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 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Count On A Generator When T-SHTF 
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Post 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Count On A Generator When T-SHTF
Then there is the alternative side of the coin - hoping that you live in supportive neighborhood!!!


5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Count On A Generator When T-SHTF.

Generators are great for short term power outages. They are relatively cheap and can be sourced from most home improvement stores. If the grid goes down for a few days after a major storm generators help to keep the food in the fridge from spoiling, keep the sump pump running and make sure a few lights stay on inside the home. However for long term grid down (SHTF) outages, generators should not be counted on to provide life sustaining support, and here’s why…

Fuel Availability.
With the exception of solar powered generators, all generators run on some sort of fuel (gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas). After Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast fuel shortages were immediate and widespread, how much more if a large scale power outage occurs over a prolonged period of time? Gasoline and diesel will not be available for purchase from local stations and any that happens to be on hand will most likely go to emergency vehicles first. Propane will be long gone at the local hardware store (it was all sold out prior to Hurricane Sandy hitting in some areas). Generators powered by natural gas will initially be immune to this but will soon face their own shortcomings.

Fuel Storage Considerations.
Most portable generators use between 8 to 22 gallons of gasoline per day, compared to 4 to 8 twenty pound propane tanks (propane generators). That’s quite a bit of fuel just for one day’s usage and it’s simply not realistic to assume that the average person will be able to store enough fuel on site to keep the generator running for weeks on end. At 15 gallons of gasoline per day, that equates to keeping 42 five gallon gas containers on hand to power the generator for 2 weeks. Even a large 250 gallon propane tank only has a 3 to 4 weeks worth of fuel, if that. Hardly enough to keep the lights on during a long term grid down scenario.

Reliance on the Electric Grid.
Even gasoline and propane powered generators rely on the electric grid. If the grid goes down and stations/retailers can’t sell fuel/propane generator owners will simply be out of luck. This is also where folks who own standby generators will run into trouble. Many standby generators run off of natural gas which is piped into homes from pumping stations, which relies on the electric grid to maintain adequate pressure throughout the system. Translation: if the grid goes down for an extended period of time many of those expensive and professionally installed standby generators will be good for nothing more than scrap parts.

Operational Security (OPSEC).
Imagine this: you haven’t had power in your area for a month. You are tired, dirty, hungry and out scavenging for food in neighborhoods that have been abandoned when you hear it. It sounds like a motorcycle with the throttle opened halfway, a constant wailing noise. Could that be a generator? Someone has power! That must mean that they also have food, water, maybe medicine! You see where I’m going with this don’t you. Even if you could magically keep your generator running long after T-SHTF you would only succeed in making yourself a massive target (unless you live out in the country).

Load Capabilities.
This is where solar powered generators meet their match. While having a solar powered generator is better than having nothing at all, most are incapable of providing long term viable power solutions. Consider the Goal Zero Yeti system. Based on my beer math you could power a few appliances for a couple hours before discharging the entire battery, at which point it would take (optimal) 20-24 hours to recharge the battery from the solar panels. Again better than nothing at all during a long term grid down scenario, but definitely a reason to not count on it. What happens if you completely discharge the battery and heavy clouds and fog roll in (read: degraded charging) for a week or more?

I’m not trying to discourage anyone who is interested in purchasing a portable, standby or solar generator. I also do not doubt the usefulness of a generator for short term use. They play a huge role in keeping people comfortable when storms like Hurricane Sandy pummel an area. I simply want people to understand the shortcomings associated with generators, and that if a long term grid down scenario does play out these devices simply should not be part of the overall survival plan.



Source Story


:doh

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Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:56 pm
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Post Re: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Count On A Generator When T-
Thanks, Sky.

Yup, the issues raised above are true. After Ike, finding fuel (even for our small generator) became an exercise in futility.

The noise - ohhhh the noise. The sound of multiple generators running at one time is enough to send you bat $hit CRAZY! It wears on you.

Lastly, you must remember to detach from the grid prior to use. You don't want the electricity coming on while your generator is running. :nono

We've looked at the big natural gas generators sold in the big box stores for a while. In the end, we've decided to forego this option due to the noise factor. The last thing anyone should want when the grid is down long term is anything that draws attention to you or your home.

:mrgreen:

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Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:12 am
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Post Re: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Count On A Generator When T-
Bluebonnet wrote:
The noise - ohhhh the noise. The sound of multiple generators running at one time is enough to send you bat $hit CRAZY! It wears on you.


Yes I know the people have got one across the road after an hour or So of them running it I want to go over there and GRIEVOUSLY INJURE THEM with BIG SHARP POINTY THINGS! I'm dead serious. I drives you up the wall. :flame :censor :censor :rant :fight :fight :fight :boom

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Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:14 pm
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Post Re: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Count On A Generator When T-
:crylaugh :spit :slap :roflmao

Just imagine 20 or 30 of those evil things ALLLLL running at the same time AND you have your windows open. :censor :rant :flame :fight

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Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:36 pm
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Post Re: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Count On A Generator When T-
Bluebonnet wrote:
:crylaugh :spit :slap :roflmao

Just imagine 20 or 30 of those evil things ALLLLL running at the same time AND you have your windows open. :censor :rant :flame :fight


It's a wonder your not completely deaf and stark raving mad by now?

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Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:44 am
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Post Re: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Count On A Generator When T-
Another consideration is that ....IF..... or WHEN.....

we get an EMP sized pulse from our Sun - no electrics will be working....

Meaning generators relying on modern starting and motor C I R C U I T S will be inoperable.....

That is gonna be a big Oooops!

Box of matches anyone...?

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Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:58 am
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Post Re: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Count On A Generator When T-
All great points. I am concerned, not just about generators, since I am set up to exist (subsist?) without utilities for a while..... my concern is, as Sky mentions, a big EMP, for example. We will be back to the 18th century (USA) or even worse.

When I picture early pioneers out on the plains, or in the wilderness, for the most part after a while they could go to the local store for many goods and foods that were brought in by wagon from the East, or from any more developed areas. It is only the truly isolated pioneers, living far from anybody else, who can be our models for survival. How many of today's people will be able to survive in these conditions? Add in the factor of those around us who will be terrified, starving, sick, driven mad by fear, and we will be in a situation that is truly horrendous. In such a time those who do have some skills to attempt to survive would be better off totally isolated from their neighbors, and the swarming mobs. But again, just how many can actually have an isolated bug out survival location? Then add in all the other variables, possible martial law, pandemic, food riots, etc. well you get the picture. Somebody said to me once when we were discussing how to prepare for a total breakdown, don't worry about having bought a rake, think how to make one yourself. I think that about says it all - we will need to be totally self-sufficient, even leaving out all the other aspects of a societal, grid breakdown. :awe

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Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:09 am
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