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Showing posts with label Solar Power. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Solar Power. Show all posts

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Power in the Collapse or Collapse Because of Lack of Power

Two recent pieces of information came out to prompt me to write about each Prepared Family to have a plan on how power sources for their survival during a collapse. And like the title above suggests, if the U.S. Grid is shut down, the collapse will follow.

First, we have the Federal Government warning about power outages. This in and of itself would not raise too many concerns, but in the words of the Government " Be prepared for power outages as we rely on electricity and other utilities for survival, so when we lose power it’s a major problem. A power outage compounds the impacts of a natural disaster and increases anxiety. Having a way to communicate with family, friends, and coworkers is imperative.

The Government goes on to suggest these tips:

Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out and ensure you have extra compatible batteries for any device that can run on battery power (i.e., cell phones, portable phones, medical or assistive devices, radios). Consider purchasing hand-crank and solar-powered chargers.

Keep your car gas tank at least half full. Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. You’ll also have a good method for charging devices in an emergency or, if necessary, moving to a location with power.

Never use a generator, gasoline-powered equipment and tools, grill, camp stove, or charcoal burning device inside or in any partially enclosed area, including a basement or garage.

Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors or electric detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home and outside of bedrooms to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide, which is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and potentially deadly gas. Plan to always keep a generator outdoors.

And finally, a friendly word from the Government about communications, which would be sorely affected by a collapse of the Grid,......Don't wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.

During an emergency, communication is critical. We want to know that our family is safe and taken care of. We need to let our family, friends, and coworkers know we’re okay, and be ready to help our fellow citizens by fulfilling the DHS mission. Having a family emergency communication plan with key phone numbers and other information readily available is important.

And then from USA Today, a report that "Attackers successfully compromised U.S. Department of Energy computer systems more than 150 times between 2010 and 2014", from a review of federal records obtained by USA TODAY finds.

Cyber attackers successfully compromised the security of U.S. Department of Energy computer systems more than 150 times between 2010 and 2014, according to a review of federal records obtained by USA TODAY.

Incident reports submitted by federal officials and contractors since late 2010 to the Energy Department's Joint Cyber security Coordination Center shows a near-consistent barrage of attempts to breach the security of critical information systems that contain sensitive data about the nation's power grid, nuclear weapons stockpile and energy labs.

The records, obtained by USA TODAY through the Freedom of Information Act, show DOE components reported a total of 1,131 cyber attacks over a 48-month period ending in October 2014. Of those attempted cyber intrusions, 159 were successful.

"The potential for an adversary to disrupt, shut down (power systems), or worse … is real here," said Scott White, Professor of Homeland Security and Security Management and Director of the Computing Security and Technology program at Drexel University. "It's absolutely real."

Energy Department officials would not say whether any sensitive data related to the operation and security of the nation's power grid or nuclear weapons stockpile was accessed or stolen in any of the attacks, or whether foreign governments are believed to have been involved.

"DOE does not comment on ongoing investigations or possible attributions of malicious activity," Energy Department spokesman Andrew Gumbiner said in a statement.

In all cases of malicious cyber security activity, Gumbiner said the Energy Department "seeks to identify indicators of compromise and other cyber security relevant information, which it then shares broadly among all DOE labs, plants, and sites as well as within the entire federal government."

The National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-autonomous agency within the Energy Department responsible for managing and securing the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, experienced 19 successful attacks during the four-year period, records show.

While information on the specific nature of the attacks was redacted from the records prior to being released, numerous Energy Department cyber security vulnerabilities have been identified in recent years by the department's Office of Inspector General, an independent watchdog agency.

After a cyber attack in 2013 resulted in unauthorized access to personally identifying information for more than 104,000 Energy Department employees and contractors, auditors noted "unclear lines of responsibility" and "lack of awareness by responsible officials." In an audit report released in October of last year, the Inspector General found 41 Energy Department servers and 14 workstations "were configured with default or easily guessed passwords."

Urban Man's comments: What this all means is that the prepared survivor must plan for life without the electrical grid. Best case is a completely solar powered home backed up by a fuel generator and wind mills generating electrical power, but alas, only the richest can afford this. 

For the economy prepper this means have battery powered devices with common batteries and a goodly amount of rechargeable batteries - they make them in almost all sizes now. I have six sets of re-chargers that I can power from as 12 volt source (vehicle battery or cigarette plug adapter) and from folding solar panels. 

I have a several solar kits still in the box and keeping them that way in case I have to bug out. my next big purchase will be a power source 1800 Solar Generating unit, which like the name suggest, is capable of generating 1800 watts of power at peak and is re-charged through a 100 watt solar mobile panel. Just get prepared people!

Urban Man

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Questions on SHTF Bug Out

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post Urban Survival Planning – Reconnaissance and Security: "I live in Arizona and will be here another three years. If/when SHTF, I plan to be prepared. Got a decent amount of stuff and will be fairly good soon. However, my buddy has family on the east coast which would be a good getaway, but that distance seems rather daunting in most situations. I guess you never know what the situation at hand will be, but I'm trying to figure out do I invest in the more costly items for survival such as a $1,000 generator, etc., or sort of do what I gotta do for 3-6 month span and then take it from there? Living in the city is the worst part. I think that is what my biggest concern is. Aside from gun and ammo, there's not a whole lot else one can do for safety. Any other ideas for safety? Thought about a camera for outside monitoring."  

UrbanMan's reply:  Good questions. A long journey from Arizona to the East Coast is possible, but  improbable depending upon the collapse situation. Best case is that you see the collapse coming and complete your journey afbefore the worst of it hits. Given that this would be a 4 day trip, minimum at best, the situation - especially the security situation - could deteriorate during the middle of your trip forcing you to stop at a time and place detrimental to your safety. This would, of course, have to be considered before leaving. Everything from mass migration of refugees, to government martial law, and expected travel restrictions could strand you. In a total collapse I would envision bands of armed gangs, or at least desperate individuals, conducting ambushes on likely transit routes.  I would expect smaller communities would probably man road blocks for their own security forcing traffic to take different routes.

Fuel would be problematic. Two years ago, while a friend of mine was overseas, I was “on-call” to travel 860 miles (one way) to pickup his family and transport them to my Bug In location....hopefully before the collapse hit hard.  I figured I would have to have a full tank of fuel plus eighteen 5 gallon fuel cans to make the trip. If I could get fuel on the way, great,....if not, then I could make it there and back, barring accidents, road blocks, gangs, etc. My point being if you were planning on a long distance trip, I would want to begin that trip with enough on board fuel to make it to where I was heading without relying on luck or someone else’s kindness to sell or barter the fuel to me.

As far as the generator goes, those are great assets when or if you have the fuel to run it.  I have a hoard of empty fuel cans which I will fill as indicators start indicating the need.  I always maintain a small amount of fuel which I routinely change out.   But stored fuel will eventually run out.  I personally have solar panels. I use both small, portable solar panels to re-charge 12v vehicle batteries and chargers for AAA and AA re-chargeable batteries for my lanterns, flashlights, weapons lights, and radios. I have a larger solar power generator that can be easily loaded into a vehicle and taken with us when/if we bug out. I am just not going to depend upon being able to find fuel, either at the beginning of the collapse or several months into it. Plus fuel breaks down, so these movies and books where the hero finds a vehicle that was abandoned years before and he siphons the fuel and uses it, it is a little farfetched. Check out the Power Source 1800 Solar Generator.

As far as security, nothing works like physical barriers and active armed (and trained) observers.  Technology neeeds to be exploited to make life easier for us and to cover any operational requirements we may have. A game camera or home security camera that detects or senses movement then sends that photo to an e-mail or as picture mail to your cell phone is a fairly cheap and easy solution. Solar powered motion detection flood lights work good as also. Be sure to mount these so you can easily dismount and take with you when/if you have to bug out.

Good luck,..plan and prepare well. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Solar Power Comments

ALEX has left a new comment on "Survival Chronicles of Jim - Chapter 24 Dry Run": "Ever think about a small solar panel like the ones you can plug into a car that is going to be sitting to keep the battery fresh? I'm thinking about getting one along with a small sealed 12v battery like the ones inside of a portable jumpstarter. They can both be found on eBay or Amazon fairly cheap.

This way anything you can charge from your car you could charge from this setup and recharge via the sun. My plan is to have this in my B.O.J. (Bug Out Jeep) so the portable battery can be charged from the jeep until I need to continue on foot then I could put the battery in my BOB with the small solar panel on the outside of the bag to charge the battery if need be. I found a 5w panel I like for around $40 on amazon and I kinda think that should work to charge the battery in a full day of sunlight. as for the weight of the battery its not that heavy but ounces equal to pounds and pounds equal to pain. but if you want to charge batterys cell phones gps flashlights run a cb or ham radio or any other thing like that it could be a nice setup.......unless theres an EMP and all your shit gets fried....but at least you tried lol."

UrbanMan replies: Alex, I have several solar panels from a 62 watt folding panel for my BOB up to larger ones for my Bug In site that I can rapidly disassemble and pack for a planned Bug Out. On the vehicles, most of us have solar trickle chargers. I don't know how long how long or even if one of these would charge a fully discharged battery or even one with a substantial reduction of charge.

I have several re-chargers for AA and AAA rechargeable batteries that I can run off my vehicles 12v system, as well as charging for cell phones. I think that post-collapse, cell towers will be up for awhile due to many of them having solar systems themselves as well as fuel generators for power outages.

On my larger solar panels, I can charge 12v vehicle batteries. From which I can run a power inverter to convert the battery power to 110v.

I actually have three sets of mobile solar panels, each with three panels and a simple framework of 2x4 lumber so I can move the panels throughout the day to acquire the best angle at the Sun. I recently saw pictures of where a gent mounted solar panels on a dolley type cart to make moving them around much easier. Great idea, we are considering that now.

One of the members of my group has a solar generator from MySolarBackup, which is a 1800 watt power generator powered by a 90w solar panel. We have cross loaded some of our major equipment and this unit is staying at this families house, which is our backup Bug In site, just in case.

And speaking of Jeeps, have you seen the new Jeeps being offered? I really like the cab over especially with the enhanced ground clearance. I would love to have one of those!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Survival Preparation - Power Solutions for Bug Out Site

Received this e-mail question: "My brother and I are preparing our old abandoned farmhouse as a Bug Out location for his family and mine. We're doing all the things that everyone else is doing. We have an advantage is that we are both woodsmen and hunters and have plenty of guns. Both our wives can garden goods. We already cleared two areas, one 3 acres and the other almost an acre for our garden. We don't buy any of that prepared food but we buy alot of dry goods and canned food. We plan on continuing to work on the farm, but live in town about 3 hours away as we needs our jobs. Our farm house has a well that water is brought up by hand (no pump). We also have a stream about

1/2 mile away that has no fish but runs full year. We are planning on buying a couple water pumps and above ground storage tanks but cannot decide on either a fuel generator or a solar generator. What should we be considering? It will primarily be used for the well and to recharge our batteries for the lanterns."

UrbanMan’s reply: Sounds like you have a great Bug Out location depending how far from the nearest population center you are; any nearby prisons; and possible evacuation and refugee routes.

I would really have a hard time making either my primary or sole power source being a fuel generator. Just too dependant upon fuel and will have maintenance issues with too much use, or too little use and oxidation from the fuel. I would look at solar and look at establishing a depth of solar capabilities from charging small systems to as large as you can afford.

A larger solar charging system such as the PowerSource 1800 Solar Generator which is probably the largest and high performing portable solar power system available. Technology is always changing so it pays to looks around.

A friend of mine bought a PowerSource 1800 to power his well pump to fill his holding tanks. He has two 400 gallon tanks outside of his cabin which are gravity fed into the cabin. He also powers a set of lights in his cabin as well as a small refrigerator. He, like me, also has some smaller wattage and cheaper solar systems, bought from wholesale hardware stores, to power re-chargers for his batteries. We both have several battery recharging stations for AA and AAA batteries for our radios, lanterns and flashlights.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Another Portable Solar Solution, Guide 10 Power Pack

When most people think of solar power they envision larger solar panel's on roof tops providing power to lights or refrigerators. has written several times about the need to consider alternative power sources in depth, meaning having the capability to recharge and/or power items at your Safe location and on the move.

Power requirements in a base camp setting will be much bigger than when you are on the move simply because of size constraints and time restraints.

I have several solar power options. One large, really non-manportable (unless in a vehicle) solar power system that charges deep cycle batteries for use with a power inverter so 110/115v tools can be used and small appliances such as refrigerators can be powered.

My other man-portable solar charging systems is a fairly expensive (around $1,000) kit that I can carry in a Bug Out bag or a rucksack in order to charge radio, flashlight and lantern batteries when I am on foot. recently found out about another small man-portable solar panel provider from a company called GOAL ZERO.

From their website, GOAL ZERO states they are innovators of portable solar power systems that power a variety of USB, AC and DC devices anywhere and at anytime. Providing a perfect blend of portability, power, and ease-of-use, GOAL ZERO products feature full solar energy systems -solar panels, power packs and accessories - each designed to work in concert with each other.

Guide 10 Power Pack
Guide 10 Power Pack is an Ultra-Lightweight USB solar charging system that fits in your pocket. Use as a single unit power pack to power your device or as a power source to recharge the batteries for use in AA or AAA battery powered devices. Recharge you cell phone 1-3 times per charge with the Guide 10 Power Pack. Charge up the Guide 10 Power Pack with the Nomad 7 Solar Panel in 1.5 hours or via USB in 6 hours.

The Guide 10 Power Pack consists of two components:

Guide 10 Battery Pack
- Charge AA/AAA batteries from the sun in 1.5 hrs with Nomad 7 solar panel
- Recharge your cell phone 1-3 times per charge
- Built-in LED flashlight that runs 20+ hours per charge
- Stores power for charging devices day or night
- Very small, about the size of a cell phone
- Can also charge via USB
- Includes 4 pack of AA rechargeable batteries
- AAA Battery insert available with AAA battery purchase

Nomad 7 (folding) Solar Panel
- Collect 7 watts of power from the sun
- Use solar power with USB or 12V devices
- Solar charge cell phone is 1 to 2 hours
- Protect devices with built-in pocket
- Foldable rugged design
- Weather resistant

Watch the video below to learn more about this manportable solar charging technology.

For more information contact:

Goal Zero
14864 Pony Express Road
Bluffdale, UT 84065
phone: 1.888.794.6250
web site: