What You Actually Need to Know About Emergency Power on Your
Survival Prepper Homestead
Generators and solar panels provide essential power, particularly during severe weather conditions or when the grid fails. These methods enable you to power individual devices or your entire house independently without relying on the electric grid.
While this is vital for those seeking long-term survival solutions, such as homesteading enthusiasts, it is equally important for suburban homeowners facing power disruptions due to ice storms, blizzards, or extreme heat waves.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, meaning I will get a small commission for qualifying purchases at no extra cost to the buyer.
Generators and solar power have advantages and disadvantages, but you don’t have to choose between them. By setting up the right system, you can combine both methods to power your home effortlessly, providing instant peace of mind during power outages.
Smaller generators, those providing less than 1,000 watts, are suitable for powering minor necessities such as phone chargers and lights. However, in a survival scenario where you need to power your entire shelter, these may not suffice.
w/CO Alert, 50 State Approved
- Control center with a digital multimeter, push-button start, and a front-facing fuel interface allowing you to change your fuel type in seconds.
- This generator runs on gasoline or propane, giving you the freedom and flexibility of fuel choice.
- Equipped with DuroMax “CO Alert Technology” that will automatically shut down the generator if an unsafe level of carbon monoxide is detected.
- Powerful 460cc OHV DuroMax engine and features ALL COPPER WINDINGS designed to make your generator last for years.
- Four 120V GFCI household outlets, one 120V 30AMP outlet, one 120/240V 30AMP twist-lock outlet, and a heavy-duty 120/240V 50AMP outlet making it transfer switch ready.
The power required to keep your shelter functional depends on numerous factors. These include the size of your shelter, the efficiency of your appliances, and what you deem essential to keep powered during a blackout.
Read this – 8 Ways To Generate Power Off Grid
For instance, a 5,000-watt generator might cover your heating, lighting, and kitchen appliances during an outage. But if you desire to maintain normal operations with all your devices switched on, it could necessitate more power, possibly around 7,000 watts.
Efficient Planning is Crucial
Figure out your shelter’s average power draw. This information will be invaluable when selecting the right generator for your
Method for Estimating by Year
Examine your annual kWh usage typically listed on your electric bills to find the total watts used per hour per year.
Estimating Usage By Day and Hour
For daily usage, take your overall kWh and divide it by 365. Further, divide this by 24 to determine your hourly usage in kilowatts
- DUAL FUEL: Operate your 7500-watt portable generator right out of the box on either gasoline or propane. Plus, the unit holds 1.2 quarts of oil (included) and has a low oil shut-off sensor.
- ELECTRIC START: Power up the 439cc Champion engine with the handy rocker switch, battery included.
- INTELLIGAUGE: Keep track of voltage, hertz, and run-time hours to monitor power output and track maintenance intervals easily
- POWERFUL: At 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts on gasoline and 8400 starting watts and 6750 running watts on propane, trust Volt Guard built-in surge protector to prevent overloads
- CHAMPION SUPPORT: Includes a 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
- Gasoline Starting Amps at 120V: 78.1A.Gasoline Starting Amps at 240V:35.1A.Gasoline Running Amps at 120V:62.5A.Gasoline Running Amps at 240V:31.3A
It’s worth noting that generators should never be operated inside your shelter or home. Typically, they are powered by gasoline engines that generate electricity. Running them indoors could expose you to harmful carbon monoxide, compromising your survival. Consider using extension cords or a transfer switch to utilize your generator safely.
Relying on extension cords from the generator may not activate specific components like built-in lighting systems or other elements not connected directly to the plugs. This is a crucial consideration when planning your
Having a stock of various replacement parts for your generator is essential. Whether it’s a cheap spark plug that fails or other components that wear out, being prepared will prevent you from being left without power when you need it the most.
with CO Alert
- Tri Fuel Technology: Runs on gasoline, propane, and natural gas for your fuel choice. Gasoline may be readily available. Propane is a cleaner burning fuel, cost-effective, fuel efficient, and long shelf life. Natural gas has a potential unlimited fuel supply and hooks up directly to your home’s gas line. Engine Speed: 3600 RPM, Oil Cooling Type: Splash.
- Home Power Backup Ready: With 13,000 watts, the XP13000HXT will power your lights, appliances, AC system, and other household essentials with ease during a storm or power outage. It has a 50 amp plug that hooks up directly to your home via a transfer switch.
- Powerful 500cc OHV Engine: Robust DuroMax engine designed to provide you with the most power.
- CO Alert: CO Alert technology turns off the generator automatically when an unsafe level of carbon monoxide is detected.
- Push Button Start and Remote Start: Turn on your generator with a simple push of a button, or use the remote to start your generator from a distance.
- Fully Loaded Power Panel: Equipped with a variety of outlets, including four 120V 20A GFCI outlets, one 120V 30A twist lock, one 120 / 240V 30A twist lock, and one 120 / 240V 50A HEAVY DUTY outlet.
With the right parts readily available, you can swiftly make repairs and have your generator up and running again. Some generators require more frequent replacement of specific parts, such as gaskets that can deteriorate in cold weather.
Additionally, more complex and costly components wear out gradually over time. Even with regular maintenance, certain parts will eventually need replacement.
The expansion and contraction caused by seasonal temperature changes can cause gaskets to break, regardless of how well you care for your generator.
The secret ingredients for its long-lasting endurance are looking after your generator and timely parts replacement. By regularly maintaining and promptly replacing parts, you can trust your generator to be a faithful companion in any situation. But why wait for a crisis to strike? Stay ahead of the game by actively preserving your generator’s peak condition, ensuring uninterrupted power no matter what comes your way. 💡⚡
Ensuring You’re Ready for the Unexpected
One thing’s for sure regarding replacements – they will be necessary at some point. That’s why it’s crucial to equip yourself with the know-how and the supplies required to make those repairs.
Finding guides online for replacing specific parts is usually a breeze.
The Power of Having the Right Tools
Having the right tools at your fingertips is equally essential. Make sure you have all the tools required to disassemble your generator as much as needed. Even if you’re not entirely confident in your ability to use them, it’s better to have them ready than to be caught unprepared.
Preparing for the Worst
If the weather worsens and your power goes out, it’s doubtful that you can venture out safely to a hardware store to get the replacement parts you need. This is especially true in severe conditions like heavy snowfall. That’s precisely why it’s so crucial to have those parts on hand well in advance.
Remember: Being prepared is the key to weathering any storm!Survive first. Live later.
The first and most apparent supplies are canisters that safely store your required fuel. Generators all run on different kinds of fuel, whether gasoline, diesel, or propane. Either way, you must keep a decent amount of fuel on hand to keep your generator running.
Proper storage of fuel is essential. Gas cans are correctly designed to retain the fluid for long periods. Other containers not meant for gasoline or diesel storage shouldn’t be used, as they could break down easily over time. It’s also a good idea to have different colored cans to differentiate between gasoline and diesel.
Since it is an engine, you’ll also need to change its oil. This isn’t difficult, so don’t let it scare you off. You will need to buy the oil, though, so it’s worth keeping a small stock of oil on hand so you can always use it when you need it.
It’s crucial to ensure you’re using the right oil. Engine oils can differ quite a bit, usually with a difference in viscosity. Using the wrong oil might make the generator run a bit worse or lead to the parts wearing out too soon.
Keep a few oil filters on hand. An oil filter must be changed when you change the oil, just like you’d see in a car. This filter prevents debris from circulating through the engine in the oil, which could cause damage.
There’s also an air filter you’ll need to replace on occasion. All engines need to suck in air to mix with the fuel as a part of regular operation. However, without an air filter, your engine could suck in things like dust or even insects. Your engine can run properly and stay clean with a proper clean filter.
If you’re unsure of anything you might be missing, you can always consult the manual of the generator you own. Often, these will include specific instructions on what maintenance you need to perform and how often you need to do it.
This maintenance is crucial because it prevents internal damage to the generator. A poorly maintained generator won’t last long, and you’ll realistically spend more buying a new one than you would fixing it. If you follow instructions closely, you can keep them working well for many years.
There are a lot of benefits to solar panels that you might find intriguing. First, solar panels don’t require nearly as much attention as generators. While generators may work more consistently through harsh conditions, they need plenty of upkeep and maintenance.
Solar Panels are Easy to Maintain
Apart from the occasional cleaning and service, you never have to worry about keeping up with your solar panels. Newer ones are generally very rigid and will stand up to harsh weather or other sources of impact, such as hail or branches overhead falling on them.
The Panels are Always Powered by the Sun
Another significant benefit of solar panels is that they don’t just help you when the power goes out. You only want to run generators when the grid power to your house is spotty since they require fuel. Since solar panels only need sunlight, they’ll always be able to run.
When there’s no outage, your solar panels can help supplement some of the power needed for your house, so you end up drawing less power from the grid. This saves you money on your electric bill in the long run because you’ll use less power from the companies that provide it as a utility.
Survival preppers may have a common misconception about solar panels not working at all if it’s cloudy outside or in harsh weather. Some people think you need to live somewhere with little to no cloud coverage for solar to work correctly.
This is not the case, of course. Solar panels will work if there is light outside, even if it’s all obscured from cloud coverage. They won’t work as well and won’t generate the same amount of electricity, but they will still provide you with some.
Depending on your setup, it may still be enough to run your appliances and HVAC and light your house. The more solar panels you have, the more you’ll be able to compensate for the lack of efficiency in cloudy weather.
However, those less important things can still make the time pass by in harsh weather faster. Things like charging your phone and other devices can give you more comfort when the grid power may falter.
For the most part, people use these to keep their phones charged. This can be crucial because it allows you to stay in contact with family or friends in the area and ensure that everyone stays safe through bad weather conditions.
20W PD USB C Battery Pack QC 3.0 Cargador Portatil External Battery for iPhone, Tablet, Samsung, Switch, and More
- 【Superior Portability & Compact*Lightning Cable NOT INCLUDED*】Supermini 10000mAh portable power bank, ultra slim suitcase design with metallic texture. 180g, smaller than a credit card, slip in your bag or pocket for daily use
- 【Outstanding Charging Function】 USB C PD external battery features pass-through charging function, which allows you to charge the battery bank while charging your devices. Also, the ports USB C/ A can charge two devices simultaneously
- 【20W Quick Charge &Power Delivery】20W PD input/ output USB-C port allows the portable phone charger to charge iPhone 14-8 to 50% in only 30 minutes. The USB-A port has exclusive ZEN+2.0 technology that supports almost all quick charge 3.0 compatible devices.
Additionally, it can keep you updated on weather alerts and instructions given by local authorities. For example, you might need your phone charged in a tropical storm to know if you’re given the signal to evacuate the area.
Some solar power banks have multiple built-in functions, as well. For example, many are made explicitly for lousy weather scenarios and have built-in emergency radios to tune in to emergency alert channels. Often, these also have built-in flashlights if you don’t have enough power to keep your lights on.
Read this – Solar Power
You can also get plenty of outdoor solar lights to light the outdoors. Some are more decorative, while others are meant to light up large areas, but either way, they can be helpful.
USB C Fast Charging Portable Phone Charger with 4 Solar Panels & 3 USB Outputs for iPhone Tablet
- 25000mAh High Capacity: The solar power bank charges up 6-8 times for a cell phone and 2.5 times for a tablet, which is great for a week-long trip.
- Large Solar Panels: This solar charger comes with 4 high-performance solar panels that can reach 6W in direct sunlight to keep your phone up and running even in places without electricity.
- Fast Charging: With the upgraded 15W output, the portable solar charger can fast charge an iPhone to 50% in 30 minutes. One USB C port and dual USB A ports simultaneously charge three devices.
You might need to move between buildings at night if you have a larger property. If you don’t have a flashlight or power on your property, having solar lights consistently guiding you from one point to another can be very valuable.
Between small solar banks and large-scale solar panels, you can also get medium-sized solar panels meant for camping that store their power in a much larger power bank. While bulky, it can hold much more electricity and power more oversized items.
Portable Power Station with 1X200W Solar Panel, Fast Charging in 2H, Expandable for Outdoor RV Camping and Home Emergency
- It whispers QUIET AT ONLY 30dB in operation, leaving you complete peace of mind.
- Ultra Fast Charging: Only 2 hours are needed to get the Explorer 2000 Plus fully charged from 0 to 100% battery level by connecting it to 6*SolarSaga 200W solar panels or wall outlets.
- 2kWh - 24 kWh Flexible Expansion: Jackery Explorer 2000 Plus supports up to 5 expandable battery packs with power expanded from 2kWh to 12kWh. 2*Jackery Explorer 2000 Plus Power Stations can be connected in parallel to expand the capacity to 24kWh, voltage to 240V, and output to 6000W.
These power banks will often have standard 120v plugs in addition to the USB outlets, allowing you to run things that require more standard plugs, such as lamps, laptop chargers, and more.
You must ensure this is done carefully and correctly, as the wrong setup can damage the generator or the solar panels. However, a skilled electrician can do this properly with relative ease.
It’s good to use both of them in tandem because they can both take the load off of one another, and if one fails, you should still have power from the other. A backup can be crucial, especially in a snowstorm that might leave you without power for days.
Part of the reason why this is so important is that generators require the use of fuel. Given that you likely have a limited supply at any given time, you need to conserve that fuel as much as possible.
Many generators intended for powering entire homes can adjust how much the engine is running to give you more or less power as needed. If the engine runs harder to generate more power, it will use more fuel.
Solar panels allow you to supply a decent amount of power to the house, even during rain or snow. Even if it’s not enough to power the house independently, it will take a massive load off the generator, allowing it to supplement the rest of the power needed while using less fuel.
Anything unnecessary will put more load on the solar panels and generator. Some things still draw power just by being plugged in, even if they’re not on or used at that time. To keep your fuel usage to a minimum, stick to the essentials.
Of course, it’s also nice to have each one as a backup to the other. You may find that the generator works better, but the solar panels can still do something if it runs out of fuel during an outage.
If you’re ever faced with a substantial grid shutdown, whether it be from poor weather or some national emergency, it could last for hours, or it could last for weeks. In poor weather, especially, you want to have reasonable access to your refrigerated food, and you want to have your heating and air conditioner.
I’m the daughter of 2 original survivalists who moved from the north to sunny Florida. My mother, along with her parents, bought 30 mostly uncleared acres in 1938. The first home was made of pecky-cypress and built by a house-raising. My mother raised 10,000 chickens.
My divorced mother met and married my father in 1948. From pine trees on our property, he hand-built a log cabin. He also built a tarpaper-lined 65’x45′ pool with duck pond overflow. We had an artesian well for our water and powering our hand-built waterwheel for the pool. He built a substantial cantilevered roof workshop with a car pit in the massive cement floor.
Since my early teens, I have read a ton of books about survival, prepping, the bomb, an apocalypse, homestead living, and SHTF situations. As an adult, I continue to read sci-fi, survival prepping, and science. I practice a prepper lifestyle albeit a bit modified, read a lot, buy a lot, pack/store a lot of anything survival related.
Read my About Me post for more details on our self-sufficient living. I lived there until I went to college in 1968.
My SurvivalPrepperSupply.com blog strives to educate individuals on coping with natural and human-caused disasters using article posts about preparing for emergencies.