There are countless preparedness items you could have at your disposal. But solar energy might be the most important of all.
Some people have called it the single most effective disaster preparedness aid. Why? Because if you have solar-powered tools at your disposal, you can handle just about any emergency involving a blackout.
Electrical power is expensive. And as we’ve seen over and over again, it’s unreliable. Power outages occur on a daily basis in one part of the country or another. Most are short-lived. But some drag on.
Sunlight, on the other hand, is a free and renewable source of energy. Solar-powered items help get you through those “powerless” times. Sometimes they can even mean the difference between life and death.
Portable generators do the trick
Among the ways you can use solar energy when you don’t have access to electrical power is with a solar-powered portable generator.
These generators help you keep some lights on. As well as electrical appliances running. Including refrigerators, fans and portable heaters.
They can also power your television, radio, cellphones, tablets and laptops. Plus a variety of other electrical devices.
It’s important to keep your generator fully powered so it’s ready to go when a blackout occurs. More on solar-powered generators in a moment.
Solar ovens and water systems
Other items that can be powered by the sun include solar ovens and solar water systems.
Portable solar ovens are convenient for making small meals and to take on the road with you. Larger solar ovens enable the user to cook full meals for the whole family.
Water can be even more important than food during an emergency. Which makes solar water systems come in handy.
The collector turns the sun’s energy into heat, while storage tanks hold the water. They can provide hot water for drinking, bathing and cleaning.
The off-grid option
Some people choose to live off the grid completely (or at least nearly completely). That’s to avoid outages and save money.
Off-grid solar energy systems make use of battery banks to store energy. That energy is produced by solar panels, also known as photovoltaic panels.
Some select full home systems. Others choose to power only certain appliances and devices with solar power.
Either way, they are usually able to keep some lights on when the rest of the neighborhood goes dark.
And they’re able to keep food from spoiling and essential communication devices running.
Power outages are increasing
No one can deny that natural disasters are increasing in frequency. And storms are increasing in intensity.
That applies to hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards and more. And because the West has become so dry recently, wildfires rage out of control every year.
Municipalities can’t keep electricity flowing when disasters strike. We’ve seen this over and over again. The grid is too vulnerable and they don’t have the resources or manpower.
It’s up to individuals to protect themselves and their families by providing their own backup power when the grid goes down. Solar energy is how we can accomplish this.
Solar panels pay for themselves
If you decide to have solar panels installed on the roof of your house, there are three ways you can go about doing it.
One, you can purchase your system from a solar dealer and have their company install it. This is a one-stop shopping experience with many advantages, but it’s the most expensive way to do it.
Two, you can purchase all the materials from a solar products wholesaler and then hire a contractor to do the installation. This will save some money, but there can be some logistical complications.
Third, you can purchase all the materials from a wholesaler and install the panels yourself. This is for the true do-it-yourselfer, and will require help from friends.
A generator you can count on
Earlier I mentioned solar-powered generators. They’ve been a lifesaver for many people. As well as a major convenience provider for countless others.
The Patriot Power Generator 1800 from 4Patriots is a portable, solar-powered generator. It’s designed to provide electricity for important devices and equipment during a power outage or disaster situation.
It can produce more than 3,000 peak watts of clean, quiet, renewable power. And it comes with an integrated 1,800-watt inverter / 768Wh lithium-iron battery. Plus a 100-watt, commercial grade folding solar panel and a 25-foot long extension cord.
This generator is ideal for people looking to protect themselves and their families from the results of power outages. It weighs only 40 pounds, so it’s small enough to take anywhere and store discreetly.
And you can daisy-chain additional solar panels for even more power and faster charging. The Patriot Power Generator 1800 operates quietly and produces no emissions.
It’s rated for 2,500-plus lifecycles and holds a full battery charge for up to one year. It can be charged by the solar panel, by plugging into a normal 120V AC wall outlet or by a wind turbine.