Your minimal emergency electric needs

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles / Your minimal emergency electric needs)

10 Things You Will Miss Most Without Electricity At Home
17 Jul 2013,, by Ken Jorgustin
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electric light

 To go without electricity for a couple of hours is a bad enough experience for most. But imagine the horror if the power were to stay out for days, or weeks…

The resulting shock to today’s modern man (and woman) would not only be an emotional jolt, but could quickly turn into a life threatening reality for those who have not prepared for such an occurrence.

These ten things will be high on the list for most people; the things that will be missed the most based on the modern lifestyle of today’s generation…   In no particular order, food for thought, People will be forced to deal with the loss of use very quickly…

LIGHTS The most basic of luxury that electricity provides is our light at night, and even during the day. How long will your batteries last in your flashlights? Then what?

CELL PHONES Most of today’s communications revolve around our cell phones / smart phones. They are the lifeblood of our social networks and the primary means of communicating with our family and friends. How will you cope without that ability?

INTERNET AND COMPUTER This category should almost go without saying… it is probably the most relied upon resource in our modern lives today. It is crucial to our communications, our finances, and our entertainment. Many people won’t know what to do without it.

TELEVISION The typical adult watches 4 hours of television per day while the typical child watches 6 hours of television per day including their video-games. It will be a shock to the system without this distraction.

iPODS, STEREO, MUSIC I mention this category due to the observation of so many people walking around with ear-buds attached to their iPod devices while listening to their music. There will be no recharging these little entertainment devices. Like television, music is a major part of the background (and foreground) entertainment for many people.

AIR CONDITIONING, FANS, AND HEAT Many modern buildings will be uninhabitable without it, due to their HVAC design and necessity. We have lived for many decades with the convenience of air-conditioning, and being without it will be a shock. If electricity were to fail in the winter, there will be even more grave consequences.

REFRIGERATOR AND FREEZER This sole appliance is in its own category due to the important role it serves in keeping your food fresh longer and keeping you supplied with food for a time. Your frozen foods will be thawed within 24 hours and will need to be consumed immediately or tossed out. Then what?

KITCHEN APPLIANCES How will you handle first thing in the morning without a cup of coffee brewed in your electric coffee pot? Think about ALL of your kitchen appliances that run on electricity and how you would manage without them. No dishwasher?

STOVE, OVEN AND MICROWAVE The majority of people rely on an electric stove, oven or microwave for cooking their food. Let that sink in a moment…

CLOTHES WASHER AND DRYER Keeping our clothes clean is something that we completely take for granted. It would not take long for this situation to become unhealthy.

 Observations and considerations… Some of the categories listed above are really subsets of “Entertainment”. Although entertainment is not part of the survival basics (water, food, shelter, etc.,) it WILL be a major emotional factor for many people. It is a category that most people rely on for daily distraction. When things go “quiet”, it will be jarring for most who have become accustomed to the constant noise of this distraction. They will be forced to deal with the reality of their own life, and may not know what to do. It could result in a rapid escalation of chaos, particularly in densely populated areas as tempers flare while people are forced to deal not only with the loss of the distraction, but they will be forced to deal with survival itself.

Communications. My observations of the world we live in today reveal that many people, if not most, always seem to be on a cell phone talking with someone else… everywhere they go. In the car, in the store, at home, on the street, at work… It seems to reflect an insecurity of sorts. The need to be in constant contact with their circle of friends. Without this emotional outlet or constant communication, these people will have a very difficult time coping. Even if cell towers are up for awhile during a power outage, once your cell phone battery drains, that’s it… Silence.

Kitchen. You better start thinking about how you’ll manage without these electrical appliances. Do you have the ability to prepare food? Do you have food that doesn’t require much or any preparation? Think of a power outage in various time periods. While it’s pretty easy to survive a few hours or even a day or two, use your noggin and consider being without electricity for longer. Seriously… how will you survive without it?

I haven’t’ mentioned WATER until now… While this resource is number one for survival, during short term power outages you will not lose your water pressure. This will only become a critical issue if electricity is lost for a significant period of time. All water municipalities have power generators for their pumps, and so long as they can get fuel, they can keep the pumps running. A severe enough disaster however could throw a wrench in the works… use your imagination. This is similar for sewage treatment.

Hopefully these thoughts have given you something to think about. If you are inclined to become better prepared for such things, spend a day keeping track of everything that you do and see how many of those activities involve the requirement of electricity. Then imagine life without it. Figure out how you would survive without it.


B.  Batteries: How to store them, Myths and Facts
22 July 2013, by Great Northern
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Today I want to talk about some myths and facts about storing batteries, how to do it properly so that the batteries you have in your preps will last as long as possible.
First thing is first, before we talk about myths, facts and storage you need to treat your batteries just like your food preps, rotation is the key.  Just like food you need to continually use these batteries in the FIFO (First In First Out) Method, that is use the older batteries first and replace them with newer batteries etc., etc.

What are differences in Batteries?
 Alkaline:  These are the “standard” batteries that we are familiar with, the one time use disposables, however some can be recharged (however this can be chaotic in its results).

NiCad:  Using nickel oxide hydroxide and cadmium, these are rechargeable but newer technologies have made this battery nearly obsolete, however some devices cannot use newer batteries

Nominal Cell Voltage: 1.2v
Cycle durability: 2000 cycles
Charge/Discharge efficiency: 70-90%
Self Discharge rate: 10% per month

 NiMH:  Using Nickel metal Hydride, this battery is similar to the NiCad batter however it offers higher energy density than NiCad, which gives it roughly twice the capacity of the NiCad.  NiCad’s also suffer from what is called “memory” that is the battery will lose capacity when the batteries are recharged after only being partially discharged.  NiMH can also suffer from this but not as sever as NiCad.

  electric eneloopLithium Ion: these batteries produce the same power as NiMH but weigh 20-35% less, they also do NOT suffer from the Memory effect at all.

Nominal Cell Voltage: 3.6/3.7v
Cycle durability: 400-1200 cycles
Charge/Discharge efficiency: 80-90%
Self Discharge rate: 8% @ 69.8 degrees, 15% @ 104 degrees,  31% @ 140 degrees

 Personally I prefer the Sanyo Eneloop NiMH since they seem to have proven to me and through other reviews and studies to be one of the best rechargeables out there.  They are a Low discharge battery that means they lose their charge at a extremely low rate (holding roughly 90% of their power if stored properly).  The Eneloops also charge close to their rate capacities (around 1970mAh – 2000mAh).  Although they are more expensive upfront they last longer and overall are cheaper

electric chargerHowever I would recommend the Power Ex MH-C9000 Wizard One charger which is a “Smart Charger” which analyzes the batteries discharge rate and charges them accordingly to make sure the battery doesn’t suffer from the “memory effect”  these can easily be used with a small solar charger and inverter.

Regardless of what battery charger you get, make sure its a “smart” charger and the maximum charge rate shouldn’t exceed 1/3 the rated capacity of the battery, in the case of the Eneloop (2000mAh) this rate should be 700mAh.  If you can set the chargers discharge rate set it at 100mAh.

MYTH: Storing batteries on concrete will “suck” the energy out of it, i.e. it will discharge its stored energy and die.
In the past car batteries were glass jars stored in a wooden case, the moisture on the floor would swell the wood and fracture the glass, so this was true.  Later as plastic cases were used the plastic was still porous and allowed electrical current to conduct through the container to the moist concrete, so thus this was still true.  Today car batteries use a polypropylene which is highly isolative and are not subject to this.  In the end, todays batteries are fine to be stored on concrete, but will still discharge regard of where they are stored, so rotation and use is still the rule of today.

FACT: Storing them in a Freezer/Fridge will make them last longer.
Well this is a mixed message, while energizer and other manufacturers say “not to”, reviews and test show this to be untrue.  Colder temps slow the discharge rate but with Alkaline batteries it is a slightly reduced rate, not really worth the time and space used.  NIMH batteries can see a useful bump in their capacity retention, but with the advent of Low Discharge NIMH batteries it is unneeded.  If YOU DO freeze them make sure you allow them to warm to room temperature before you use it.

electric battery storage

Whats the best way to Store them?
Store your batteries around 59 degrees in a dry area, guess what else you store in a cool dry place– your food preps, so just store your batteries in the same area as them.  It is recommended that every 6 months you discharge them fully and recharge them fully (for NIMH low discharge batteries).

For Lithium Ion Batteries store at room temperature in a dry place and charge to about 20-50%, and charge them about once a year to prevent overdischarge.

Store NiCad at room temperature in a dry location and charge at least once per year to prevent leakage and deterioration of performance.

I keep around 50 NIMH Eneloop AA and around 15 Eneloop AAA batteries, which I rotate through, all year as needed.  I also have some rechargeable D, C and 9 volt batteries as well for batteries and other applications, however I have yet to purchase any solar panels, it is high on my list, but the budget is the budget.  I also keep about 3-4 of those Costco packs of Batteries in the house for use as well.



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