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 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 a Simple and Inexpensive Off Grid Room by taking an ordinary room (connected to the grid) and adding preps that will provide off-grid: heat, light, entertainment, and sleeping accommodations where you can survive comfortably if the power were to go out for an extended period of time.
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 less 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.
- 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 and can last as long as you do if properly taken care of.
- 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. Luci Lanterns are an amazing product! They rarely need charging and I continually find new uses for them. See a review for them here.
- Kerosene Lamps – I grew up using these when my family experienced power outages. They are brighter than candles and not as messy.
- Candles – I can still find 6 inch pillar candles pretty cheap at Thrift Stores and Yard Sales. If I trim the wick every so often they’ll typically last over 100 hours.
- Functional – we’ll be sleeping in this room so there needs be enough room for everyone to lay-out.
- Cots – we have tried it out and 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.
- Board Games
- Educational & Recreational Books
- Battery/Solar Power Radio
- Musical Instruments
- Writing and Coloring Utensils
- Emergency food is kept in a cool, dark room adjacent to the Off Grid Room so that it is not effected by the heat sources.
This room is in the basement of my home so it works great in the summertime too, as an Off Grid Room, because it stays so cool.
Other articles you might be interested in: