Your team has been preparing for hard times and that’s a good thing. The news has reported that some of the systems that we take for granted have begun to fail. We don’t usually think too much about where our trash goes once we put it out to the street. The other service we usually ignore is electricity. We just flip the switch and the lights come on. Would you be ready if the lights didn’t work and the trash never gets picked up?
Your situation is that both of those services are beginning to fail. The lights blink off more these days due to brownouts. That means the lights go off for hours at a time even if there is no thunderstorm. You also noticed that when you took the trash cans out to the street the other day, no one ever came and took the trash away. This can lead to bad smells and can attract wild animals that will dig in the trash and make a mess and cause diseases.
Your mission is to find a way to provide light in your fort without electricity. What could you do to make safe light for the inside of your fort? You have several options available depending on your age and abilities. Younger survivors can locate a flashlight or LED lantern and learn how to change spare batteries.
Older survivors can choose to collect the parts to build their own survival light using batteries, wires and flashlight bulbs. You can go to the store; order parts online or even reconfigure an old light into a fun project. Do not use live electricity or dangerous components. Your mission is to learn how to use batteries, wires and small bulbs to build a survival flashlight.
Your second mission is to learn how to reuse different items that your family might toss in the trash. For example, you can use kitchen food scraps to make garden compost or start a worm farm to make garden soil. If you have small farm animals like chickens or rabbits you can feed them some of the food waste to save money on pet food.
You might be able to fix or reconfigure other things made out of plastic or metal. For example, food cans can be a camp stove or hobo drink cup if the edges are smoothed down for safety. Other trash that cannot be used for anything could be buried deep enough that animals can’t dig it up.
- Flashlight batteries
- Small wires
- Flashlight bulbs
- Electrical tape
- Wire nippers
- Scrap materials to build a project lamp
- (Alternatively) Purchase a junior electronics project kit
- Book or instructions on how to build simple electric projects for kids
- Book or instructions on how to build a worm farm or compost bin
- (Alternatively) Purchase a worm bin
- How to build a simple electrical circuit
- How to use a flashlight and change the batteries
- Electrical safety
- Basic electrical theory
- Simple construction and engineering
- How to be independent
- Self confidence
- How to overcome challenges when building things
- How to reduce waste, reuse and repair things that might be thrown away
- Alternatives to commercially purchased items
- Always have an adult help with sharp tools and things that can cause fire
- Wires and batteries can make sparks and fire be careful and do not leave batteries in projects
- Never allow wires to touch both ends of a battery or there could be fire
- Wear safety glasses
- Prevent burns
- Do not work with house electricity, it can be very dangerous to touch
- Teach children electrical safety and how to identify hazards such as frayed wires and loose plugs
- Be aware of other small children around tools and materials
- Clean up your work area when you are done