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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Apartment Prepper Series: Power Systems

ey Guys, I figured since I'm focusing the blog on where I am in relation to prepping and sort of making the blog a log of my journey to being prepared I figured on top of the budget survival series I'd start the Apartment Prepper series.  So here is the first topic at hand, emergency power sources for apartment dwellers.

I think one of the hardest things to deal with in an emergency in an apartment is when the power is lost.  You can't exactly run a generator set as easily as you could if you own a home.  So What I've come up with is the use of batteries and battery back-up systems to compromise some of that short term ability.  Keep in mind even a gen-set is a temporary solution and wont last for the long haul.  However getting the fuel to run a Gen-set in a power outage might be easier than finding a power source to charge your battery back-up system.

I've found a few interesting items on that would help in a power failure situation and I've put them on my prepping list.  They really don't conform to the budget prepper ideology but they are handy to have even though they are expensive.

There is the NOMA PowerPlug 150 which is a nice choice, and fairly inexpensive option for roughly $100.00 all things considered.  Basically you just mount the battery backup device to a wall outlet, it allows you to continue using the outlet as well, double bonus and when the power goes out the LED lights turn on so you can find it and you can take it to plug into a small TV or radio, along with a lamp or small fan.  Now this option wont power an A/C unit but keeping a couple box fans around isn't a bad idea!  Plus it's portable!  This item could be excellent for apartment dwellers like myself or even homeowners who may want to try to avoid the gen-set as much as possible or until it's certain that it is a prolonged outage!  It is rated as a 150 watt inverter.

The longer term more powerful option also by NOMA is the NOMA Back-Up Power System 400W.
Slightly more bulky but definitely more powerful, this unit can run a full desktop computer or laptop.  I don't have access to the manual for either of these devices so I can't look into how long they can last or what all they can power other than what tells me but I'd guess you could get a couple hours of A/C use out of this unit.

Now I'm not to knowledgeable on solar but if your building faces a direction where you can get sun I'd imagine you could top off the power via a solar panel.  I think solar is a great way to get power in an outage where you can't run a gen-set.

Another item I think is good to keep around are headlamps and LED battery powered Lanterns.  I'm not a fan of Coleman lanterns since they can produce gases you don't want in your home or to be exposed to, I'd rather have some good LED battery operated lanterns and some batteries.  You can get some decent battery operated Lanterns at Canadian Tire as well.  Some are more compact and others are a bit bigger and run on larger battery cells.  Whatever you choose try to find the brightest lantern that has the best battery life.  You'd be amazed how much a small lantern like the one I reviewed here can light up a room when all the power is out.  I do plan on buying more of those next time they are on sale!

Until next time...what is your preparedness plan?


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