Using Seasonal Disasters to Assess Preparedness

I live in a smaller suburb of a medium sized mid-western town. We have had floods, tornadoes, and most recently, an ice storm. I am not going to spend a bunch of time here about floods and flooding. Bottom line gets out of the flood plain, have a sump pump, and have a backup battery powered sump pump.

A big tornado rampaged through the area in 2013 and woke me out of a semi-daze I had settled in since I had returned from overseas. I had seen the warlords and other corrupt officials, and how they treated ‘normal’ folk when they had no means to protect themselves or their loved ones. In addition, I remember thinking to myself back then, “When I get home, I’ve got a lot more to do to get my situation right – aside from inventorying my weapons and ammunition.”

Well, I did not. Moreover, the tornado scared the hell out of me. It missed our house, but the damage it caused on the periphery of the touch down zone left us without power for about a week, give or take some browning out. It scared the hell out of me, because that promise I had made to myself and my family on that dusty hill over yonder had been broken.

So what did I have to do almost immediately?

Get a generator. (M.D. recommends the Honda EU2000I 2000 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator)

Fast forward to this winter, which has been relatively mild. Enter the freezing rain. For those of you that do not have to deal with freezing rain, thank the lord. One thing everyone takes for granted with ice is that it is HEAVY. Normally stout hardwood trees fall over, roots and all. Telephones and telephone wires dip and then do the Nay -Nay straight in half or sheer off at the base.
So here are the lessons that I learned from this years’ ice storm.

1. Generators are like a bug zapper. If you crank it up and it produces noise, people will come. They will show up with their families, every unfrozen food item, and their damn phones, tablets and computers. Because you got the juice, kid.

2. OPSEC. If your wife thinks, you are crazy because you want to be prepared – flush her phone, tablet, and computer down the toilet immediately when the power goes out. She will call, text, Facebook, twitter all the “unfortunate” masses to come into the light and be warm. In addition – she will let everyone know that the reason you can play cards under generator powered light is because her husband is crazy and he thinks the zombies are two weeks out. “And by the way guys, his ALL his stuff is right there, and there, and there…” (I am mentally screaming. This happened. No sh*t.)

3. Moderation: Just because you do have power, that does by no means mean to power up the XBOX ONE, the big screen TV, microwave, etc. Keep it basic. Reference point one for this one. One light in a blackened out sub-division is like seeing Las Vegas from the international Space station. Turn on a single light, play cards, and read.

4. Charity: You have to make some tough calls when you could be the cavalry. Freezing rain and ice generate a lot of water. In my area, that means if you have ANY way to get power to your sump pump you do. That is as defensive to protect your home as keeping the pipes warm. There were a couple of moments after I had checked my sump pump, and I have a backup, when I thought to myself, “Why is my generator the only one working.”

The simple answer is that the power company said they had it handled and the power would be back on at N+2. Then N+4. Then TBD.

The old me (Pre-2013), would have contacted folks I know and asked if they needed me to drive over with the generator and get them pumped down a bit, until they could solve their own problem – one way or another. Now that I look back, there are a couple people that I should have done just that. I have a couple good friends who are plumbers. They both came over later that night – after about eight calls a piece for sump pumps.

Almost each and every call, the families had just given up and waited for help. EVERY one of these families has been through a tornado-affected area two years earlier. If that were me? I would have had my entire family, the dogs, and the cat running five-gallon buckets until we mitigated the issue. I guess I got a little long winded there. It was just one of the more telling observations.

Overall, we are better off now than we were yesterday, and that is the point I keep hammering home to my family and my close friends. The dogs are the only ones who habitually listen, but I am getting through to the others. We will be better off tomorrow than we are today, but my literal biggest worry at this point is that I am not Daddy Wharbucks and this is not the damn Hilton Grand Hotel. I am not sure that is the general perception around here by my neighbors right now. Luckily, folks have short memories. Peace through firepower my friends. Vios Con Dios, mi patriotas.


  1. Spel chek says:

    Great article to start the year off. Over the years I’ve cut trees that have blown down on people’s homes,patched roofs when storms blew shingles off,and one storm blew a tree down on a neighbors roof. I cut the tree off his roof and because I’m a Prepper, I had plenty of tarps to cover the damage until insurance could send an adjuster and get it repaired. Then,,,, I was in an explosion at work, my wife had cancer and then a heart attack. Not one person offered to feed my dogs or livestock while we were in the hospital. Not one single person offered help of any sort. I had to call on two freinds in different cities to come help until I was able to get home. What a painful lesson that was. Yet still, I’m gonna help people if I can. It made me more determined to never be in a position that I needed help from anyone ever again. Great, thought provoking article to start the year off. You are your own Calvary and the only one that you can depend on.

    • It is difficult when the reality comes in, that there are not more people like you. You extend a helping hand, you share your limited resources, and in the end they don’t even say “Thank You”. Much less try to reimburse you.

      I think it is part of our new entitlement mentality. In these cases you are just looked upon as an extension of the government “don’t worry, someone will take care of you” message. Bad things happen; they are even worse when you are not prepared.

    • Spel chek, sorry you had to find out the hard way that your neighbor’s aren’t like you (or me). I help those who ask now, but have stopped going out of my way to offer it up. It rarely comes back around. I’m going to focus on what I can do for me this year, and hopefully will be in a better position to help those who would truly appreciate it.

      • Hugh Janis says:

        I used a circular saw with a masonry blade (lots of dust) to create two grooves (11/4″ deep) in the floor (used a board for straightedge and another for a spacer between grooves) and broke out the middle with a screwdriver. This slot leads to the floor drain next to furnace (drain connected to sanitary sewer). This is strictly for pump or power failure, as I don’t want a stream across my utility room floor.

        I have a Yamaha ESI 1000 and aluminum flex dryer vent tube to vent the exhaust out the garage ridge vent. Old fiberglass ceiling pads to make box (space out for ventilation) to dampen sound.

        Generators tend to attract the whole neighborhood.

        ps: Look into a thermostat to convert small chest freezer into a fridge (google it). You can forget about powering your behemoth 26 cu.ft. fridge for long. Upright, front-opening fridges are the least efficient type. A throwback to the era of cheap energy.

        • Hugh Janis- great point(s) on upright fridge/freezers inefficiencies. Cold spills right out every time door is opened! Necessitates more energy being used to ‘recover’.

    • I think of it as a pot. I try to put more into the pot than I take out. When my wife and I go to our local pot luck dinner we always take way more food than we eat there. When I go out to the Forest Service shooting area and practice my shooting skills I always clean up some other peoples trash. When I go backpacking I always pick up any other people’s trash that is see. In business I simply try to do a good job. I work at getting my act together and keeping it together. I am starting to sound self-righteous, but I am not. It is actually easer to put more into the pot than you take out. It is easer than trying to get other people to be responsible. Every time I do something for myself I learn. Every time I take positive action it becomes more of a habit. Once you form the habit of taking positive action it becomes easy. Easer than worrying about what other people may or may not do. Don’t let free loaders or people who don’t have skills bother you. Don’t worry about others. Keep moving, keep doing, keep learning, and keep giving.

    • spel chek
      not an apologist for the unworthy, but did everyone know of your need?
      i often say call me but no one does. then i call but am told it is okay.
      that was in new england where they would almost literally die than say anything.
      they tell you they were in hospital after they are home.
      crazy but typical for that region.
      warning; if you are a southerner and move there it is not only the climate that is cold.
      we are in ne ohio and people are normal here and talk to you in the stores. you can have actual conversations. it is a great relief.
      if someone says to call him, do it. and be specific. if your wife needs to be carried to the hospital to see you tell someone.
      and don’t give up on first try.
      someone in florida asked for a ride and i frowned while thinking logistics and she backtracked. i noticed and said don’t try to read my mind by my face.
      so we arranged and my husband drove her, which was the logistic i was calculating while frowning. don’t be put off by facial expressions, please.

  2. Thomas The Tinker says:

    Great piece of affirmation…. but first!

    Spel Chek … is that a raccoon or….?

    I live in the center of Toledo, Ohio. Deadbangsmackdab..olla. I have a plan. An A plan.. a B plan.. a C plan.. a D plan, routes and remotes prioritized loading lists, snatch and run lists, bulk and grab and go ammo, stacks o buckets and a stack just to dump in the BOV and drive……. Man I lovestajustlookatitall.

    Only the D plan requires us to hittheroad. It sucks to be stuck in the city .. for now .. but it is our reality. We do our best to prep for the environment we ‘live in’ here and now .. surrounded by the majority that are as clueless a bus stop bench.

    Now if only Wal-Mart stocked a selection of ‘Claymores’ and popup flares….. along with the flash bangs and baseball frags I wished for earlier this week…………………………… Not a bunch… just a few of each!

    • spel check says:

      That is a carefully bred pitt bull/rottwieler/mini schnauzer mix. she patrols the perimeter of my property,as long as its not to hot,or to cold,or raining. She also fiercely defends the lap of any person whom she is sitting with,,,,if she is awake. I highly recommend this type of dog to all that are serious about prepping,defense,security, and personal protection,as long as you have a couple other dogs who are not this breed.

      • Yeah, I have a fierce Papillon. Ditto.

      • My pit female would probably just knock you down while licking your face off. LOL

      • Don’t forget that she is addicted to home dehydrated chicken slices.

        Mine made herself sick when she took 4-5 chicken breasts off the counter I had just griddled, before dicing and canning. It would be nice if she learned better, but she does “live in the moment”.

    • I’m just outside Toledo, probably one of the safest places in the region from most natural disasters though Toledo is one in itself. Lol.

    • Old Country Boy says:

      Only if Walmart….would be nice but field expedient it would end up being. Yep, 1001 uses for common wire. 11B or 12B?

  3. Disasters are a big reason people should prep. Those who believe the government is going to jump right in should read about Katrina. Check out the current news about the flooding! And these are just regional disasters. If it is a national disaster, where are they going to “take” the resources from to send to you? How are they going to get it there?

    YOUR best bet is to be as prepared as you can. Then you will be in a position to take care of yourself and your family and, if you feel so inclined, your “less than resourceful” neighbors.

    • During the ice storm of 2009, we were out of electricity for 23 days. I did have a propane generator but I only used it for one hour morning and one hour during the evening. No wood heat; just dressed in layers and did a lot of cooking and baking on the propane stove. The following year we had a 17 inch snow that resulted in 21 days without electricity. In town, people said they were out a whole week. It can be done with planning.

  4. Very well said.
    I, too, live in such a place, but I did not buy a generator.
    Instead, I did the following:
    1. I have a wood burning stove located near my water pipes. Thankfully. I have just about 10 feet of one wet wall, supplying water to both levels. This will keep the pipes intact.
    2. I store water in water bricks kept near the stove.
    3. I have candles and LED flashlights/lanterns to supply me with enough light to read.
    4. I have very strong locks on all doors and the lower levels have iron safety shutters.
    5. I do have enough wood safely stored within easy reach.
    6. I can protect myself.

    However, I will take in as many people as I can. I would have a hard time turning away neighbors with small children. I know my food supply will be taxed, but that’s what it is there for.

    We must all do what we can. I have no children or family for the most part, but I would never ever criticize any one who would look after his or hers first.

    • I agree with MD on the Honda EU2000I. It is a very good and reliable generator that sips fuel.

      I would recommending adding the Hutch Mountain tri-fuel conversion to the Honda. That way you can run it on gasoline, propane or natural gas. A 100 pound (25 gallon) propane cylinder takes up a small amount of room and there are no gasoline storage issues about your fuel going bad.–products.html#!/Honda-EU2000i-Installationl-Kit/p/50556235/category=0

      • em com,

      • Hugh Janis says:

        Honda has a great reputation, and you can’t go wrong with a Honda (pricey!). US Carburation sells Yamaha units (like mine) with a tri-fuel conversion installed (doesn’t void EOM warranty, but also pricey!). Both brands are very quiet. With a little pipe work, you can use NG as long as it’s available.

        • I have a Honda 1000 watt. It is whisper quiet and the 1000 watts is enough for survival. It burns .6 gal a day. It has a small screw on the float bowl to drain the fuel. Pour out the fuel then run it until all the fuel is out of the fuel pump and it stops. Then drain the float bowl. I keep 2 1/2 gallons of fuel with it. Twice a year I change out the stored gas.

  5. Nice article . One thing I like about where I live is my network of fellow preppers . Last Wednesday when the tornado came close to me l had to cut my way in. By Thursday morning when these preppers knew it was over my way the checking on me began. One person had already driven my road to check that we were clear by the time I left to head to my shop. As I open the shop I had a call checking to see if we were ok . Said if they had not got an answer they would of headed my way with chainsaws and winches. By the time I had been in 2 hours was offered 3 more guys with chainsaws and a bulldozer if I needed it and had been check on by more than 10 people .
    Some of this was payback as 1 of them had had a house hit by a tornado and I came over to help clear trees . Same guy got flooded out 5 years later and I was there to help . After that I told him if he gets hit by an earthquake I might not be able to get there to help. I told himHe on a fault line the first time I went to his house. (North flowing creek with a bluff pushed up behind his house)

  6. Owl Creek Observer says:

    Good point that many (most?) folks will just sit and wait for SOMEBODY to fix the situation, whether it’s the gummit, the power company, or the Easter bunny, or they’ll come marching to someone in the area that they think can bail them out.

    • To be fair, I think that would be most of us, too, if we weren’t taught about the prepping lifestyle… They’re just naive, so I can’t really hold it against them like they’re lesser people or something.

    • Hugh Janis says:

      Tornado tips:

      If you hide in the basement, keep hand tools down there to hack your way out in case your exit is blocked.
      Keep clothes and shoes in the basement. If you have to flee to the basement, especially at night, it’s great that you survived the twister, but do you want your kids walking through the debris field barefoot in their jammies?

  7. mom of three says:

    Thank you for my morning chuckle, even though it wasn’t supposed to be I can relate to every thing you said. I’m very fortunate that my husband, and I have been on the same page for a long time. He moved from sunny California, in 1995, to wet, rainy, snowy, cold , and yes some sunshine Washington state. In 1996, we had so much snow, our side road’s were closed and we had snow covering car’s, and
    doorways that was his first bite into needing to prepare we have never looked back. We certainly have gotten better and we’ve re sharpen our skills, and keep at it. People, to tend to forget but I keep stories on the back burner to re freshen their memories, that’s about all I can do it’s up to the individual, or families, to do the rest.

    • I had to laugh too… especially about the wife. Can’t tell you how many times DH “shopped” my one year food supply to give it to others. Every ding in the road for anyone he raided our home and closets to set them up again. He surely went to heaven.

  8. Great read and to further your point after going a week 3 winters ago with no power here I sit still no generator this spring it becomes my top priority I believe I will go with a propane model fewer decibels and I have a lot of lp storage and propane never goes bad

    • Spel chek says:

      And propane won’t rot seals gaskets and hoses like ethanol infused gasoline will. Slightly less power when running on propane but if you bought one slightly larger than you thought you would need, you would be fine with propane. I have a conversion kit for my gas powered genny. I store gas but I also store very large quantities of propane. Having other options for fuel just makes sense.

      • Another thing to check on is if you can get ethanol free fuel. Here in Florida, WaWa gas stations sell marine gas that is ethanol free. I buy this for all of our small engines and use stabilizer in it as well. You will pay a little more, but it is worth it. Another thing is to run your generator under a load once in awhile. Once a month, I use mine to power the lawn trimmer and edger to make sure it is working properly and keep the oil circulated.

        • Axelsteve says:

          It is always good to keep things lubricated with use. many 4×4 trucks recomend that you use the 4×4 sometimes to keep things lubricated. It keeps the bearings lubed. I knew a guy who bought a Toyota landcruiser that was never put in 4×4. He did not believe the old guy that he bought it from when he told him that. Well he was not lying and the new owner had to replace the front wheel bearings and lube up a bunch of things. The older the cruiser is the more zerk fittings they have. He still got a good deal on the cruiser though.

        • I purchase whats called tygon fuel line, it’s available at most motorcycle shops, it’s impervious to ethonol gas, that way I can run power equipment with what ever gas is available, you just have to be sure your inside carburetor components (needle and seat) are all metal.

      • One point for those using/storing a propane generator in cold climates. I have one, and it spent several years bolted to the tongue of my travel trailer. Every other year I needed to replace the fuel line hoses, as they would harden during the winter and crack and break during the Spring because I forgot to purge them for storage. Plus I had to order them from the manufacture as they could not get the connectors to make them local.

        Other than that, in 4-6 camping trips I would use one 20lb can for the summer. I’ve since replaced it with a quieter Honda, but I’m keeping the propane generator as a great backup (all of our backup appliances are propane).

  9. MsBlindSpot says:

    Happy New Year everyone! I like that we have “new beginnings” that give structure to our lives, and allow us to give thought to how we spend our time.

    This is a great article…astute AND entertaining. Made me chuckle a couple times (as did some of the comments), which I sorely need this morning (won’t get into that).

    The issue of non-reciprocation is UP in my life, and I am re-thinking my open-heartedness….not all of it mind you, but I need to learn more discernment!! Gotta pick and chose who’s worthy, and stick tightly to what I can afford to do for others. It makes for some rough choices at times (just had to turn someone down this am who wanted some of my food, when I need all I have they wanted a ‘specialty’ item I had put aside; they weren’t really in need), but under the current circumstances (of my life AND the world), it is a necessity. I seem to not have a problem with turning down folks when they approach me with any kind of entitlement attitude, or who have a general lack of consideration or thought towards my circumstances. But, other, less-obvious kinds I seem to be too open to. Working on that.

    I like what TTT says: “We do our best to prep for the environment we ‘live in’ here and now .. surrounded by the majority that are as clueless a bus stop bench.” I have limitations that do not allow me to prep “perfectly”, but I’m working with what I have, and getting more serious about my reality and abilities. In fact, I’m still in the midst of a serious purge of no-longer-useful stuff and the mind-set that accumulated it. It’s time (beyond probably) to tighten it up. I’ll be focusing on what skills I can improve, and less on acquiring more stuff. Who needs 8 knives, 6 of which are lesser-quality? I don’t. Yeah…I know this will probably encourage responses, but if ya knew my circumstances, you’d understand. I’m aiming for QUALITY and less QUANTITY. I’d love to have a store room full of stuff for trading/bartering, but I honestly don’t have the time or room to deal with it all.

    And, “contributor”…geez… maybe ya need to hide your stash from even your wife? All those folks who now know will be back for sure. It’s a tough call when a partner doesn’t understand, but it’s for their good as well.

    Y’all have a good first day of the year.

    • i think contributor may need to rent a storage locker and do some redistributing if he is able.
      i think a few knock out drops in his wife’s coke would be a greater help than anything else.

  10. grandma bear says:

    Love the article! We have good fortune to live in a small community that looks after each other. We were out of town for Christmas and of course while we were gone the snow level got to crazy. We were worried about being able to get up our driveway, what a sight when we rounded the curve and the drive way had been plowed by the neighbor. May this New Year be filled with peace and happiness. Remember we are all in this together.

  11. Yes, a generator in a blackout will attract a lot of attention and I have a fairly quite one. Its a Coleman 1850, enough to run a fridge at manual intervals. Its ac/dc so it could have more than one function. I was using it on one blackout and the next day the neighbor on one side of me said hey, you got a generator over there? I said yes but knew they now knew I had one. They were new neighbors and did not know them so it made me a little nervous. The neighbor across the street had small children and said to me,you don’t know how hard it is to take care of kids without a TV. It definitely made me think about what would it be like if the power was off for an extended time? I only heard my generator running so how many people would be interested? Then you talk grid down and it gets really scary! I hesitate at the thought of that. Most people have a grill, but a generator? Just a thought for the new year.

    • thor,
      you might give the neighbor with the kids some kids books and board games from a library sale or goodwill shop. jigsaw puzzles are good, too.
      tell him why you are giving him a few of these entertainment devices and where to get them cheap.
      tv is not good for kids.
      we have gas wells here and could use the stove top in an outage.
      what i would miss is my electric heating pad, but we have hot water bottles although the modern ones do not last like the ones we had decades ago.

    • Old Country Boy says:

      One could build a small enclosure outside and pipe the exhaust out and have a sized fresh air vent and chain it down. Would reduce noise. Or add a pad underneath and bolt it down. Always a variety of options.

  12. I am buried in snow from the blizzard. It is snowing now and already have another inch… nothing… but I wanted to scream! My neighbor could not get out yesterday with the help of a blade. My lack is enough stored water. Next week I will buy more carboys and keep them filled. I will attend to downspout collection too even though it would all be frozen right now. I am collecting snow to thaw for houseplants… and thinking filtration.

    • Axelsteve says:

      There was a 8 or 9 car pileup and a fatality this week in my town from black ice.Been cold lately.

    • Sounds like a lot of water around you,definitely think boil. I would be more worried about heat/firewood at that point.

      • I have 5 acres of forest for fuel, although not using it at this point. I have gel fuel for backup at the moment. I own a wood stove but not yet installed. I am working on it all. Garden, bermed passive solar house, rocket stove inside, greenhouse, raised beds, chickens, rabbits, bees, and so on. No mortgage. No debt already. It is fun but not fast.

  13. Good article! Welcome home!

    It is common to hear the Electric company tell us an outage has alrerady been called in from our neighborhood, and equally so to hear gen sets start up. Most of my neighbors have them including us. Years of storms and somewhat lengthy outages teach some to prepare. We are rural and most neighbors are pretty self sufficient after several weather events. Alot of neighbors garden and care for livestock here as well.

    I have heard a number of conversations where OPSEC has been breached, it is actually very common if you know how to listen between words, even a “yes, it was a bad storm lasting two weeks but we were ready and just inconvenienced a little bit” will tell you quite alot. OPSEC is the weak link to be certain and is cringeworthy when it is given in detail.

  14. What do folks do to power an electric well pump when the juice cuts out for a while? I’ve researched it a bit and can’t seem to pin anything down. Would it be a gas or propane fueled generator? Solar-powered? Would that Honda that MD recommends do the gig? We live in an old house in northern Vermont and we’re good for a while with water from the well, but if the power goes out for a few weeks or longer, what to do? We dumped the pellet stove that was here for that reason and replaced it with a hearthstone wood stove that works great. But water is critical.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      All depends on the start up inrush current required to run the pump. Similar problem with starting compressors in refrigerators. If you have a 1 hp pump, expect to need a two or 3 kW generator. My solar panel system, two 3.6 kW inverters set to make 240, runs my well pump with ease

    • Spel chek says:

      They make well buckets that could be used when all else fails. It’s a 4 foot long tube that has a valve on the bottom. After you pulled up the week pump,you could lower the well bucket down, let it fill through its valve on the bottom and pull it up. The valve is a one way and only jets water in. When you pull it up you dump the water in it into something like a 5 gallon bucket. There are a dozen videos on YouTube on how to make on out of PVC pipe but lehmans sells ready to use buckets.

    • On amazon you will find 12 volt submersible pumps, some are small enough diameter to fit in a well like I have along with a existing pump. Prices aren’t bad, you just have to be sure to run it a few minutes every now and then.

  15. PrepperDoc says:

    Generators are dirt cheap right now. Once you have your generator, begin thinking about EMP. Also, propane is a heck of a lot easier to store long term than anything else, diesel is second. Underground tanks can’t be extorted by threats of rifle fire. You can have up to 1000 gallons of propane safely stored under ground for a long long time. You have to have a sacrificial anode on the tank and have it checked periodically, but this sure beats jelled up gasoline.

    • Old Country Boy says:

      Just a note with current standards, the tank has to be ASME rated to be buried. Above ground tanks are DOT rated.

  16. Patriot Farmer says:

    Great article to start off 2016. Every time I run through a power outage, bad storms, or even major emergency events I see on TV I look at what others are doing, what I have done, and what can I do different to ensure I can make it through. I ask myself do I need more food storage, did I buy enough seeds for the spring, how are water supplies, if x happens do I have enough ammo to get through. Unfortunately I too have people in the household who are a little to generous with information on our preps. I hear to many times, “if something happens we are coming to your house.” Imagine their faces when I tell them don’t come unless you can bring food, water, ammo in large supply and a willingness to work and follow my lead.

  17. Just a thought, maybe Winter Storm Goliath will encourage more to prepare.

  18. 10kw & 2kw honda gennys. Both gas….considering LP conversion. Still need to install outside box to load center in garage…..

    Re wells: have hand pump, normal is electric. How 1 retrieves is important, relative to depth of water table. My hand pump bought from eBay, there are you tubes on this matter.

    Should it be a deep well, how u retrieve w/o power can take some good planning. Some hand pumps I’ve seen are sold according to depth range applications.

    1″ pvc w/couplings 40′ down puts me 15′ under watertable. Had to drill through well cap. Once pump placed/tested, it comes in in winter. Have friend stopping by so we can build a cedar well ‘facade’.

  19. Has anyone tried putting bigger mufflers on generators?

    I ask because about 30 years ago I worked on a Renaissance theme fair and we had a huge generator (towed on its own trailer) which was normally used by movie companies when filming outdoor shots.

    It had to be big enough to power a lot of commercial movie cameras and audio equipment without being loud enough to interfere with the audio recordings. I don’t remember how far it could be heard, but it wasn’t far, and that was a far bigger generator than anyone would need for a house.

    SO: Has anyone experimented with putting something like an auto muffler on one of the little ones?

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Been studied before. While the muffler helps, there is a lot of noise just coming from rotation/valves etc. Best solution is an insulated house surrounding it.

      Solar is soundless….

  20. Good comments on tornado survival! TYVM!

    See: Places in the Heart (circa 1980’s- Sally Field, Danny Glover, Ed Harris, John Malkovich, Lindsay Crouse & a few others). Heartwarming/inspirational movie regarding a family facing trials/tribulations during Great Depression in South Texas.

    Perseverance via Faith. And a storm cellar when a tornado struck! Cellar w/a Coleman lantern & matches stocked. A hatchet & shovel may have been useful has the twister been more severe/direct. Clothes, water, food, boots etc. also. Could water have gushed in, creating another hazard?

    It tickles me they called the young daughter ‘Possum’….. You’ll see why….

  21. I haven’t done any prepping lately, but I did make up my mind to get a generator. I had the idea of a Honda in my head & wondered who had recommended it – now I know!

    Never having used a generator, I’ve got some questions. We have a very deep well so the only way to get water is with electricity (believe me, I’ve checked). So we would want to run the well pump, fridge, freezer, and maybe the water heater (20 gal.), and recharge our cell phones (assuming the cell towers are still standing). I suppose one rotates these appliances? Would I need a larger generator than the one recommended?

    And I would be getting the adapter to use propane. We already use propane for cooking & plan to install a propane heater for the main house.

  22. Everyone around me owns a generator, including me. We live in hurricane country and have had to use it many times but the last time was because a tornado went right over the top of our house. It pulled all the shingles off, put a large piece of tree limb through the roof and another through the side of the house, removed my GD’s play house from the back yard that was on 4×4 in two foot of concrete; etc. All in all it was over 30K in damage just to the house.
    The really weird thing was the Red Cross showed up the next day and asked if anyone needed grief counseling. I told them not unless they were also roofers. All the storms we’ve had and that’s the first time I’ve ever seen them.
    Never have seen FEMA either. A few years ago they showed up and one fellow walked several miles to get an interview because he had nothing left, he’d lost everything to storm flooding. They told him quietly he was of the wrong color and it was very doubtful he’d receive assistance. They quickly changed that position after the fellow showed up on the local news with his story. Don’t count on assistance. Prepare!

  23. ArvadaDude says:

    I would be interested in reading more articles from this contributor, he should have his own blog!!!!

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