this manless society we live in today. Nothing wrong with a little toxic masculinity to ensure the safety of my family.
I sat down and rummaged through my brain cells to develop a comprehensive list of things we needed to do to make it through the next few days, assuming we will be without power.
Electricity is core to our consumer society. Everything we know and do is fed through the wires and our access to the internet. This outage will test our humanity!
As a father and husband, it was my duty to stay calm. But how do you stay calm when you do not know where to do #2 and if I can get some life into my Traeger grill. It is not easy to smile with confidence and look my kids straight in their eyes (without blinking), and telling them that dad has it covered.
Without power, there are some basic things that you normally take for granted that are now eradicated, and we need to find alternative approaches – and quick.
- No water pressure = no way to shower or flush the toilets. The latter obviously means we have to choose very carefully which toilet we use for #1 and #2, as we cannot flush all toilets. One toilet was assigned #2 status. #1 visits could be done in the other toilets, although limit the use of paper and NO flushing … and please keep windows open.
- Food storage was compromised. The fridge was now acting as a large cooler. It is vital that we do not open the fridge or freezer frequently, to avoid food to spoil. And, as we no longer have cows, sheep, chicken, or other farm animals at the house, in the modern suburbs, the majority of the food we consume is stored in fridge/freezers.
- Food prep inside is no longer an option. Our stove and other appliances rely on power, meaning we cannot prepare cooked meals and will have to survive on crackers and stale bread with somewhat chilled salami or cheese. We can’t even make a cheese melt!!
- Navigating in darkness, when the sun sets becomes challenging. We have limited romantic dinners these days, so our stockpile of candlesticks is below 2. And, that is assuming we even have matches.
- Limited access to news and updates can make us go stir crazy. We need our hourly fix from our social networks telling us how to make COVID masks, take some vital quizzes informing us which kind of potato we are, and comment on some insane political debates – debating with other ill-tempered people on topics we may not know much about. These are the priorities we make and need.
Here are some of the basic Viking survival skills that I kicked off, all while my family stared at me in disbelief and horror. Let’s wait and see who laughs now when dad has saved us from starvation and toilet essentials!
Without words, I took the shovel from the garage and started to dig a hole in the deserted and overgrown vegetable garden. We needed a place for #2 and we might as well use this as an opportunity to fertilize our kitchen garden soil.
We still had some water in our water dispenser, but it was important that we conserve the water still in the pipes and toilets. As such, I jumped into my large survival red truck and drove to a local mountain spring to fill up 5 gallons of water. It can we used to backfill the toilet that contains #2 and also cooking.
I built a makeshift kitchen in the garage from one of the large plastic tables we invested in for our two camping trips, using a camping propane kitchen stove.
HA! Look who just made sure we can have pasta again!
Thereafter it was time to secure the perimeter. This is a vital skill that I learned from my survival hero Rambo, but also from watching documentaries about the zombie apocalypse. You know, Resident Evil, Day of the Dead, Twister, Day After Tomorrow, and other vital doomsday prepper movies. Oh, and I have also read the Zombie Survival Guide.
Movies and books based on true events
- I installed some fishing line across the driveway, with some old empty Guinness cans, to alert us of intruders.
- I placed my daughters softball bat next to the front door. I ran out of barbed wire so wrapped in dry Angora yarn.
- I strategically placed wood cleaver, garden machete, and hatchets throughout the house, near doors, of course, protecting every entry to the house.
- I cleared out the crawl space under our deck and placed my airsoft handgun with plenty of pellets (10,000) to cause affliction on the chins.
While I was prepping our premises and land, my wife was determined to get word from the outside world. She jumped into our SUV and connected her iPhone to get a full 100% charge. A full charge would last at least 4.5 hours, which is pretty “amazing” for newer phones.
It is a scary world out there. The storm had brought down many trees, downed power lines, and killed the internet. We had to survive.
I was cursing vividly inside my head that I could no longer seek guidance from YouTube. It is an essential DIY tool so I can fix shit!
Finally, I started to make dough for a Danish outdoor survival bread called snobrød. It is effectively just dough wrapped around a stick and then you bake it over a campfire.
That is assuming you know how to start a campfire of course. But, my Viking scouting skills taught me to use flint and dry pines, neither I had handy, so I used the camping tools we have stockpiled in the garage.
I could now build my squirrel traps so we could have “chicken wings” with our snobrød. We need protein and we have so many of these grey gritters all over our property.
Tomorrow I will look into starting and connecting our generator to some essential house appliances, such as the fridge and the Traeger. Priorities!
We are going to bed early to get a headstart on the next day’s survival activities such as planting seeds for herbs, wheat, and strawberries.
I jumped into my truck again and went to the local supermarket to get a few boxes of sushi for dinner while watching downloaded movies on the iPad.
This was the first three hours of the power outage that hit the North East of the US!
I hope there are other survivors out there. We can beat this and rebuild civilization.