Introduction: Be Prepared Everywhere
Dufferin County where I live is home to one of the largest industrial wind farms in Canada, with more turbines planned, proposed and approved. But even the nearby wind turbines don’t guarantee we don’t have blackouts in bad weather.
Step 1: Backup Systems
Many of the farms near my home have wind turbines and solar panels as well as three point hitch generators the good thing about the solar panels and wind turbines is the local utilities buys the excess hydro from these systems. The down side of depending on one system no wind or not enough wind and you have no power, and the solar panels don’t generate power if it is night or overcast. That’s why multi stage systems work best as well as these systems are just too large to hang off the balcony of your condo.
Step 2: Coalman Generator
I live in town and the bylaws don’t allow me to install a windmill, large solar array, or a wood burning stove so I make due with other means of dealing with blackouts and other natural events. The size of a push mower this Coalman 3750 portable generator and two jerry cans of gas to run the refrigerator and freezer in the summer and the furnace in the winter. In the winter I can put the refrigerator and freezer outside in the cold. I could not build one for the $175.oo this one cost me. For the generator fuel, additive will make the gas last a year in storage.
Step 3: 400 Watt Inverter
This 400 watt power inverter is strong enough to run my satellite and TV, it cost me $25.oo easier and cheaper to buy than to build. This can be connected to a car battery, a boat deep charge battery, an ATV, or a riding lawnmower.
Step 4: Solar Cells
Other than the solar array I built the other 12 volt 2 watt cost me $20.oo for the pair. I use these to charge batteries for power packs.
Step 5: Power Packs
Other than solar arrays I build power packs, this portable power pack I built from components I retrieved from the garbage consists of a 12 volt 10 watt hour deep charge battery and a 200 watt inverter all of which I got from the garbage. This power pack combined with my laptop can keep me connected to the internet all evening while it charges and runs off my solar cells during the day.
Step 6: Flashlights
As well as the emergency lights I make from scanners and photocopiers, I have flashlights that don’t need batteries the little one you pump to charge up, the larger one you shake to charge up. 12 of them at $2.oo each I can’t build them that cheaply.
Step 7: Barbeque
In town the bylaws don’t allow me to install a wood burning stove so I have a propane barbeque with a stove burner and extra tanks for cooking when the hydro is out. These things fit in towns and cities as well as they fit on a balcony or patio. MOST IMPORTANTLY keep extra fuel and water on hand as well as nonperishable food at least a weeks supply.