Be Prepared Everywhere




About: I am a photographer, a tinker, an electronics technology engineer, and author; I write short stories and poetry for the love of writing. I started writing poetry in high school over thirty years ago where I ...

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.

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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.

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    23 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Selling your excess power to the power company isn't cheap.Hydro One charges a fee of $40,000 just to hook your system into the grid.They say it is to protect their grid.

    1 reply
    Josehf MurchisonGeorgeP70

    Reply 3 years ago

    They have lost a challenge to that over by Mansfeild when people first did it they would take the hydro and not pay for it.

    I like the Emerg in Markdale over Orangeville better treatment.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    You are very well prepared, but need a solar cooker too. In main winter I roasted meat, sausage and hamburgers, boiled noddles and made compote. The only requirement is SUN. You could cook marmalade and candy, too, at zero fuel cost.

    10 replies

    We are lucky to get 10 days sun a month in the summer. in a really good year 140 sunny days. right now our nights are 14 hours long and the days are overcast and most day time high is 0C.

    It would work if we had more sun.

    What latitude is your house? Mine is about 35°, and the solar cooker worked very well. In Spain, with about 40°, they use them.

    Shelburne Ontario is Latitude 44.09020 N Longitiude 80.2005 W and Altitude above sea level 511 m.

    The next town north of me is Dundalk Ontario Canada the highest inhabeted point in ontario altitude wise.

    WOW, you are REALLY northern. But If I were you, do a test. A mirrored surface of 1 m2 is effective here in midwinter, maybe you need 1.20 m2 or something. My "parable" was an arrangement of mirrors that converged sunlight into food. If you can use solar cooking occasionally, that day you can cook free and environmentally.


    Nice Dish, they do work on occasion and if I was still on the farm I would build one, but in town if it is not chained down kiss it good bye. You can see the cable and lock in the photo of my Coalman generator and I don’t have a lot of space.

    Yes, it is true, one of the worst limitations of a solar cooker is that it needs an open space, without near buildings nor trees, to work. Maybe a terrace...

    On the rare occasion we do get sun it starts in front of the house passes over the house and sets behind the trees behind our house so we need something you can cook in four hours and eat at lunch.

    Then there is the other problem.

    Where I live a funny thing happens if you put something out in the front yard with a sign on it saying “Free to good home” or “Free”.

    It will sit there until large garbage pickup day.

    But put something on the front yard with no sign on it and turn your back for thirty seconds, it is gone.

    I could just see me going into the house to tinkle and find my lunch gone when I get back thirty seconds later.

    turbo man

    4 years ago

    nice instructable sir

    We have been having strange weather lately.

    Blackouts are normal where I live.

    Since I lost my eyesight I haven’t been able to get work so I go out with my friend Georg Squirrel every day and bag newspapers just to get out of the house. (Since I am blind I don’t need a light to see what I am doing and he can drive before sunup.)

    A couple weeks ago we had an ice storm which is unusual this time of the year.

    I come home 6:00 am no hydro.

    Not a problem I start the coal man and the barby.

    I make myself a coffee.

    Now my neighbor a single mother with three wee ones, I go over and ask if the kids would like a hot breakfast.

    You don’t just help yourself when your prepared.


    6 years ago on Step 6

    The cheap squeeze light I got as a present turned out to be powered by a non rechargeable battery. It does work if you squeeze continuously, but doesn't charge.

    2 replies
    Josehf MurchisonBobBagwill

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 6

    change them to a rechargable If you cannot get a rechargable battery use a six volt 1000 uF cap and a 10 k resistor and pump while turned on.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    me look some thing you have me off the grid and survival and perpper to ?