Resilience Audit (1 Viewer)

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Linda

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The title of this article pulled me in because I like the idea of being resilient and self-sufficient - well as much as possible. The Time of Covid, as well as the approaching hurricane season, got me to thinking about our daily life. Although we don't get direct hits from hurricanes, we often get big winds and rains, which can knock out electricity and bring on boil water notices.

Although the article has a more prepper focus, I think the idea of resilience is the most important. I've been building up an inventory of supplies, and we do have battery operated lanterns. What have you all been doing?

We are surrounded by constant reminders of our fragility in the face of chaos. But it does not have to be this way.
There are other options. With smart planning and sound decisions, Americans all over the country are choosing to build resilient lives—piece by piece, layering in components, until they are ready to adapt to any challenge. It’s all about resilience.
Resilience cannot just be turned on and off like a light switch. Resilience has a place in nearly every aspect of your life. Here are some tips to build resilience that you can start following today.

https://thefederalist.com/2020/07/23/how-to-do-a-resilience-audit-to-prepare-for-the-next-huge-crisis/
 
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Linda

Linda

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Hey there - I'm looking for a recommendation for a solar charger for phones and laptop from someone who has used one.

I've already done a search of reviews and now want actual referrals. Thanks.
 
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Lila

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To answer the question about resilience I believe that I've worked more on myself than any kind of ordered plan for disaster. Having said that I did make a disaster box years ago and it's still around. I made sure to put chocolate and some reading material in there :-D

Then again, I do put a lot of work into my garden and any gardener already has resilience built in, I'd say. I have a pantry and lots of things that I can make things out of. But that's the thing, if I don't know how to ask questions and find solutions then I don't think I can use those things to do much; hence, working on myself.

And, of course, community is about the best resilience one can have, IMO.
 
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Linda

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Pod

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I agree with you, it would be nice to get some before the damned summer is over
I did a load of washing on Tuesday night and have been trying to dry it ever since. I do not have a tumble dryer or inside airers or even radiators so it has been on the line twice. Fiddly when it is panties and socks.

Finally the guys next door have done the last 10 minutes in the tumble dryer.
 

Hailstones Melt

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I did a load of washing on Tuesday night and have been trying to dry it ever since. I do not have a tumble dryer or inside airers or even radiators so it has been on the line twice. Fiddly when it is panties and socks.

Finally the guys next door have done the last 10 minutes in the tumble dryer.
I haven't seen a peg for a number of years.
 

Hailstones Melt

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Thanks for posting, Linda. The article has made me think of getting a better water filtration system into the house (at the moment, it's a Maxtra filter jug in the fridge. The water from those tastes nice, but there could be a time when there is no fridge!) I also have five courtyard rain tanks all set up behind a screen (so, not a blight on the eyes). However, the water collected in there has been there for some years. I just collected it to have some extra water around, but it mainly could be used for sprinkling the garden. I know giardia and other bugs get into water sources quite easily, especially if stagnant, so this water would not be appropriate for drinking. I know from hard experience from caravanning how sick you can be if you drink spoiled water. There are pills you can pop into the tanks which treat the water, you can get from camping shops. However, with 5 rain tanks, that would be a major undertaking.

I also have some large books on disaster prep on the book shelf - but most of the skills in there are too advanced or require better resources. The kind of thing I normally would pay a home handyman for.
 
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therium

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I'm looking for a recommendation for a solar charger for phones and laptop from someone who has used one.
I know a bit about solar as I have been exploring solar power for 7+ years and have my own photovoltaic system. It's a small one that we use to charge all our tablets and phones. I also make power banks and LED flashlights for a hobby so I have to be very familiar with battery systems.
  1. What do you want out of a solar charger? Do you want just to charge AA batteries, or some other batteries? Or do you want something bigger?
  2. What's your budget?
  3. If you got a solar panel with micro-usb connector to charge a USB power bank, is that enough? A decent quality one will be about $90 for both items.
I have 3 solar panels in my south window. They charge a 12vdc car battery. The charge controller prevents the battery from getting over charged and over discharged, that's essential. I can then hook a 12v car outlet to the battery, and hook a USB charger to the car outlet and I have USB ports. The charge controller also has 2 USB ports, each one delivers 500ma which will work, but larger batteries (like a bit 10,000mah battery bank) may take a while to charge.

The basic setup: solar panels -> charge controller -> battery bank -> devices that will use the battery.

Here are my tips/notes.
  1. The solar battery charges work but the solar panel built into them is normally WAY undersized. You want a system which has a separate panel with at least 3 sq feet of usable solar panel.
  2. Likewise, the solar panel built into a USB battery bank will work, but is WAY undersized. It can take 7-15 days of winter sun to charge a 10,000mah. That is why, before I got my PV system, I bought a solar panel with a micro USB connection to charge my battery banks.
  3. Renogy on Amazon sells a good solar panel at a reasonable price. Keep in mind, the more power a panel makes per sq foot, the more it will cost.
  4. I have the Thunderbolt package of solar panels from Harbor Freight. They work but provide half the power as the Renogy panels. This package comes with 4 solar panels, and a charge controller, no battery. You must provide your own 12vdc car battery. I got a low-range battery for about $79usd.
  5. I use the extra Thunderbolt panel to power an air pump for my pond. Getting the correct device that will actually work with your pump is very important.
  6. Solar panels will not provide any usable power if the weather is too cloudy.
  7. Make sure to position panels facing the sun. In the northern hemisphere, that means facing panels south.
  8. Ask if you have any more questions.
  9. Cheaper charge controllers work but the MPPT charge controllers, which are more expensive, "grab" more of the power from the panels to send to your battery, and thus are more efficient.
  10. I have the cheap non-MPPT charge controller. While my car battery came charged at 14vdc from the store, the charge controller will not charge it beyond 13vdc. This limit is often set in the hardware of the charge controller. More expensive charge controllers will allow you to set the upper limit of voltage for a given battery.
  11. They laughed when I got a solar flashlight. But the solar flashlight works by charging a battery during the day, and using the battery at night. :)
  12. Some people need to charge batteries, like for oxygen concentrators. If this is a life or death situation, get the better Renogy panels and the better MPPT charge controller.
Very important considerations.
  1. The panels are rated to deliver power for conditions only found in a lab. The AVERAGE power your panel will provide, throughout all summer conditions (excluding winter conditions) is about 60% of the rated power. If your panel is rated for 50 watts, only expect an average of 30 watts from the panel during all sunny and cloudy days during the summer. Winter output will be much less. Over engineer the setup and you should be safe. "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best."
  2. I size panels at 50% of their rated power rating. Then I test the panel on a sunny summer day and cloudy summer day to make sure it will in fact drive the pump I want it to drive.
  3. IMO, cloudy conditions affects amps more than volts, but cloudy conditions do affect volts and amps.
  4. Battery charging is a bit less picky. They absolutely need minimum volts to pump power into the battery, but even a few milliamps will charge the battery, although very slowly. The charging voltage from the solar panels must be more than the battery voltage in order to "fill" the battery with a charge. Your charge controller should adjust the voltage down if it's too high to charge the battery.
 
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