I think one of the main essentials we run off electricity is the fridge and maybe lights. Light can be got from other sources such as lamps and that but refridgeration is a tricky one.
My mum told me how when they used to go camping the got a basin of water in which they sat the milk over which was layed a wet tea towel, once left in a shaded area the evaporation would keep the milk cool. There has been mention of this elsewhere in the thread how evaporation can be used to cool.
In fact thats basically how modern fridges work, they evaporate a refridgerant inside which is then pumped to the back where it loses the heat it absorbed. So the electricity is just driving a pump.
So why not drive the pump in some other way, personally I don't see why some sort of hand operated pump could be used along with a well insulated fridge but thankfully there is another way.
Anyone who has a caravan might be familiar with the fact the fridge can run of electricty or gas. The first time I heard this I couldn't believe it, how could burning gas (creating heat) cause something to cool, was there a mini gas turbine behind the fridge driving a motor, seems a bit complicated.
So I googled, and here
was the result.
Heat can be used to drive the refridgerant around the cycle and in fact ingeniusly involves no moving parts (ideal for a SHTF situation as moving parts mean wear and that means repairs, whcih aren't ideal). There is no point in me explaining how it works its explained well in the link, with nice animation and all.
They are designed to run of gas but I'm sure another heat source could eb used easily enough.
These fridges are expensive enough to buy, it may in fact be cheapest to pick one up by buying a whole caravan that has a working one. Some nice bits of electrics in caravans too, inverters and that.
I'm after rambling a bit more than meant to, but thought would be of some interest to some here anyway.