Think about it—your power can go out for many reasons, not the least of which is approaching soon: winter weather. If you live out in the country, or anywhere that features slow utility companies, you’ve probably gone a number of hours without power, or even days or longer.
What can you do?
First, you can be prepared for something like this, no matter where you live, by being able to get by for a short time without power:
Have low-prep food on hand
Don’t open your fridge or freezer unless you have to do so
Store water for washing, cooking, etc.
Stock up on batteries, lanterns, flashlights, candles, and matches
Check your alternate cooking methods, like a grill or a fireplace
Don’t forget that even a gas stove depends on electricity, but you can light it by hand
In the cold, layer up, use blankets, have a woodpile near the house
All of these tips are low-tech and easy to use—most people in the modern world, however, have forgotten a lot them. Be a pioneer again!
Of course, these are fine for a few hours or even a few days. Longer than that, you’re going to have to have a more permanent plan.
Part of our “more permanent plan” arrived today. A nice little WEN generator, around 3500 watts. Now, that’s not going to run an entire house, even a small one, but it will certainly handle a well pump. The big one, the 9000-watt, will arrive on Thursday.
I did a lot of research on this, and WEN was the winner based on reliability, price, and a host of features—including a wheel kit.
Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. Oh, wait, stop, wrong scenario.
Where we’re going, power outages aren’t perhaps frequent, but it can often be many days before it’s restored—not to mention SHTF. Of course, if you’re prepping for that, you also need to be storing gasoline for the long haul, not just for a week to run the genny. Which we are, of course.
There were many discussions on the size of generator needed. My husband wanted the larger one, I was convinced we could manage with a smaller one. As a word of caution, you can’t just look at the running watts, you also need to consider starting watts—when each appliance or electricity-based item starts, it’ll suck a lot of power before it settles down to running. I get that.
On the other hand, when you look at SHTF, you’re not going to be sitting in the comfort of AC or heat, cooking elaborate meals and watching TV while you surf the ‘Net. In other words, you likely aren’t going to be using very many appliances at the same time like everyone does now:
At this moment, both my son and I have room lights turned on and computers running. The oven and microwave and a couple clocks are all plugged in, the clothes dryer is running, and the garage door is simply waiting for a button to be pushed. AT&T is running U-Verse, and several devices are charging.
When SHFT, NONE of these will be happening.
I think we could have gotten by with a 5500 or 7000, but better safe than sorry I suppose—although if cost is a factor, you need to consider that too.
Having a genny can bring about another set of problems—where to set up, when and how often to run, and of course, security. Having one when SHFT is like having a big gold brick. You certainly don’t want to advertise its presence, either by sight or sound, and living in a ‘burb or the city, it’s going to be hard to hide.
However, if you can hang onto it, it’s worth it. Any little convenience will improve you’re outlook and your chances of survival, and help make the transition easier.