Healthy Prepper gives us a free Krav Maga lesson as a potential self defense move, enjoy…
Healthy Prepper gives us a free Krav Maga lesson as a potential self defense move, enjoy…
Here’s a video discussing preparing for those with disabilities…
This is the second of three posts regarding OPSEC this week. Today we’re going to discuss the need to keep quite; I don’t mean about your supplies and gear, I mean when you’re trying to keep a low-profile during a SHTF scenario. Besides, the ability to see, humans have a pretty good sense of hearing as well. Again, not as good at it as many animals are, but certainly good enough to detect other humans nearby.
Just like with avoiding detection by sight, we’re not trying to avoid the most thorough of inspections here, just the “cursory” ones if somebody is walking down the street.
So, what types of activities are we trying to minimize. Well, there are a lot; far more than activities that may require light. For example, cooking food, bathing, chopping firewood, and basically anything else you can think of probably make some noise. Add in noisy children, barking dogs, sick people coughing, and who knows what else… there’s a lot to be concerned about. Obviously, you can’t keep everything quite at all times but you can try.
The important question is: what can you do about it, if anything?
Unlike with light discipline, it’s a bit more difficult to do something that directly minimizes noise. That is, there’s no such thing as an equivalent “blackout curtain” for noise. Well, that’s not entirely true. While there are noise-reducing substances that exist, they’re either expensive or just not very applicable for reducing noise from an entire house.
So, what can you honestly do?
Well, it has to start with being conscious of your activities, especially the kids. Everyone needs to learn very quickly that they need to be much more quite than they are normally, especially at night. Maybe night time is a good time for the kids to play quiet games, such as cards or board games if they need quiet entertainment options.
Of course, there are activities that just make noise and there isn’t much you can do about it. An example would be chopping firewood. It’s noisy and very distinctive. In this case, my only suggestion would be to enlist another person’s help to get the job done faster.
With regards to minimizing interior noises, you could consider moving noisier activities to an interior room, though, I understand most homes are not setup like that. Instead, consider a basement if it’s underground (or even partially so). In addition, the most probably sources of noise “escape” would be the same as for light, namely windows and doors. In this case, it could prove helpful to put something over the windows and doors that inhibit noise, such as a thick comforter. But, sadly, even that won’t do much good and then you’re down a comforter that could be otherwise used for warmth.
Perhaps a better idea would be (assuming you triage a part of your home) is to purposely remove carpeting from the unused part of your home (also assuming you have carpeting there) and erect several layers of carpet that cover windows that your family will occupy. This sounds like a lot of work but you could possibly kill two birds with one stone here in that you’ve erected both a noise and light barrier in one. To be honest, I’ve never tried this myself so I can’t say for sure if it works, but I do recognize how much difference a single layer of carpeting makes in reducing noise throughout a house (as opposed to tile or hardwood flooring) so I’m assuming the same can be said here. Of course, if you don’t want to rip up your own carpeting I’m sure you can find a roll that somebody was just throwing out. If you don’t like the carpeting idea then maybe you can find something else to use. The point is to force sound to “slow down” around windows and doors.
It might also be wise to construct a “room within a room” to help reduce noise. Basically, anything that you can do to slow down noise from escaping your home is what you’re trying to accomplish. In this way, you might have quiet areas (such as rooms without any noise reduction solutions), less quiet areas (rooms where you do have noise reduction solutions such as carpeting over windows), and some noise allowed areas (such as the room within a room idea).
What can you think of?
This article on A Life-Saving Item You Should Keep with You brings up good reasoning as to why antihistamines may be necessary prep to keep on you at all times.
JJ with Reality Survival talks about what a get home bag is (it’s not exactly the same as a bug out bag)…
I rather enjoyed this article on Food Storage for 30 Days where a guy was tasked with providing two adult males with enough food to feed them for about two weeks (hence, the 30 days reference). I guess the engineer in me just likes the math and planning involved… oh, and he used a spreadsheet, I’m drooling now. Fortunately, there’s no calculus involved… never could understand that stuff.
This inverter is one that Steven Harris of Solar1234.com recommends as being a viable option for powering a refrigerator if the power goes out. And, to be honest, that’s the sole reason why I choose to purchase it as I have no other major appliance that I feel MUST be powered during a grid-down situation. That said, I could have procured a larger inverter to power more appliances but I figured I should take Mr. Harris’ word for it and not get greedy. Likewise, he also stated that 800 watts is about the right power output you need from an inverter in order to operate most refrigerators and freezers. In other words, a much smaller 200 watt inverter isn’t going to cut while a larger one is probably wasted money.
So, about THIS inverter. It couldn’t be much simpler to operate. Just connect the two provided cables (a positive and negative) to the screw-in terminals on the inverter and then clamp the other ends to your vehicle battery (or any 12-volt source for that matter) just like you would a set of jumper cables. I did notice that the clamps did not provide as firm of a connection as I’m accustomed to with typical jumper cables but they stayed well enough to get the job done… just don’t breathe too heavy around them.
Before reading the instructions, I choose to connect everything as I suspected it should be, plug in the refrigerator, start the engine, and voila… nothing! I got red lights, lots of beeping, and no power. What’s up with that? I didn’t know what was wrong but I decided to try again, this time with the engine off and everything worked like a charm.
Only then did I choose to crack open the manual but didn’t read anything that said I did something emphatically wrong. In fact, the manual says I should start the car about every hour and run for ten minutes and that it’s ok to keep the inverter connected. Anyway, I let the inverter power my refrigerator (it was a 10 cubic foot unit) for about an hour, occasionally checking that nothing was on fire or seemed excessively hot. I started the car and ran into the same problem. So, I disconnected the inverter, charged the battery for roughly 10 minutes, turned off the engine, and then let the inverter run for a while longer like I did the first time.
I did notice that over time the inverter’s fan would kick on more and more but I really had to pay attention because it was fairly quiet. Granted, if I had the unit mounted inside the vehicle’s cab then maybe it would have been more noticeable.
I also occasionally checked my car battery’s voltage as I was concerned that relying on the inverter to tell me when it needed charged was asking for trouble since the owner’s manual stated that the inverter would shut off when the battery voltage reached 10.5 volts which is what I always considered a “dead” battery. Happily, however, my battery never reached that point even though it seemed the refrigerator that was connected to it ran continuously… but probably did not.
What else to know?
Well, the inverter has two A/C plugs and a USB slot. I’m not sure if I could power two refrigerators at one time (or maybe a refrigerator and a freezer) but I wasn’t going to press my luck this time. I did also notice that the owner’s manual stated I should NOT use extension cords longer than 50 feet, which mine assuredly was longer than that. I didn’t seem to have any problems doing so, however.
Again, I didn’t try to power anything else like a television and certainly not a hair dryer or coffee maker (they use way too much power) for this inverter. Overall, I would say I’m pleased with the unit. It does what’s expected and didn’t cause me much trouble other than my own mistake. I can, however, understand why Steven Harris prefers the Duracell 800 Watt Inverter as it includes a built-in voltage display which would make monitoring my battery’s health a lot easier. The problem is that it can be difficult to acquire.
Like I said, as for this particular Whistler 800 Watt Inverter, I can say I recommend it just fine.
SP1 asks what your plan is if you had to quarantine family or outsiders and how you can better isolate yourself from deadly disasters…
I’ve always wanted to make a fire piston some day, perhaps this will get me to do it…
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