We live in a power-driven environment, and energy sources, especially electricity, govern our daily lives. We cannot go a single day without being affected by electricity. It powers our homes and all of the electronics we use on a daily basis, and it pushes our industry forward.
People rarely stop and think about how much we rely on power, and we take everything for granted. Consider what would happen if that energy source was no longer available.
What are we going to do? What would we do with our lives? Could we go on living without electricity?
The need for electricity
People go insane whenever their electricity supply is cut, and they can no longer use the Internet, blenders, or other appliances.
Even during a brief power outage, people go nuts and empty store shelves, getting even items that are not needed for their survival.
There would be no industry, manufacturing, transportation, communication, food, or medical supplies as we know them today if electricity did not exist.
In the Northeast, heavy ice storms frequently pull down trees and electrical lines, cutting out electricity for days or even weeks at a time. We expect that power will be restored someday, but when that occurs is mainly a guess for most of us.
What would happen if we were hit by a powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse)? Some say this is a highly unlikely event, but it is possible. The sun is just a giant ball of nuclear energy that constantly emits EMPs.
And if the sun won’t trigger an EMP to send us back to the dark ages, there are always “friendly” countries that would gladly use their nukes to bring us to our knees.
If the power goes out indefinitely, forget about the Internet, cell phones, and GPS.
“I have a generator, so I don’t need to worry about anything,” I know some of you are thinking. That is acceptable. I own a few generators, but what happens when the gasoline runs out? It will occur.
What are your plans then?
Electricity powers gas station pumps. There will be no electricity or gasoline, and the tanks will quickly be emptied by hand.
People who live off-grid and rely on solar and wind power to power their few electrical equipments will do better. But let’s face it, the majority of the world is not prepared to go without electricity for a lengthy period of time.
Even individuals who are off the grid need to buy things from the outside world every now and then, and without power, there will be no commodities to buy.
How would we obtain the items we require?
The simple answer is that we would have to fix things ourselves and produce the stuff we require. Humans flourished long before electricity and the numerous things it powered. We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again are we are forced to follow that path.
What comes next is a list of the top ten hand tools that I believe everyone should have on hand. When I say “hand tools,” I mean tools that do not run on electricity.
There is still hope
Despite the worst predictions, all is not lost. Most maintenance and building work can be completed with a few simple hand tools. With the tools presented here, you can repair or create almost anything.
Top 10 Essential Off-Grid Tools
You will need to cut wood in order to heat your home or camp. What about sawing lumber to fix your house, outbuilding, or shelter?
Many additional repairs and scavenging jobs will necessitate the use of saws that cut materials other than wood. How about repairing your plumbing by cutting metal or PVC pipe?
There are many different types of saws available, and while some are good for cutting a limited range of materials, you’ll need many types. I keep a variety of hand saws on hand.
Hacksaws are used to cut metal and plastic pipe, bow saws in various sizes are used to cut firewood, and rip and crosscut saws are used to make lumber or cut boards.
Jab saws are useful for making holes on the interior of sheet materials or boards, and coping saws are useful for making tiny, precise straight, or curved cuts.
An axe is a must-have tool, and no home should be without one. It can be used to split wood, cut down a tree, de-bark a log for lumber, or even double as a hammer in a crisis.
I actually have two, one full-sized and one smaller, known as a “camp” or “hand” axe. During a crisis scenario, if I have to flee fast, I take the camp axe with me.
I’m not sure how many folks have asked to borrow my hammers so far, but one certain thing I know is that everybody should have a hammer.
How will you repair items around the house if you don’t have a hammer?
Remember, you can’t ask someone to come over and mend a leaking roof when things come to a halt. You’ll have to do it on your own. Hammers, just like saws, come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Sledgehammers of various sizes, framing hammers, and finish hammers can all be found in my shed.
Each has a certain function. A sledgehammer would not be used to repair a roof shingle, nor would a framing hammer be used to drive a wedge into a log. For maximum longevity, choose tools with fiberglass or steel handles.
We rely significantly on screw guns to make our work easier nowadays, but these instruments are powered by electricity. Even if you don’t have any power, you’ll still have to deal with screws.
It may take longer and need more effort to complete a task, but you should keep a good set of slotted and Phillips screwdrivers on hand.
Sets of ratchets and sockets
This is probably not what you were expecting, but these tools are priceless. I keep a set (both standard and metric) in my truck and another at home. There are so many applications for these tools that listing them all would be difficult.
Even if regular power is unavailable, things must be kept operational. People who live off the grid or who only have solar panels on their roofs will need to make repairs.
If you are fortunate enough to have backup power, you will almost certainly reserve it for things like the well pump and refrigerator. Those items must be kept operational, and a ratchet and socket will make the job much easier.
I have a toolbox full of wrenches, but nothing beats a nice adjustable wrench. They come in a variety of sizes and are ideal for getting into tight spaces where a ratchet and socket cannot reach.
With the turn of a thumb screw, you have a single wrench that fits a variety of nuts and bolts in both US and metric sizes. I have some in my truck and some around the house.
If I could only have one type of wrench, this would be it, but make sure you have a couple of each size.
I know it’s difficult to believe and comprehend, but before the introduction of electric drills, people drilled holes in things. It was done with a hand drill.
A hand drill will perform the work slowly but efficiently—as long as you have a good set of drill bits.
Hand drills are classified into two types: the “egg-beater” form, which has a side crank, and the hand brace, which resembles a squared letter “C,” with the head or knob extending above and the chuck end extending below.
A couple of automobile jacks are always useful to have on hand. Jacks can be used to lift structures, move heavy logs (fallen trees, etc.), and other heavy goods in addition to raising your car.
Although I have a floor jack, my favorites are the original scissor jacks that come with older vehicles. Look in your local vehicle salvage yard for some of these old jacks, and maintain the workings lubricated.
Shovels come in a variety of sizes and shapes, each serving a distinct purpose.
A long-handled shovel can be used for digging a latrine, building a root cellar, or turning soil for your garden (which, by the way, you’ll definitely need because food can’t be transported in).
If you live in a snowy environment, you’ll need a snow shovel to keep the snow from piling up on your roof.
Nobody is going to turn up to help you remove a stump or pry something open. You must be willing and able to do it yourself.
A crowbar is the tool for the job when it comes to removing embedded pebbles while digging your latrine, looting a structure for scrap, or gaining leverage on something heavy.
Because many people do not use these tools, they can be difficult to find. Check out yard sales or estate sales since both are fantastic places to find a variety of stuff.
These are the ten tools you should always have on hand. However, add others as you feel fit for your own situation.
Keep in mind that if something drastic occurs, you will be on your own. You should be able to handle practically anything with these ten tools.
It’s a good idea to gather them now, so you’re ready if something happens. And if you find some good discounts, it’s a terrific method to replace broken tools or use for bartering.
Stephen Harris has written this article for Prepper’s Will.
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