Okay it just massive for me, overall I’m planning to spend about $3,000 over time. I have looked at the cost of going with alternate energy and it is very expensive to replace the power for everything in your home. But unless you are relatively wealthy or building your own home with alternative energy features you are stuck retro fitting your house and most people can not see a way to make that happen within the budget along with all the other things they are prepping and doing to become self reliant.
Like everything I have done so far I look to accomplish a specific goal. I then start working on little goals that work towards accomplishing the “Big Goal”. You all know that life will occasionally try and kick your butt as you prep. By having on overall goal and a bunch of small independent steps that can be attained quickly or stopped quickly when that demon “Murphy” shows up in your life has worked very well for me. It’s not the fastest way to reach your goal, but is very flexible and has a small start up cost.
My latest purchase of the motion detector solar lights is a very good example of a small start up cost and it will yield a small yet tangible result of lowering my electric bill by replacing some big security spot lights in my yard. After doing some reading from cops, motion detector lights are more of a deterrent than big bright, always on spot lights to the bad guys. The lights cost about $19.00 at Amazon and I got free shipping so you can order one or two and you get a start on solar lighting around your home.
I ordered a solar battery charger for $25.00. We all know how AAA-D cell type batteries always run out of juice just when you need them. If things do get bad in a disaster there will be no going down to the local mega mart to buy more batteries as they will be sold out. Another way to have batteries is solar yard lights. Most of the lights I have bought have one or two AA or AAA batteries and you can buy them for as little as a dollar. You can charge those lights in a south facing window and use them as a night light or take the batteries out and run a flashlight or a small radio.
Your car is really big generator, though it’s not an efficient one. But in an emergency you can use it to charge batteries, cell phones, laptops and even some small 12 volt DC appliances. I have a 12 volt cooler/ warmer in my car I can plug into the DC outlets. Add a couple of the USB charging adapters and you can use your car battery as a charging station. I have a small solar panel I can use to trickle charge my car battery. While it isn’t fast I have seen it charge a dead battery after a few hours in the sun. A very useful item to buy is one of those portable jump-start battery packs. Most have an air compressor, light as well as jumper-cables and a small DC/AC inverter in the 200-400 watt range. The new one I bought can be trickle charged via a small solar panel. The old small one I bought used does not like being charged via DC power, but I have ran a 12 volt fan for almost 48 hours on one charge and it had no problem running my router and modem for a couple of hours during a local power outage. Now that I have used these little “power packs” I think everyone should have one as part of the car “Emergency kits” especially if you do winter driving.
You can get into solar energy fairly cheaply and see immediate benefits from saving energy costs to providing safety and security right away. While the 12 volt cooler is a nice little gadget for tailgating or keeping soda cool without ice for most people. It could be an absolute lifesaver for a person that needs to refrigerate medicine but can’t afford to invest in a generator or solar/DC fridge.
For less than a couple of hundred dollars you can buy everything I have described and I have bought myself for my preps. If money is tight start with the solar lights from $1.00-$20.00 depending on what you can afford. The little 12 volt DC cooler/warmer I got at Big Lots for $20.00. My biggest cost was the “power pack” at $110.00 at Sportsmansguide.com. When you consider you are basically buying a car battery, a set of jumper cables, air compressor and a 400 watt inverter in one package it is pretty cheap. You might checkout the local pawn shops I have seen these little “power packs” for $50-$60.00 at my favorite pawn shop.
I was kind of impressed how many folks in the aftermath of the Sandy storm set up charging stations for small electronic or used their cars as generators by adding an inverter for keeping the household powered up and working in a small way. If you have not priced inverters or those small power packs lately I think you might be surprised at how much they have come down in cost and just how good a job than can do to make any disaster a little bit easier to go through.
This will cost some money because you are basically starting to replace the local power plant/utilities. You will have to make some sacrifices as you are gaining control of your own energy use. But you will be sitting like a fat cat in a disaster because you are ready for it and you will control your energy not some public utility or the government. Do you want control over your food, energy and water or do you want to trust the government?