without electricity

While waiting at an agency to get my gas turned back on (they do this for qualifying folk) there was a woman who was there to get her electric turned back on. She said it had been off for 4 months and her and her kids survived just fine.
This is hard for me to believe. i can see no gas in the summer, but electricity?

You are aware that people survived for millions of years without being able to TiVo the latest Real Housewives, right?

That is a non answer. I have never had a tivo nor watched that program. I have never had a cell phone nor played a video game.

How hot does it get where you live? I’ve lived without A/C, and it’s fine if it doesn’t get much above 90 outside. That’s probably the only thing that is really needed in the summer.

And, you don’t actually have to stay in your house, either, except when you sleep. You’d be surprised at the number of places you can go and spend little, if any money. Heck, you can get your TV, Internet, charge your cell phone, even play video games, somewhere where it’s free.

Other than refrigeration, I don’t imagine it would be all that difficult to live without electricity (I live in a super mild climate). I can camp for weeks at a time, and have lived for two summers with the only light source being kerosene lamps. Even then, I could do without refrigeration for an extended period of time. That said, ice isn’t particularly cheap, and I would probably get pretty testy without cold beer.

Then perhaps if you were to explain exactly why you find this so astonishing, people here would be better able to provide an explanation.

Yeah, I knew I was forgetting something. But, since you won’t want to stay in your hot house anyways, I don’t see much of a problem buying your food as you need it. And still eating really cheap (as I’m assuming the electricity was shut off for financial reasons).

Not all of us are finding it difficult to understand. If you leave out electronics, what’s left for electricity to do during the summer?

Anyways, I think Tamera+ was just reacting negatively to the snark. The response was pretty much an insult.

It’s something I often think about (living without electricity, or at least, living “off the grid”).

The big problem here would be alimenting my computer/internet box, the washing machine for clothes and having hot showers. And it’s not a good area to get solar power. (plus it’s expensive to install) We live in a rural area so finding an internet cafe or a spot with computers, a lavomatic or communal showers would be tough.

We’re almost totally vegetarians so unless one wants to keep dairy longer in warm weather, a fridge isn’t really necessary. We barely use the microwave and the toaster so I don’t think we would miss them much. We have no tv. We cook with gaz and heat the house with wood.

I might point out that old-order Amish live entirely without electricity. Sure, it wouls be a downer and whatever is in the fridge and freezer would have to go, but I could do in the summer Everyone my age and older grew up without air-conditioning in Philadelphia which can get termeratures about 100. For the last forty years, I have been living in Montreal w/o air-conditioning (although with electric fans), but it is possible and was the human condition in Africa, not exactly an Arctic clime, for a million years.

Winter is a different matter. Under the low population that existed for that million years, it sufficed to have a fireplace and a woodlot. Now, there is not enough wood for that.

That lady’s comment is more about not admitting she hates being without electricity she can’t afford, than the fact you can live without electricity if you can get other resources that don’t use electricity. It’s a copping mechanism for the have nots. Don’t admit you’d like it or you’ll have to feel bad for not having it.

bolding mine:

Run air-conditioning.

Around these parts (TX) a couple of feeble old people die every summer from heat exhaustion, and I seem to recall several years ago there was a massive heat wave in Europe - where a lot of people simply don’t have A/c - and a whole bunch of people died in France.

But yes, people lived for zillions of years without electricity. They were just hot, and sweaty, and stinky, and cranky.

The necessities in life do not require electricity.

Water is a non-electric utility. Hot water might take electricity.

A gas stove can operate without electricity - just takes a match instead of autolighting.

A refrigerator works as an ice chest if you throw a bag of ice in there every day. Or better yet, keep your milk in an an ice chest (cooler).

It seems like living without electricity would be doable, but significantly less convenient/comfortable and potentially more expensive. It means no lighting at night; no cordless phones; no electric alarm clocks; possibly no hot showers; cooking on the gas stove or barbecue only; no refrigerated food storage (which means buying in smaller amounts, having no leftovers, etc.); no a/c; no laundry.

Depending on the size of the family, the biggest expenses/inconveniences are likely to be food and laundry. It’s cheaper to buy in bulk and store food than to buy only what you need as you go; and depending on the number of loads you’re doing, it could be significantly cheaper to do laundry at home (particularly if you amortize the cost of the machines over their lifespan).

I once spent a month without electricity.* It was a chilly May with no heat, but it wasn’t the end of the world–gas was included with the rent, so we still had hot water and could cook on the stove. The only thing I really missed was the fridge: I had a good friend living kitty-corner whose freezer I borrowed a corner of. My remaining roommate and I played a lot of board games–at one point, we had an epic candlelit Monopoly marathon that stretched for the better part of a week. My computer at that point was a laptop and I hadn’t graduated college yet, so I could just head a few blocks down to my university’s library if I needed to get online.

*Long story involving a deadbeat roommate who skipped town after taking everybody’s utility checks for months but not paying for anything.

I once spent 3 weeks without electricity in the middle of winter in Tennessee due to an ice storm that knocked out power in the entire city – so all of my neighbors were without power too.

Fortunately, we had a gas hot water heater so I had hot water (and this woman might also have hot water if she lives in an apartment building). I had no heat for the house nor any way to cook on my electric stove.

Ramen noodles are passable when “cooked” in hot tap water, you just need to let them soak longer. Likewise, if you dilute your chicken noodle soup in hot tap water, it’s palatable. Since some areas of town had power, I was able to eat at restaurants, but I still ate about half my meals at home.

A flashlight enabled plenty of entertainment via books, though i did supplement with a battery operated radio.

Without any source of heat the house was cold, but bearable (outside temps were mostly in the 40’s, the worst part was that without a heater on my waterbed, it was cold, I had to layer some extra blankets on top of the bed to make sleeping bearable)

Would I have wanted to live like that for 4 months? No. But was it possible? Certainly. I think living without water would be much harder than living without electricity, I doubt I would have stayed in my house for 3 weeks if I had been without water.

Agreed. No electricity is much more bearable than no gas/water.

Depends on where you live. I never knew residences without AC even existed until I moved to the northern US. In the south, AC is essentially a necessity (people *die *without it in the south, resulting in electricity companies not being able to shut people off for not paying their bills, much like gas companies not shutting off negligent accounts for nonpayment in the winter).

Well, I wouldn’t say neccessity. I survived 2 summers in Memphis without A/C, though I did have a whole house fan kept a nice breeze coming in the windows. I remember more than a few uncomfortably warm nights, but I survived. Trust me, there are many residences that have no A/C – you tend to find these places as a poor college student :slight_smile:

A friend’s elderly grandparents lived their entire lives in texas without A/C. Though I found their weather to be less humid than Memphis so even though the temperatures were higher, it was more bearable.

Yes, it’s true that people can die during heat waves, but it’s also true that most people can survive quite well without A/C.

I guarantee that you will move out of your domicile faster with a toilet you can’t flush than with an A/C you can’t turn on, no matter what part of the country you live in.