What are your grid-down reference resources?

I’ve recently recognized that a fair number of my preparedness resources require electricity to access, whether they’re out on the internet or just saved to my computer. While there are plenty of disaster scenarios where I might still have power, I also recognize that’s not a given—that’s a weak point in my preparation!

Naturally, the ideal situation would be to have every skill I’d possibly need practiced to familiarity, and every iota of relevant knowledge committed to memory. Let’s just say I’m not there yet. 😅

What are your reference resources that you could turn to if you didn’t have electricity? Are there certain books (or zines) you like? Have you printed hard copies of particular guides? Neighbors or community members you know you could count on? Or maybe you’ve compiled your own hand-written reference materials?

I figure building these resources out for myself could be a useful stopgap, at least until I reach the Platonic ideal of ingrained preparedness. 😜


  • Comments (11)

    • 4

      None Electricity Powered Kit

      Berkfield Gravity water filter

      Thetford chemical toilet

      Wood / coal burning stove

      Bottled Propane gas fire

      Bottled Propane gas cooker

      6 x 7KG gas bottles Propane

      12 vdc and 5vdc solar panel charger kits

      Assorted 5vdc battery packs

      Hand cranked RV washing machine

      Factual and reference books

      Archery Steps to Success. Hayward / Lewis

      Build the perfect survival kit 0-87349-967-0

      The Survivalists Patrick Rivers 0-413-31650-5

      Earth Shock Basil Booth & Frank Fitch 0-7221-1778 7

      The Nuclear Survival Handbook Barry Popkess

      Tappan on Survival Mel Tappan 0-916172-04-x

      Survival guns Mel Tappan

      The Survival Retreat Ragnar Benson 0-87364-275-9

      The Modern Survival Retreat Ragnar Benson 0-87364-980-x

      The Survival Nurse Ragnar Benson 1-58160-075-5

      Apocalypse Tomorrow Duncan Long 0-87947-089-5

      When Technology Fails Mathew Stein 1-57416-047-8

      The Coming Global Superstorm Bell and Strieber 0-7434-0888-8

      How to live Off –Grid Nick Rosen 978-0-385-61127-5

      Life after doomsday Bruce D Clayton 0-87364-175-2

      Surviving Doomsday C Bruce Sibley 07219-0780-6

      Outdoor Survival guide Hugh Mc Manners 0-7513-0644-4

      Travel Vans John Speed 99920-1-158-0 (The book for building BOVs)

      SAS Survival guide ( pocket size) John lofty Wiseman 0-00-470167-4

      Beneath the City Streets, Peter Laurie: 0586050558

      When All Hell Breaks Loose Cody Lundin (VERY VERY American)

      TRAVEL VANS John Speed (Building SUVS/ Campers)

      EMERGENCY POWER FOR RADIO COMMUNICATIONS 978-0-872-615-3 by Michael Bryce

      Preparing for OFF GRID Survival  Nicholas Hyde

      Do it yourself 12 Volt Solar Power  Michel Daniek

    • 6

      Books are very beneficial. Its a resource that you can always reference. I recently purchased The Survival Medicine Handbook, by Joseph and Amy Alton. Lets be honest,  medical care will be a top priority in ANY prepping scenario.

      • 7

        Totally agree Joseph! Over on the Best survival and prepper books article we list The Survival Medicine Handbook as one of our top picks. Having that resource available offline can make a scary and confusing situation into one that can be handled.

        Medical care is so important to be able address and understand, The Prepared recently created an Austere First Aid online course to teach how to handle situations when no other help is on the way.

      • 3

        Grid down, out, lost or gone issues are why our reference materiel should always be in book and paper form and not stored on devices that require electricity.   Our homes most vital reference material is also stored in waterproof bags or containers.

      • 6

        Oh, I have plenty of printed survival material, but for me an integral part of prepping is being prepared to generate at least some of my own electricity.  That ranges from simple folding solar panels used to charge electronics, up to full size solar panels & solar generators.

        My #1 go to book is Grandpappy’s Survival Manual For Hard Times.

      • 2

        Most of my offline reference books, PDFs, notes, and other are held on a flash drive that I can plug into my phone or laptop. I have made sure I have multiple ways to access and power it.

        Doesn’t mean it’s a perfect system and water, or an EMP could knock it out quickly but it’s small, lightweight, and with me all the time. Printing it all off comes with it’s own vulnerabilities and drawbacks.

    • 4

      Printing off articles from The Prepared?? That’s something I should do and throw them in a binder.

    • 4

      My favorites would be

      Carla Emery’s Encyclopedia of Country Living.

      Ball Blue Book

      Homemade Contrivances (reprint)

      Practical Blacksmithing (vintage)

      A set of the old Audels Builder’s Guide (ca 1920)

      Machinist’s Handbook (Graham)

      Fanny Farmer original 1890-something reprint

      You get the idea. These are mostly old or collections of old ways. I have several boxes.

      I don’t have anything by or about “survivalist” just because I’d rather have a book from the time where relatively primitive practices were common than one imagining what it might be like (but without much practical experience) and sure to be overlaid with whatever unnecessary political rhetoric.

      But, with powerful high capacity computers built to fit in your hip pocket and so easily protected from just about any damage aside from a direct hit I’d also have

      CDW3D (CDs For The 3rd World) is a huge collection of plans, diagrams, info on everything from wells to fences designed to help 3rd worlders… or end of the worlders https://archive.org/details/2012_cdw3d_dvd_set

      In fact you can download the entire mass of Wikipedia and with the cost of storage it is possible.

      Throw an old iPad or phone in an ammo can with a big fat flash drive and Voila you have the new Library of Alexandria!

      • 2

        I started my offline collection with a similar database to that CDW3D. Much of it was such poor quality or irrelevant but I went through and deleted the junk and saved the gems. Then I added some more of my own resources and references and still add to it whenever I find something good.

    • 4

      I have three books that I find very useful: The American Boys Handy Book, Handy Farm Devices and How to Make Them, and Week by Week Vegetable Gardeners Handbook. 

      The two handy books both have information on how to build different types of thingamabobs, like fish baskets, that are useful. They are in the category of never knowing what you might need. The Week by Week garden book is good for keeping track of when you can do various stuff to maximize your production but it is particularly terrific because it is oriented towards your last frost/first frost – it doesn’t assume you are frost free in April.

      If I didn’t have it rattling around in my head already, I would probably include a medical book, animal husbandry book, and/or shelter building book. If I wanted to use powered stuff – regardless of source – I would want repair manuals, wiring diagrams, and other information to make that work. (I’m mostly a non-powered person already so my preps do not include long term power.)

      • 2

        I’ve always wanted to build a fish basket. Sounds like a good set of books there.

      • 2

        I concur on Handy Devices. 

        There is another old one of plans for farm buildings but I don’t remember the name.