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Energy

There are many forms of energy to be concerned with as well as many sources of energy. Some of these sources are renewable while others can be recharged. Some are quite dangerous and others are not.

Battery Charger - This usually refers to the recharging of batteries to be used in an electric device. Some chargers are built into the device that needs the batteries. Others are such that the batteries need to be removed and inserted into the charger. Be sure to only put rechargeable batteries into a battery charger. Also, since there are several different kinds of rechargeable batteries, make sure your charger can charge the kind you have.

Chargers can use the following as their source of energy to recharge batteries:

  • Automobile Current (DC)
  • House Current (AC)
  • Solar

To see some Charger Solutions, click these links:

  

Fuel - There are many kinds of fuels available to provide the energy to make our lives more comfortable. However, some are very dangerous and should not be stored by the general public, such as gasoline. Consider the following fuels and determine if you would need any of them:

  • Buddy Burner- This is a homemade burner that can be used to keep someone warm or to cook with. Click here to learn more about Buddy Burners.
  • Cardboard - This is useful in starting fires and in making fire-starting equipment such as Buddy Burners. It is flammable, but it can be safely stored and it is not explosive.
  • Charcoal Chimney Starter - This is a barrel shaped can that allows you to light charcoal with just paper and a match, no liquid fuel needed. First put some wadded up paper in the bottom and then pour charcoal on top. Then light the paper and soon you will have fully engulfed charcoal.

Charcoal Chimney Starter  Lit Charcoal Chimney Starter

To see some Charcoal Chimney Starters, click these links:

  

  • Charcoal - This is a safe fuel to store but it is not safe to use indoors. It can kill. In storing it, be sure to keep it sealed away from moisture because it will otherwise absorb moisture from the air, rendering the charcoal useless.
  • Diesel - This is a fuel that is required for certain heavy duty equipment such as large trucks and tractors. It cannot be mixed with gasoline so keep them in separate cans that are well marked.
  • Dung - Yep, straight from the other end of the cow. The pioneers used this as a source for their fires when there was no wood around. It works.
  • Fire Starter - There are a couple of different items that fall under this category. One is a combination of flint (or magnesium) and steel that can be struck together to produce a spark that can become the beginnings of a nice fire. The other is a combination of paraffin and wood chips that have been melted together to form a stick. This stick can be lit on fire, even in a rain storm.

To see some Fire Starters, click these links:

  

  

  • Firewood - This is a great fuel. It is not volatile, easy to store and it lasts a long time. It does require special equipment and some muscles to use it, but it is very reliable.
  • Gasoline - This is very dangerous and it has a very short shelf life. We do not recommend storing any quantities of gasoline. We are not opposed to you keeping your vehicles and equipment more than 3/4 full. If you are going to store a gasoline powered device for a season, be sure to put some drops of fuel stabilizer in the tank and run the engine for a minute or two before you store the device for the season. This will eliminate the need to drain all of the fuel out of the tank. Be sure that you only store gasoline in a proper gas can. Make sure the lids are tightly closed. Except for your garage, do not take gasoline into the house (or a tent). Never use gasoline to start a fire. It is highly explosive and it just might scare the life out of you, literally when it goes BOOM.
  • Gelled Fuel - This is a fuel that comes in a can. It is not explosive and can be easily stored.
  • Kerosene - This is a flammable liquid that has been used for thousands of years. A form of Kerosene is used as jet fuel. 
  • Natural Gas - This is not really portable. It is delivered through pipes that are underground and it is mainly only used by devices inside your home.
  • Newspapers - These are flammable, but they can be carefully stored. They are helpful in lighting fires.
  • Paraffin - This is candle wax. It can be melted down and shaped into candles. It can also be poured into cans with wicks, wood chips, paper or cardboard to make a fuel that can be used in cooking.
  • Propane - This fuel is a gas. It comes in various sizes of tanks and, although it will burn and even explode, it is not as dangerous as gasoline.
  • Sun - This is the mother of all fuels. We do not need to store it and it should never run out. However, it may not be there the moment we might need it. Therefore, its power should be converted and stored in some other form for use later.
  • White Gas - This is a liquid fuel that is used in lanterns and cook stoves. It should be treated the same as gasoline above.
  • Wind - This can be considered a fuel because it can be used to power devices that can be useful.

Generator -  This is a device that can produce electricity. Generators have made a lot of progress in the past few decades. They are quieter than they used to be. There are propane models that do not rely on you to store dangerous quantities of gasoline. Propane does not go bad like gasoline does. If you have an outdoor barbecue, you can share a tank with your generator. You could even get a large tank that could be a good backup for all your propane needs.

Use care around a generator because the current they generate can be fatal, just like house current. Generators are sometimes noisy, so perhaps getting a long extension cord could provide some peace and quiet. Be sure to get one that can handle the load over the distance.

Generators can be powered by many different fuels. The most popular ones are those powered by gasoline or propane. Some of the types of generators are as follows:

  • Bicycle
  • Diesel
  • Electric
  • Gasoline
  • Geothermal
  • Hand Crank
  • Kerosene
  • Natural Gas
  • Propane
  • Solar
  • Wave
  • White Gas
  • Wind

To see some Generators, click these links:

  

Inverter - This is a device that can take DC power and convert it to AC power. That means that if you have a source of DC power like a 12 volt DC automobile battery, that power can be converted to AC power. They are small, inexpensive, light and you might consider putting one in each of your autos. It plugs into the cigarette lighter and it is has a place to plug in a power cord from a device. An inverter can be used to supply electricity to certain devices that require AC power such as:

  • Battery Chargers
  • Camera
  • Computers
  • DVD Players
  • Lights
  • Music Players
  • Televisions

To see some Inverters, click these links:

  

Moving Water - This can be used to put some devices to work, such as a watermill, which can drive a saw at a sawmill. It can also be used to drive a generator that produces electricity.

Solar - As its name implies, Solar Energy comes from the sun. Modern people are relearning what their ancestors already knew about Solar Energy. If you have an emergency and the sun will be shining, you can probably take advantage of it to accomplish some of the following:

  • Cook Food
  • Get a Suntan - Sunshine is a good source of Vitamin D
  • Heat Water
  • Purify Water - Using a solar still, dirty water can be made pure. Click here for more on a Solar Still.
  • Recharge Batteries - Then those batteries can be used in such things as the following:
    • Automobile
    • Camera
    • Cell Phone
    • Cordless Shop Tools
    • Flashlight/Lantern
    • Music Player
    • PDA
    • Radio
  • Signal for Help - Using a mirror, you can reflect sunlight up to airplanes that signals S.O.S., which is the universal call for help.

Wind - For centuries, farmers have harvested the wind to bring well water to the surface for their livestock out in the fields. This is called a windmill. Today, huge commercial wind farms are popping up all over the country and this source of renewable energy is being used to generate electricity.

 

 

Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center, Inc.

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