Learning From My Amish Neighbor, by 3AD Scout

In February of this year, our neighbor sold his two houses and business. One of those houses was sold to our new neighbors. They are Old Order Amish who still do not use any electric lights on their buggies but rather use Kerosene lamps. It has been an interesting few months watching them transform their new-to-them home to their off-grid Amish lifestyle. I was wondering how the new owners would heat the large old farmhouse and get their water since the old neighbor used electricity for such things. The previous neighbor had an outside wood furnace that supplied both heat …




Weather the Storm with Backup Power – Part 3, by E.R.

(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article.) Inverters Most of us are interested in running a few 120 volt AC appliances. The fridge, the furnace, the shallow well pump – standard AC devices that we want to keep alive during a power outage. For these we will require what is known as an inverter. Inverters take DC battery power and invert it into standard 120 volt AC household power. Inverters are available in all shapes and sizes these days. You can get off-shore-manufactured modified sine wave inverters that plug into the cigarette lighter plug in your car, rather cheaply. …




Weather the Storm with Backup Power – Part 2, by E.R.

(Continued from Part 1.) Charging Overview At a high level, the stages of charging a battery include: bulk, absorption, and float. On batteries that have been discharged deeply, there is also an equalization charge required. Bulk charging demands high current. Absorption charging requires less current but a slightly elevated voltage. Float is your trickle charge which has low current at about one volt above the stasis voltage of a charged battery. As covered in a recent SurvivalBlog article, the charge levels of flooded batteries can be determined accurately using a hydrometer. Each cell should have an equal level of charge. …




Weather the Storm with Backup Power – Part 1, by E.R

This adventure begins with a windstorm after which it took crews days to repair the severely damaged power lines. At that time we had been using a pair of old end-of-life batteries rescued from a Cummins diesel pickup truck connected to a conventional marine battery charger as our backup power. We waited all day as our freezer continued operations, powered by these old batteries. Towards dusk, I finally dragged out the generator to power the rest. Surely, there was a better way. That summer, I finally made it a priority to get solar panels installed up on the roof and …




Extending The Life of Flooded Lead Acid Batteries, by Tunnel Rabbit

The following described method is for those of us with more time than money. But this may be an increasingly valuable skill in a prolonged austere environment. Note that this pertains only to 12 VDC flooded lead acid batteries, including semi-sealed or “maintenance-free” batteries. This will be a succinct tutorial. This is an old-school method, a technique of a bygone era. It is nothing new, but old school and time-tested. I have more than 40 years of experience in the automotive world. I’ve known about this since the early 1980s. My success rate is now at 70 percent, yet how …




Providing For Your Family During Power Outages – Part 2, by B.S.V.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Unfortunately, there isn’t a good level of sun available during heavy rains. We were also beginning to lose sunlight so solar wouldn’t be all that helpful even if the skies were clear. Evaluating the EB70S powering the television, I could see that it was going to lose power overnight. We didn’t need it for information any longer, but as we were still trapped inside from significant rain, it was now our primary source of entertainment. Of course, in a dire situation we could ration that power consumption to make it last multiple …




Providing For Your Family During Power Outages – Part 1, by B.S.V.

For the last several months I have been thinking of writing an article for SurvivalBlog, but there have been so many great articles by so many knowledgeable people that I have spent most of my time learning from SurvivalBlog rather than writing for it. That changed last week (as I write this). I live in North Texas and was impacted by the storms that came through. A lot of news has, rightfully, focused on those areas where tornadoes caused damage – and there were enough of those to keep the news cycles busy. However, the news coverage was virtually non-existent …




A Glimpse of Armageddon, But Not For Me, by T.M.

Having lived in the American Redoubt for 26 years gives me hope that I chose the right place years ago to spend my final days on earth. In this article I will relate my upbringing, a story that happened on May 27, 2024, and two other incidents that occurred around this location in April, 2024 and July, 1996. These happenings demonstrate how ill-prepared the general populace is for any coming catastrophic event. We all know that absolute chaos will ensnare all major and minor urban enclaves when the SHTF. I am a 79-year-old, somewhat crippled. I have had drop-foot on …




Why I Bought a Pluggable Hybrid EV Car, by R.G.

I live in the high desert in the Southwest on a 20 acre homestead within a small farm/ranch community of 200 hardy souls. My homestead includes all the typical accouterments of a homestead including wells, septic, gardens, greenhouse, tractor, barn, and animals. I recently installed a 8,000 watt off-grid solar system. A good-sized county seat town is 20 miles away with WalMart, drug stores, grocery stores, local hardware store, courthouse, and regional hospital within that 20 mile range. An extra five road miles gets me to a Costco and big-box hardware stores. A major city is 100 miles away with …




Lessons Learned from the Alabama Ice Storm, by H.J.

Some Recent History In June 2022, we sold our house and moved to a 38-foot long 5th wheel camper. After the Christmas 2022 cold snap, my wife gave me the riot act. We had to be out of the camper by December 2023. We found a house; we liked and bought it. It is not the ideal prepping spot, but it is a town to live in. In September 2023, we started moving into the house. We were surprised how much stuff we had in the camper. For reference, we also had three storage units full of stuff. To date, …




A Water System Adventure – Part 2, by E.R.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) I used 30 amp Anderson Power Pole connectors with 12 AWG (American Wire Gauge) stranded ‘zip cord’ for the connections. I did this so that replacing any potentially failed components would be quick and easy. Do however note that 12 AWG wire, while versatile, is considered slightly large for a pump that might use only 8 amps, intermittently. The inlet of the Shurflo RV pump was connected from the outlet of the storage tote using a fitting which adapted the IBC outlet to a garden hose thread. The outlet of the RV …




A Water System Adventure – Part 1, by E.R.

Many folks might take water for granted as being a mundane issue, although readers of this blog might be the exception. No matter, please read on. Our adventure began when the municipality decided that they no longer wanted us as a customer. “To really know something, one must go directly to people with immediate experience of the situation. You can’t really know by talking with someone who has only read about it.” – “The Great Taking”, by David Rogers Webb, p xxi. I am not a professional writer. Instead, I am a strong-minded individualist who insisted on paying my own …




My Solar-Powered Ham Shack Setup, by BMB

There are many things we need to prepare for before the ball drops, (SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, or whatever term you want to use) like water, food, shelter, bullets, medical supplies, aetc. But another item I feel is very important is communication with my family group. This article is about how I got into amateur radio, how I setup my basic solar-powered ham radio shack, and how I stay in practice with my equipment in my shack. I had been interested in Amateur Radio (a.k.a. “ham” radio) since I was a little boy, more than 50 years ago. I will soon be …




Day One of TEOTWAWKI: A Written Plan – Part 4, by St. Funogas

(Continued from Part 3.) 8. Simple Electricity: Car Batteries and “Solar Generators” Car-battery electric systems are basically a DIY “solar generator” and are easily put together at a fraction of the cost of commercial ones using three inexpensive components. As mentioned, solar generators don’t actually generate electricity and are really just large portable batteries with some extra features. They’re better referred to as “portable power stations.” They can be recharged three ways: solar panels ranging from 25-100 watts, 120-v house electricity, or 12-v vehicle electricity via the cigarette-lighter plug. They’re handy for many functions such as lighting, recharging laptops, and …




Day One of TEOTWAWKI: A Written Plan – Part 3, by St. Funogas

(Continued from Part 2.) 5. Meals and Menus for Day One and First Week This may seem like a silly priority item but read on. There term “menu” is being used very loosely. My DOM Action List 1. Keep freeze-dried foods in plain sight on the table. 2. Check cabinets for other easily-prepared foods and put on the table. First and foremost: Do NOT open the fridge/freezer to get food for meals! During my 10-day preps test I lost 6 lbs (and I’m not overweight to begin with) mostly because I was so busy and didn’t want to have to …