PREPARING FOR THE INEVITABLE:
Everyone has experienced some form or level of public utility outage. It's inevitable. During those times, maybe some notes were taken to prepare for the next inevitable outage? If not, here are some things to consider doing and acquiring before the next outage:
Extra batteries for flashlights, battery-operated fans, portable radio
Hand-crank power generator for USB-powered devices such as cell phones
Candles for light
Sterno, propane, charcoal for cooking and/or heat
Matches or lighters to light candles, Sterno, propane, charcoal
Blankets or clothing for warmth
Gas and/or Propane powered generator (2000 watts or more) with AC outlets for critical electrical appliances. Add appliance wattage (amps X volts = watts) requirements to obtain the appropriate sized generator. Keep enough fuel on hand to fill it several times. Test run it at least every 6 months. For storage, add a fuel stabilizer to gas-powered units to reduce gas line damage and turn off the fuel source and run it until it dies to remove fuel from the gas line.
Next outage, take note of what wasn't available and get it before another outage; you know it's going to happen.
HARNESSING THE POWER OF NATURE:
With few exceptions, the use of Solar, Wind, and Water (Hydro) to generate power requires several components, not the least of which are batteries. Batteries store the power, that is harvested from these resources, to power your appliances. Generally, direct power from these natural sources is not enough to power appliances so power must be stored and/or converted. Refer to our DIY Power Setup that can be applied to any of these natural sources of power. If gas becomes scarce or unavailable, these will still be around:
Solar Wind Water (Hydro) Human
MAKE YOUR OWN METHANE (BIOGAS): Building a Methane Biodigester will harvest methane fuel for heating, cooking and gas powered equipment or vehicles and fertilizer for your garden. There are a lot of resources for this on the web but serious research is recommended before beginning this kind of project. The product is 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide and, in the right concentrations, is highly explosive and extreme care is needed. It can, and will, kill you if the necessary precautions are not taken. 60% methane can be used to generate electricity or used for heat or for fuel for vehicles. It can be very safe and affective but double-check everything and never store any of this in a house or other enclosed area. Although methane is derived predominantly from non-renewable sources, methane can also be obtained by the anaerobic digestion of wastes (renewable sources unlike gasoline from non-renewable petroleum). Anaerobic digestion of wastes provides biogas. Any animal manure, human sewage or food waste will produce methane during anaerobic digestion. Click Here for additional information on this topic.
GAS (fossil and propane) POWERED GENERATORS:
Fossil fuel generators will not be practical when fossil fuel resources become scarce, however, a propane-powered generator may still function with Methane gas.
Refer to our Post on Generators.