Preparing for Power Outages on the Homestead, Part 2

| 12/10/2015 10:10:00 AM

Tags: power outages, home energy, preparedness, generators, water, composting toilets, Sean and Monica Mitzel, Idaho,


Click here to read Part 1 of this series.

Use Generators Wisely

Generators are magical at bringing power back to the home. However, it is imperative to understand that they will not be able to run everything. Most people do not have military or commercial generators that can easily power a home. Additionally, those generators burn through gas very fast.

A small generator in the 3-5K range will take care of most people’s needs. Notice I said "needs" and not wants. In an extended power outage, it is important to run things like refrigerators, freezers, well pumps and communication devices, such as cellular phones or radios. Keep in mind that many well pumps may not be capable of being powered by a small wattage generator.

It is important for the individual homesteader to understand his or her system to ensure the appropriate generator is obtained. Small wattage generators sip fuel and large generators guzzle it. Use whatever generator you have sparingly during power outages. Refrigerators and freezers only need to be ran a few hours a day to keep food from spoiling. With measured use, a basic fuel storage can prolong the life of your food many weeks. This, combined with the knowledge of pressure canning will ensure no waste of food should a power outage extend for a long time.

Maintaining Communications During An Outage

HAM radio nets and FRS/GMRS radios worked flawlessly. You should not rely on cell phone service as a communications plan. In this case, cell service continued to work but it may not next time. It is recommended that every homestead have a licensed HAM operator or a way to tie in to a HAM operator.

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