7 Day Challenge: DAY 1 (WEDNESDAY)

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Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.


A massive ice storm has stuck your town over night. The drastic shifts in fall temperatures caused a freezing rain. Ice has accumulated on the power lines causing major damage and knocking out power across the region.
Goal: Practice living (and cooking) without power

Today’s Tasks:

  • Keep your family warm (or cool) as furnace blowers and A/C will not work without electricity
  • Cook and clean up all of your meals without power
  • Do an inventory of your fuel storage, how many meals can you cook with your stored fuel?
  • Before dark, locate flashlights, candles, or other light sources. Assess your battery supply.
  • Plan a fun family activity tonight with no electronic devices (board games, ghost stories, shadow puppets, be creative!)
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – This will be important later this week!

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share a picture of something you are cooking or an activity you are doing without using electricity. (It’s ok to use a computer or phone ONLY for sharing purposes!)

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • DO NOT USE POWER AT ALL TODAY (even if you have a generator, it helps to practice!)
  • No laptops, ipads, phones, etc. (even if you have a way to charge them, don’t!)
  • The food in your fridge has gone bad, but freezer food is ok still

Advanced Tasks:

  • Make bread- from start to finish with no power
  • Assume all your freezer food has gone bad too
  • The weather outside is still horrible, you must cook all meals indoors

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Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

Check your email first thing in the morning!

  • LeAnn

    This day was super easy, peasy for us. We have been there done that with ice storms. I took it further and asked myself what I would do on day 2 or 3 or 6. The biggest deal was the lack of water. We are on a well. We are having a manual pump installed. Without it, we are in trouble. I could always go dip water out of the pond and treat myself. That is crazy madness. Although I do have the capabilities to do it which is comforting if something crazy happened in the meantime. That manual water pump must get done sooner than later. Our ponds almost never freeze over, although it did happen this last winter. So, that is a very temporary solution. I have water stored, but no enough for a long term outage. It was very good to find lots of little holes in our preps.

  • GenDot

    The butane stove is quick and easy for portable cooking short-term. We keep a few add water items to cook in times of power outages, like pancakes and MREs. We have canned goods and home-canned goods. We use our solar oven routinely. We have a rocket stove and BBQ for the non-sunny days.
    Because of lactose intolerance and soy allergies in our special needs child, we use almond milk for drinking purposes, and I did not try to skip the fridge there.
    Has anyone been through a long-term power outage and know about how long you can still safely eat out of the freezer?
    This time of the year it is still light and warm so outside play served the entertainment needs. I need to find a few things that would help for entertainment if it was winter. We switched to gas last year so heating, lighting, and cooking are less of a problem without electricity.
    Thanks for the challenge. I really enjoy reading everyone”s experiences and learning.

  • Sarah

    We are still beginners here. We cooked dinner on the wood stove. First time I have done that and first time I have gotten to use my cast iron set that I got for Christmas. 🙂 We had bacon, eggs, and toast. It came out pretty good. I almost wished it was too “cold” outside though. It was 70 degrees outside so cooking on the wood stove in the house got a little toasty. 😉 Great experience. Thank you.

  • karen

    Jodi & Julie
    My husband has been driving me crazy waiting for this. We cook on propane & wood cook stove. Use gas lights. We have propane frig. & freezer. Have a 1000 gal tank. Have gravity flow water ( won’t freeze) Have wood, Propane, & oil for heat. Husband is very redundant. For hot water, My husband took a 40 gal gas water tank, took the guts out put pipe in chimney. Took an old tank and cut it off on bottom, lined it with bricks. Put sand in bottom. It is the fire box. Use small wood to heat water. In winter he fixed pipes from wood cook stove to water heater to heat water. Always have hot water.(115 to 120) We do live off grid and have been preppers for quite awhile. Have been also following baby steps for a long time. You can always learn something. We are very excited about this, just to see what we can improve on.

  • Becca H.

    I love how these challenges make me thing about the little details that I often overlook! We have a portable camping stove, so I will use that to cook dinner. But we don’t have any big camping stoves or BBQs that could hook into a big propane tank. Gotta look into that. Can anyone tell me, rough ball park, how many days you can cook on a big 20lb propane tank?

    Also learned that all my pans are too top heavy with their handles for my bitty camp stove, so will be using the big soup pot to cook a pound of ground turkey, LOL! I hadn’t thought about water in our big barrels being frozen, so I need to look into getting smaller jugs of water stored in the basement, too. (Thanks, Andigrif!)

    Also, practicing having no power made me realize that I’d never actually measured how long each of taper candles will last, so burning a couple different types right now to see how long they last. Might need a lot more of those.

    Looking forward to what I will learn from this week! 🙂

  • Andigrif

    Ice storm is easy peasy! We lived through a real one this winter along with 2 other electrical outages.
    Cooking on my camp stove for lunch – heating soup. DH will grill tonight for dinner. Our biggie is water doesn’t pump when electric is out, so I have jugs in the basement. I have a rain barrel, but it would be frozen & unusable.
    Heating would be a kerosene heater if needed.

  • Kim

    I’ve had to do this one before. Actually pretty easy for us since I’ve acquired more useful items for this situation since then. There is more than enough on the shelves for our meals. And the camp stove can be run indoors as long as I keep the window in the kitchen open. Checked. Plenty of propane and the adapter for the large tanks is available. Lights, batteries, candles, and kerosene lanterns all available with fuel. Two kerosene heaters to keep the house warm with. Although typically only one is needed, especially if the door between the halves of the house are closed.

    Off to enjoy an ice day! (In 80+ weather)

  • Paul

    At first I thought it said ice cream challenge and got excited! LOL..

    This one is easy enough. We live in a passive solar home here in the mountains to begin with. We have no a/c other than opening the windows. We do have a small propane heating stove as backup and the electronics run off 9v batteries and will last several months like that. Living at the end of the line, we always have our flashlights charged and in handy locations to begin with. Gets VERY dark here at night. Burgers for lunch and steaks for dinner since the freezer wont have gone bad quite that fast 🙂 Use it before it does though to keep in spirit. We keep 110 gallons of fuel on hand for the generator and that would last quite a while if necessary. About 15 days of and on battery recharging assuming the solar is out as well due to the storm. Not sure why it would be but i’ll roll with it. Will limit power usage to laptop for work and fridge to keep in spirit. We don’t have much in the way of entertainment to begin with so will just dust off a book and kick back with a mason jar of the good stuff. 🙂

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