Home Survival Handbook - Survival-proof your home

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Emergency Energy

When considering energy types for survival there are several things to think about:
  1. Portability- Be sure the item is portable so the source can be moved from place to place or taken with you if needed.

  2. Fuel - For in-home use consider the newer LED flashlights and lanterns. They provide a much brighter light and last longer than the traditional flashlights of the past. Check out the items that will need batteries and make a list of the different sizes. Then keep a good assortment of batteries on hand. You may also want to consider getting a solar solar battery charger.

  3. Length of use - For long term energy, you will want a generator. This can be hooked up to the house via a quick disconnect or by using extension cords. A generator should always be run outside, never inside where fumes can accumulate. There are a wide range of generators available that vary in power and cost. To determine which generator would best fit your needs, list out your basic needs and calculate the watt's that may be necessary to start the items you want to run, ie., a water well pump versus the amount of energy needed to keep everything in the house running.

  4. Transportation - For your car and other vehicles, keep a battery charger on hand. This charger can be electric (used in conjunction with a generator) or it can be solar powered. When purchasing a solar recharger, make sure it will work with the battery it is to recharge.

  5. Other - Don't discount some of the 'old time back-ups' used by grandma and grandpa. Keep candles on hand and a stash of firewood for cooking and heat. Kerosene oil lamps and lanterns are also handy as long as you have a fuel source and don't mind the heat and smell they sometimes give off. Be sure to have adequate ventilation in any room where you may use one of these lamps.

Energy Conservation

There are many ways to save energy around the house, garage and workshop. The following are a few things one might do that are easy and in most cases don't require any purchases.

To help cut electric usage try the following:
  1. Use cold water for washing clothes
    There are many efficient cold-water detergents on the market that can be used. Consider drying your clothes outside if possible. Some neighborhoods have deed restrictions preventing clotheslines; so check before you go to the trouble of installing an outdoor clothesline. This will cut down considerably on using the electric or gas dryer, not to mention, the clothes will have a nice fresh smell.
  2. Put a timer on the water heater to have it run only when hot water is needed
    If your water heater is electric, a timer can easily be installed to set the hours for heating. If you shower and run the dishwasher in the evening, then you may find you only need to have the water heater run for 5 hours versus 24 hours.
  3. Turn off lights when leaving a room, workshop or the garage or use motion sensors to turn less used lights off and on.

  4. Have outside lights on a timer or motion sensors
    Unless you need outside lights for an activity, having them set to come on at dusk or to startle an unwanted guest, you'll find this may save you many hours of unnecessary electric usage.
  5. Use tower fans strategically placed in your home to circulate the cooled air. This will allow you to set your air-conditioner's thermostat at a higher temperature and still feel cool.

  6. If you have electric central heat, in winter heat the house for a brief period in the morning to remove the chill and then use a gas fireplace (or stove) to maintain a comfortable temperature.

  7. When baking, if possible, bake multiple dishes. This will not only save on energy but also allow you to have prepared food stored for future enjoyment

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