Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Power)


Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Camping (ca 2012)
photograph by
Andrew Filer

Highspeed
Have you seen those Goal Zero Portable Power Stations? You know, the ones that are selling for one, two, and three thousand dollars.

How about those, so-called, Solar Powered Generators?

Pretty cool, aren't they?


Needs
Now, ... Before I begin, we need to talk about 'Needs!'

That's right. What do you need to survive tough times?

By now, you know the answer. A brain that has been trained to think about survival, an emergency evacuation plan with an emergency evacuation kit, a smoke and carbon monoxide detector (checked once a month and batteries replaced once a year), a place (be it a tent, yurt, cabin, front room, or ...) that is warm and dry or cool and dry, several gallons of water for everyone in the family (including pets and livestock), several weeks of food (again, including pets and livestock), a medical kit with any required medication, a defensive firearm (usually a handgun with ammunition and any required cleaning supplies and carrying equipment), sturdy footwear and clothing for any extreme weather in your area of the world, a weather alert radio with AM/FM capability, reliable transportation and ...


Power
For most preppers, planning for a short term event (one to three days), we are going to depend on AA and D sized batteries for our power needs because they are relatively inexpensive and plentiful. Plus, we only need them for a few flashlights and one or two radios.

The flashlights will provide 'safe' lighting for you and your children to go from room to room, during a power outage. They will also allow you and your partner to walk around, checking on the house, your vehicle, the pets and livestock, and possibly the neighbors.

I like purchasing the Mag-lite Mini when they are on sale, at Christ's Mass time, especially the L.E.D. Minis because they have double the battery life of the standard Minis. Plus, these two lights will standardize your battery supplies, so you can use them in your weather alert radio and AM/FM radios, too


Oooh, ... Midland is probably the largest suppliers of the standard weather alert radios with Kaito leading the way with the combination radios. You know the flashlight, AM/FM, weather alert, cellphone charger, ...

For medium-term needs (two weeks to three months), you and your family are going to have to modify your lifestyle. You know, the one that when you want light, you flip a switch then pay a bill at the end of the month.

For light, heat and cooking, you're probably not going to be able to store enough batteries to supply your needs, so you're going to use alternatives.


Light
Before I begin, you're still going to be able to use batteries in the lower time frames for light because your family can ration batteries to a few minutes of use each day by going to bed when the sun goes down.

But, ... The longer time frames will require you to use alternative fuels like kerosene and propane.

For kerosene lamps, there is only one brand, Aladdin Lamps, but they are expensive. Plus, there is a learning curve to using them.

Not really, there are other brands

Coleman has quality kerosene and propane lamps. One even uses unleaded fuel.

Either way, you need to store extra mantels because they are delicate.

If you want to stay away from delicate mantles, another type of lamp is the classic flat wick kerosene lamps, like Dietz or Kirkman, but don't make the mistake thinking these types of lamps are carefree. They require care.


Heat
If you're lucky, you and your family already use propane in a 100, 250 or 500 gallon tank for heating. All you need to do is store more fuel and have a method of providing power for the blower and automatic igniter.

For the rest of us, we are going to have to use other methods, like the Little Buddy, Portable Buddy, and Big Buddy portable propane heaters, from Mr. Heater.


Cooking
For cooking, you and your family can use a propane grill, using 20 pound (5 gallon) cylinders, just like you do every summer. All you have to do is store enough cylinders to last the length of the disasters, you and your family are trying to survive. Just make sure to store the fuel in an outbuilding, away from your home and your neighbor's house.

You can also use liquid fuel, like unleaded gasoline in the Coleman dual fuel stove. Plus with a propane converter, you and your family can use this stove with propane, so you have several options for fuel.


Safety
You know the deal, safety, safety, and ... more safety when using these items. Keep the kids and animals away from these devices. Keep the devices away from flammable items, like curtains, dish towels, bed linen, trees, and ... your overhead awning.

Don't laugh, a neighbor nearly burnt their house down when the husband decided to grill under their wooden deck, during a rainy summer day.


Long-Term
If you have been reading me, these last few years, you know my family and I are getting ready for a long-term event, usually measured in years, so you are going to have to change your lifestyle for these events, modify your home, and ...


Lifestyle
Like most families, you flip a switch to turn on a light, turn a knob to cook, and push a lever to heat and cool your home. In tough times, you might not be able to do that.

So, ...

You're going to have to modify your lifestyle by looking at what do you really need (Yeah, I'm repeating myself, but this is important for a long-term event) when it comes to light, heat and cooking.


Heating and Cooking
For some families this means installing a metal box stove and storing a year or two supply of seasoned wood to heat their home and cook their food, possibly building an elaborate outdoor kitchen with a 250 gallon propane tank, pizza oven, and learning to cook with this equipment to cook their food, building a home with several fireplaces, installing more insulation to keep the house warmer with less energy while installing a solar voltaic system to run the fireplace and ceiling fans.


Lighting
Lastly, the whole reason this article was started.

You and your family may want to build a so-called solar-powered generator to provide lighting for your family, so you can extend the day to study for school, get ready for work, or ... play a game to keep connected to your children and partner during tough times.


Lastly, ...
Do you and your family have other methods, not mentioned, or tips for providing light, heat, and cooking your family's food during an event.


P.S.
One more thought, ...

You can purchase all of these items from less expensive sources, from internet retailers, on sale in local stores, or really cheap from a charity store.

Don't believe me.

I have purchases two Midland weather alert radios, for $4.99 ea, from a local big name charity store ; - ) 


Links:
Rain.org  - How to Make a Solar Power Generator for less than $300
http://www.rain.org/~philfear/how2solar.html

Note: The above site will sometimes hop to another site. just close it and click the link, again

Conserve Energy Future - How To Build a Solar Power Generator
https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/How-Build-Solar-Power-Generator.php

Survialist Prepper - How to Build a DIY Portable Solar Generator
https://survivalistprepper.net/how-to-build-a-diy-portable-solar-generator/

SHTF blog - How to Build a Solar Energy Generator for Emergency Backup Power
https://www.shtfblog.com/how-to-build-a-solar-energy-generator-for-emergency-backup-power/

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