Have the Right Battery Powered Devices When the Power Goes Out

whether you experience a local power outage because of a major storm, or the whole grid goes down, you’ll need to have the right battery powered devices when the power goes out. Jeff Yago gives us guidance in the January/February 2017 “Backwoods Home Magazine” (Issue #163).

He covers four areas of concern.

  • LED hanging lanterns
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Battery pack and solar charger
  • Digital battery charger

Find a list of recommended products and suppliers in the article as well.

An excerpt of the article follows. Click on the link below to read all of it.

Grid-down battery devices

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM

Most of my past articles and my just-released new book titled, Lights On, drive home the importance of having multiple battery-powered devices during an extended power outage. I also keep reminding everyone that having a generator during a power outage is great, at least until you run out of fuel. Whether you are without power from the start of a utility outage due to not owning a generator, or you are well into an extended power outage but ran out of fuel, the results will be the same unless you own battery-powered devices. There are many battery-powered devices that will make life easier and continue to operate during an extended power outage, but there are four specific battery-powered devices that everyone should have.

LED hanging lanterns

Of course lighting is our primary concern, but I am not talking about having a flashlight. A flashlight is handy to illuminate a small area directly in front of you, assuming you have batteries. However, during an extended power outage you need room-filling lights, at least in the room or rooms where most of the family will be congregating. I recommend having several of the new LED hanging lanterns.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com (541)247-8900.


Solar Power for Your Bug Out Bag

You will likely want to take small electronic devices with you in the event you have to get out of Dodge. Things like an AM/FM radio, cell phone, flashlight, and a GPS unit would come in handy. Have you considered the possibility of using solar power for your bug out bag devices?

“Backwoods Home Magazine” for July/August, 2016 (Issue #160), includes an article to give you guidance on keeping your electronics powered up. Here’s an exerpt. Click the link below to read the whole thing.

Power your bug-out bag

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM

More and more people are starting to see the advantage of having a bug-out bag for each member of their family. Normally these bags are kept in a closet near the front door with everyone instructed to grab theirs if forced to evacuate due to an approaching forest fire, tornado, chemical spill, or other disaster. Most preppers will also keep an additional bug-out bag in each car or truck in case disaster strikes while they are away at work or school.

There are numerous articles and books describing what each bug-out bag should contain so I will not repeat that advice here. I will point out, however, that a bug-out bag is not a camping backpack designed to hold a tent and a week’s supply of food. The main purpose of any bug-out bag is to contain just enough emergency supplies and equipment to evacuate from where you are to a safer location when disaster hits. A bug-out bag for someone living or working in a city might include a fold-up dust mask, loud whistle, Bic lighter, thermal rain sheet, and universal tool; while a camping backpack may not include any of these emergency items.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com (541)247-8900.

You may also want to check out the solar power products from companies featured on the Alternative Energy Solutions page in the DestinySurvival Prep Mart.

Life After the Generator

Powerful storms prompt many of us to think about getting a generator, if we don’t already have one. But is that enough? What if the power is out for weeks or months?

In “Backwoods Home Magazine” for January/February, 2016 (Issue #157), Jeff Yago offers good advice on solar power alternatives. Check out the article exerpt below, then click on the link to read the entire piece.

Generators alone are not enough

By Jeff Yago, P.E., CEM

When talking to fellow preppers at self-reliance expos across the country, I am always impressed by how many already have long-term food supplies, stored water, medical supplies, an emergency radio, guns, ammunition, alternative cook stove, fire starting materials, and bug-out bags. However, as soon as the conversation turns to emergency power it’s apparent they are totally relying on a backup generator.

Most believe their portable generator solves the problem — end of story. But what happens if the generator fails or the power outage lasts longer than their fuel supply? Most residential-size generators are not designed for an extended power outage and their warranty usually indicates a runtime in hours per year, not months. Even larger whole-house generators have runtime limitations, not to mention the ability to drain a 500-gallon tank of propane in a week of continuous operation. Parts of Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and Long Island after Hurricane Sandy were without power for months, not weeks. Can your emergency backup plan meet a utility outage lasting this long? Perhaps it’s time to reassess.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com (541)247-8900.

See the Alternative Energy Solutions page in the DestinySurvival Prep Mart for companies offering renewable energy products.


Solar Power – Make Sure You Use the Right Solar Charge Controller

If you use solar power in your home, you’ll want to make sure you use the right solar charge controller. This has a bearing on the life of the batteries you’re using. And that’s significant.

I confess, that’s the extent of my knowledge on the subject. I love the concept of solar power, and I wish you all the best if you’re making use of it. But I have to refer you to an expert for the relevant details.

Jeffrey Yago has written an article which appears in the May/June 2015 “Backwoods Home Magazine” (Issue #153). Below is an exerpt with a link below to the full article.

Solar charge controllers
myths, hype, and facts

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM

Most people with a basic understanding of solar power are aware they need a solar module and a storage battery to power an electrical device using the sun. Anyone facing a long car trip with a teenager also knows an inverter is a device that can produce 120-volt AC power when plugged into the car’s 12-volt DC utility outlet — which will power video games and DVD players.

However, while the function of these electrical components may be understood, many people planning do-it-yourself solar projects do not understand why they need a quality solar charge controller. Many view a solar charge controller as just a device with limited function to connect a solar module to the battery, so they buy the cheapest charge controller they can find.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com (541)247-8900.


Find solar power devices and supplies from companies featured on the Alternative Energy Solutions page in the DestinySurvival Prep Mart.


A Solar Powered Bug Out Kit?

Jeffrey Yago shares an interesting concept in the November-December 2014 “Backwoods Home Magazine” (Issue #150). It’s not just portable solar power. It’s a solar powered bug out kit.


You’ll want to take a look at the photos, diagrams and charts accompanying the full article, which is linked below.

Solar suitcase

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM

From time to time, people call to ask what we have for emergency solar power suitable for a bug-out bag. Naturally, my first suggestion is one of the many fold-up flexible solar modules available in multiple sizes. However, since these are made for daytime recharging batteries and electronic devices, they provide no power at night and during storms. These people didn’t need a fold-up solar charger that fit into a bug-out bag — they needed a fold-up solar charger that is a bug-out bag!

This article will show you how to make a solar power system in the form of a portable suitcase. This design is easy to build since it is made using two identical solar modules of almost any size, depending on your power requirements and storage or vehicle trunk space. While I have access to almost any size solar module, I decided to use two Kyocera 40-watt modules as these are the size of a typical suitcase, yet together provide 80 watts of solar power, which equals 7 amps of 12-volt battery charging power.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com (541)247-8900.

Find what you need for portable solar power from companies featured on the Alternative Energy Solutions page in the DestinySurvival Prep Mart.


Purify Water on Your Homestead with Solar Power

Whether you get your water from a well or some other source, it’s vital to have pure drinking water in the event of an emergency. Why not purify water on your homestead with solar power?

Below is an excerpt from an article in “Backwoods Home Magazine” for March/April, 2014, Issue #146. Jeffrey Yago shares descriptions of the different water filtering methods and water quality concerns that should help you determine which approach is best for your emergency drinking water needs.

water purifiers

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM

Most of us can stay alive up to a month without any food if stranded, but we could not live longer than three days without water to drink. Some satisfy this need through the high-water content of soft drinks, milk, coffee, beer, or tea. Regardless of our choice of drinks, our bodies must have water to drink or we will die.

You would think something this critical to life would be considered extremely valuable. However, since we are never more than a few feet away from a water faucet or water fountain, and receive a free glass of water as soon as we sit down in any restaurant, we take clean drinking water and clean ice for granted.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com (541)247-8900.

For more on water for your homestead, get a copy of The Home Water Supply.


Build a DYI Solar Powered Dehydrator

If dehydrating food is an important part of your food storage plan, what will you do when there’s no electricity to power your dehydrator? One solution is to build a DYI solar powered dehydrator.

Jeffrey Yago gives instructions in an article in “Backwoods Home Magazine” for September/October 2013 (Issue #143). An excerpt is below, including a link where you can read the entire article.

By the way, this is not a solar oven. But if a solar powered dehydrator is what you want, read on.

Build a passive-solar
food dehydrator

By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM

Humans have been drying fruits, herbs, nuts, vegetables, meats, and fish using just the sun for thousands of years. Early Egyptians used wooden racks to sun-dry thinly-sliced strips of meat and fish. As early as the 1700s, people were improving the dehydration process by constructing drying enclosures built over slow-burning fires. By the early 1900s, commercial dehydrators became available that included powered fans and small electric heaters similar to the designs in use today.

This article describes how you can build your own solar-powered food dehydrator, but I will not be going into detail on how to actually prepare and season foods for dehydration. There are numerous reference materials, recipes, and detailed instructions on the dehydration process, which are easy to find in other BHM articles and on the Internet.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
http://www.backwoodshome.com (541)247-8900.