Prepper Complacency, by Wood Tamer

In this writing I will be referencing Hurricane Michael. This is not just a narrative about my experiences with this hurricane but rather a reflection on my life experiences as a prepared individual, family, and neighborhood. Throughout my life I could probably be defined as an individual more prepared for unexpected events than most others. That was not necessarily by design but rather necessity and lifestyle. I was raised in a large family and we always needed to make ends meet. As an adult I have been blessed with an abundant life without much adversity or concern until I heard …




Our Path Towards Preparation, by SBC

On our curious and sometimes convoluted path towards being prepared for TEOTWAWKI, I have sometimes impressed, often confounded and occasionally amused myself and family with our brilliance and stupidity. Here follows the outline of the story of our adventure in the hope that it will inspire or amuse or warn you and help your own journey be a bit easier and the load a bit lighter. We began our journey after Hurricane Katrina when FEMA so effectively demonstrated how inadequate the federal support system was dealing with large scale disasters. So what began as a ah-ha moment of “perhaps we …




How NOT to Build a Retreat, by The Jewish Prepper, Pt. 4

(Continued from Part 3. This part concludes the series.) Final Electric Up until this point, we had been working off generator power. Flashlights and battery powered LED lights were our only light source, and a kerosene heater and an old window AC unit were our only climate control. Once I had the drywall up, the inspector signed off on permanent power. This meant I was legally allowed to have the power company hook up a line to the house. There was only one problem: they needed to be able to get a truck in to set a pole. To get …




Cutting Your Power Utility Cord, by Dennis Williams – Pt. 2

Step 4: Equipment Inverters When setting up your off-grid power system, don’t buy the cheapest inverter that you can find on Amazon! There are several excellent inverter manufacturers out there. I have some that I love, some of them are okay, and some I will not install. Keep in mind, as a professional installer, my reputation is at stake on every project I put in. There are some cheap ones that may perform well, I can’t go there. Some of the “good stuff” out there can power your retreat, automatically start and stop the generator based on battery status, and …




Cutting Your Power Utility Cord, by Dennis Williams – Pt. 1.

A Short Primer on Making Your Own Electricity Most of us have thought of the dream: A secluded retreat nestled in the woods, off the beaten path, no mortgage, no utility bills, raising our own food, homeschooling our children, spending time with our family, etc. Then we pop back to reality, and try to plan out and prioritize how we make it happen. How do we get from where we are to where we want to be? Ten seconds of background on me: I have been playing with solar energy for 40 years. I am an Army combat veteran, and …




My Mobile Alternative Energy Experiences, by Captain Steve

All of us who think about what we’d do if the Schumer Hits The Fan (SHTF) spend a lot of time exploring options. What will I do if this thing or that happens? Will I bug out or hunker down? What should I buy and place in my long term storage? I expect that like me, most who are unwilling to just sit back and hope for the best have taken plenty of steps to protect and prepare themselves for many eventualities. Over the countless hours I’ve spent researching and planning, I’ve tried to assess and make note of where …




Family Preparations for Nuclear War

Today, I’m addressing a subject that I suppose should have had more emphasis earlier in SurvivalBlog: The risk of nuclear war, and how families can plan and prepare to survive it. The Risk The risk of nuclear war is now actually greater than during the bad old Cold War. Back then, there were just a handful of nuclear powers that were divided into two or three camps. But today, there are umpteen factions and even terrorist groups with potential access to nukes. Face the facts: We live in a dangerous world. Someday, one or more of hose nukes is going …




Letter: Problem Running Multiple Generators

HJL: I hope this finds you well. I had an interesting event last week. Some critter chewed through one of my home power leads. (We have underground cable.) This caused half the house to go dark. Mostly, the part that was out was the part that runs my refrigeration. I hooked up one Honda EU2000 to the transfer switch. Two refrigerators only drew 400 watts. Nothing thawed, which was very good news. The power company was out that evening with a temporary fix and had a new cable run by noon the next day. Easy. I also rolled my Whynter …




Letter: E-85 and Generators

Hugh, I didn’t have any luck searching for this on your website. May be something you consider for a future article. How well/poorly do portable generators function using “ethanol gas” (E-10 ‘the normal mix”, and E-15 [or higher] which various lobbies seem to want to foist on us)? How about going all the way to E-85 if you can’t obtain/forage/swap for “the good stuff”? Even with stabilizers, the ethanol is very hygroscopic so goes bad fast, but what about a post-hurricane/tornado/etc. scenario where it hasn’t had to sit long in the tank? I got to thinking in the post-Maria coverage …




Letter Re: Plan “B” Power

Hugh: I got a little solar set up. I put most of the panels in a cabinet, leaving one up to “trickle charge” the batteries and keep them up. It did not work. In trying to save the batteries, I employed a Honda EU2000 with the dc charging feature. That EU2000 was how I was going to smooth over charging issues during consecutive cloudy days. The problem is, the measured voltage range between full capacity and the minimum you should tolerate is very small. The EU2000 does not have a charge controller. “Keeping an eye on the process” does not …




Sol-Ark Review, by James in Florida

Over the course of the last year, I have bought my Sol-Ark system in increments as funds became available. First, I bought the Sol-Ark “brains” followed six months later by 15 solar panels. Then, last month, I purchased 16 AGM deep storage batteries. Placement of the Sol-Ark Unit I’m the kind of guy who likes to carefully think through a project before starting it. Having read the Sol-Ark installation instructions, which are very straight-forward and uncomplicated, I decided to mount the Sol-Ark unit in my garage utilities closet. I’m fortunate that my homebuilder actually made a mistake when building my …




Ten Tips for Going Off-Grid, by A.U.

My husband and I recently bought a piece of property with some family members in the hope of transitioning to off-grid living. For those who might not be familiar with the concept, going off-grid means creating a lifestyle that does not rely on public utilities (water, electricity, et cetera). There are many different reasons people choose to go off-grid. Some of the most popular reasons are: to decrease environmental impact, to prepare for disaster, or a desire to be independent and self-sustained. We jumped into our endeavor with almost no knowledge or experience. We have had to learn some things …




Letter Re: Does EMP Affect Solar Panel Systems?

EMP Solar Panel Good day sir. The talk of EMP has greatly increased recently for many reasons you are well aware of. What would happen to either grid tied or non grid tied solar systems in this instance? What would happen to generators as well? – R.C. HJL’s Comment: Two of our Writing Contest sponsors, Portable Solar LLC and Quantum Harvest, LLC, both specialize in EMP hardened systems. You should check their sites out and also the videos that they have on YouTube. We have several other advertisers that sell Solar equipment and it would be worth your time to …




Hurricane Matthew–Some Lessons Learned

Dear Editor: Although I shouldn’t have been, I was once again amazed at the panic and last minute attempts to prepare, as Hurricane Matthew approached Florida. Florida’s geography dictates that there is only one way to travel to get out of the state, and that is north, unless you own a boat or plane.  The interstate freeways and highways get a lot of traffic and the stores get cleaned out, by hurricane refugees.  The parking lot of the Walmart that I visited was full of recreational vehicles (RVs).  Many of their owners were standing around with nowhere to go.  When …




Letter: Circling Back on My Preps

Dear Editor, My preps are in five areas, per the “group think” of SurvivalBlog. I have worked from area to area starting with what is easiest and cheapest up the ladder in each area. As I circle back I am working my way up but also looking back and questioning myself: Where did I store the extra ammo? Exactly what is in that unmarked box on my closet shelf and how might I better package to grab and go should we have to hastily migrate? Electrical items are on the agenda today. It started up with recharging the AAA-size batteries …