Off the Grid or Off to Court? Cities Lean on Residents Living without Utilities

  1. GPS1504
    The goal of prepping is to be able to survive whatever life throws at us. Whether it is natural disasters, the zombie apocalypse, or electromagnetic pulse, we do what we do in order to come out alive on the other end. Though there are many obstacles we may face in our prepping efforts, we keep on keepin' on in order to be ready for when the SHTF. However, more and more in recent times the obstacles against prepping have grown to the point where the law itself is becoming quite the adversary for some.

    Although many of us currently enjoy creature comforts such as running water and electricity, there are plenty of individuals currently embracing or striving towards an off grid lifestyle. Such a way of living is a good thing in that is does not deplete the same number of our planet's resources and lessens the negative impact we leave behind. Despite reasons to embrace a life off the grid, there are places around the United States where it has been deemed illegal. People are being harassed and run off of their own property for refusing to conform to a wasteful lifestyle, which is much the opposite of what one might expect.

    Though many of us choose off grid living as a means of being self-sufficient, there is a bigger picture at stake. If everyone made the same choice, there would not be the same issues with energy shortage. Instead, we would be extending the life of this planet, and thus our species, rather than destroying it by exhausting fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas and polluting our environment. In choosing to live off grid, we could actually be delaying or even preventing some of the events for which we prep in the first place. While such a choice would seemingly be welcome, the opposite is actually proving true.

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    Photo: The Sleuth Journal

    Around the country, people are being faced with threats and harassment for adopting a self-sufficient lifestyle. Choosing to ignore this fact, cities are coming after people who choose to unplug from local utilities, plugging them into the court system instead. One such example is Tyler Truitt, a Marine veteran living in Huntsville, Alabama. Because he chooses to use solar power and rainwater, he has been threatened with arrest by the city, which has filed a lawsuit against Truitt and his girlfriend. The city has condemned his home and threatened to arrest him for trespassing if he remains on his own property, citing issues with safety and sanitation as the reason for their action.

    Tyler Truitt is not the only person experiencing such off grid resistance. Florida resident Robin Spernois has also faced legal action for her choice to live off the grid. Special Magistrate Harold S. Eskin handed down a decision preventing Speronis from living on her own property without water provided by the city of Cape Coral, Florida. Although they have consigned that it is technically not illegal to go without traditional utility power, it has been said that alternate means of power, such as solar, must be approved before being adopted. Code enforcement deemed the home of Speronis to be uninhabitable and attempted to evict her for living without utilities. She, like Tyler Truitt, is staying put, however, planning to fight for her right to live as she sees fit on her property.

    As cases such as this pop up in the media, it is hard not to contemplate the type of future that state and local government actually want us to have for the long haul. Though a popular reason given is safety and sanitation, it is tough to get past the idea that it's about money that in their eyes should be spend on utilities. While honoring the International Property Maintenance Code is a nice idea, perhaps it is time to step up and think about helping along the survival of life on this planet rather than standing in the way of it by preventing clean, off grid living.

    What are your thoughts on life off of the off grid? Have locals in your area been under fire for living without utility services such as water or power? What do you feel that means for the future of prepping? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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