dreambuilderDecember 24, 2012

I occasionally watch the show Doomsday Preppers. While some of the participants are extravagant in their ideas & actions, others are very inventive in being able to live "off grid".

I'm wondering what you would consider doing to a build to make it through a prolonged power outage, other bad scenario, etc. The obvious are solar panels, a wind turbine perhaps, back-up generator (not sure if you can somehow hook that on to the batteries of the solar system surplus), a tornado shelter for those of us in the Midwest. I also would like to collect rain water and have some way to filter it. What else have you done in your builds that was perhaps "out of the ordinary" in this regard? Thanks!

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I've thought about a root cellar for when we build.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 2:58PM
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A carpenter I know whose name ended in a vowel framed in a tight and hidden second floor staircase that led to the basement and thence to a tunnel exiting into the woods 50 feet from the home. I'm not sure that Doomsday had anything to do with it.

This post was edited by worthy on Tue, Dec 25, 12 at 16:20

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Not doomsday, but we've been out of power for days several times in the last 2 years and are very glad that we have a large underground lp gas tank (only kind we can get here) and a 20kw generator which keeps the major parts of the house up and running. So we get along nicely. Probably the only mistake we made was not getting a remote starter for the thing...

Note that our 5kw of solar panels do not work without electricity...we had to hook up to the grid in order to qualify for the energy rebates, and the system needs the signal from the electrical service to sync the cycles so it can feed back to the grid seamlessly. Further, the system has a delay in it so even after the power comes back, we cannot connect to the grid immediately....a precaution so the solar panels don't accidentally back feed the system and kill a linesman.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 9:22PM
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We are planning to be able to withstand a few days without power. We'll have a big woodstove that will provide most of our heat and that won't depend on the grid, and a generator to keep the well, house fan and fridge running.

I'm not planning for an apocalypse, though, just a big storm.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 8:38AM
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He's not a doomsday prepper at all... but I know a guy who is totally off the grid.

He leads a wonderful life, but cannot leave the house for more than a day or two. Too much to keep in line/running/etc.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 1:02PM
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I can't say that I'm preparing for Doomsday, but I do believe in being prepared for emergencies that can happen to any of us anytime. Things we're planning in our house, in no particular order:

1. A gas stove -- not a cooking stove, but a heating stove in the great room -- which could provide supplemental heat in case of an electricity loss. A good one can really heat up a couple open rooms.

2. For hot weather, we'll have floor-to-ceiling windows set on different walls so that we can enjoy the cross-breezes. In non-emergencies, this will also allow us to delay turning on the air conditioning for a couple weeks in the spring.

3. A big pantry so that we can have plenty of food, paper goods, etc. stored in case we lose transportation for a while. Likewise, having basic items stored is a hedge against a personal financial crisis; even now, with our smaller pantry, if we were to lose our jobs, we would be able to eat out of our pantry (perhaps not what we want, but certainly we wouldn't have to ask others to feed us).

  1. An outdoor kitchen with a gas grill.

5. Water barrels on each downspout, which will provide water for outdoor plants -- but, if we were to lose our running water, we could purify and use for consumption.

  1. Square foot gardening squares, which allow us to grow fresh vegetables. Also, I can preserve vegetables in a couple ways -- canning, freezing, dehydrating.

7. THis is a little different, but we're planning handicapped bathrooms for our old age. I've read that the ability to bathe oneself is the first thing most people lose, so we're planning a shower with a seat and a handheld shower.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 7:02PM
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no more than three calibers firearms and PLENTY ammo (.380, .45, and 12 gauge come to mind.....) Keep it simple, but keep it plentiful

uv water purifier (inline), solar distillation, progressive tube solar water heater (google it),

solar panels, inverter, and far more batteries than you think you'll need. With all due respect to Annie, retrofit the system TO work during power failures. not hard--my 5kW inverter/batteries automatically disconnect from the grid, in accordance with UL 1751. this stipulates that the system be not able to back feed, but does not mandate the system goes down as well as the grid (which seems counterproductive, IMNSHO--WTF is the system FOR??)

sufficient ammunition to persuade your increasingly hungry neighbors to gaze longingly at those squirrels, and NOT at your pantry

hunting/fishing/and game DRESSING skills

lots of bullets.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:44PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

allahakbbq, WTF is the system for? To generate power and keep our electric bill nice and low. The $15.85 per month I pay for a good chunk of the year is nice indeed. We do not have batteries for our system...any power we generate that we don't use goes back to the grid.

We are not dooms dayers...we are retirees trying to keep energy costs as low as our income has become...

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 12:11AM
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