The Best Generators You Should Invest In

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Having a generator can be a great way to give yourself a little extra peace of mind during power outages.  After all, nobody likes the thought of losing valuable food to an extended outage.  If your outages tend to come along with nasty winter storms, it’s also nice to know you can at least power some space heaters to keep warm.  If, on the other hand, you’re more likely to lose power to summer weather like hurricanes and tropical storms, being able to keep a fan or two or a portable AC or window unit running can help make things a little more bearable.  Whatever the reason for a power outage, it’s also more important than ever for us to have a way to charge phones and computers, both as a way to stay informed and connected as well as a way to keep boredom from setting in too soon.  Portable generators can also be a great weekend companion if you like camping trips or spending weekend afternoons tailgating before your favorite team’s games.  Finding the best generator to meet your needs and budget doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task.  Knowing just a few things about what to look for can make the process a little less intimidating, which can help you make the right investment for you and your family.

When it comes to a backup generator for your house, you can choose to go with a portable model that can double as a camping companion, or you can opt for a fixed model.  If you’re not sure which model is best for your home, start by considering how much power you want (or need) to have during a blackout.  If you’re okay with only having a couple of outlets along with the fridge and fans or space heaters, you might be perfectly happy with a portable model.  If you want everything to be “business as usual” even when the municipal power is out, you’re likely going to need to invest in a fixed model.  Typically, you should be prepared to spend at least $3,000 for a fixed model.  You’ll also be looking at up to $1,500 for installation unless you are certain that you can handle the job yourself.  It’s important to understand what your installation cost (or at least a very good estimate) will be if you’ll need to factor that cost into your overall budget.  Portable and fixed models can run on unleaded gasoline, propane, diesel, or solar power (solar power doesn’t come cheap, but is clean and renewable).  Some fixed units can be patched into an existing natural-gas supply, which offers the added convenience of not having to worry about needing to refill the generator during bad weather.  Just make sure you factor in that expense, too.  For the best home generator, visit for information (including pros and cons) of several fixed and portable whole-home models.  They’ve also got some great additional information to help you make your best investment.

After you’ve determined how much power you need and what fuel type works best for you, noise is the other major consideration.  Since noise is measured in decibels (dB), look for the lowest decibel rating you can get.  To give you a general idea of various noise levels, consider that a typical face-to-face conversation usually registers about 60 dB.  A lawn mower comes in at around 90 dB, and a sporting event at its noisy peak can easily reach 130 dB.  A good exhaust kit can reduce noise by acting as a muffler.  An exhaust kit is also a great way to help keep you and anyone else nearby safer by directing harmful exhaust fumes up and away.  If you’re planning to take your generator tailgating or camping, be sure you understand whether or not your venue or campground has generator noise guidelines or exhaust kit requirements before you make the trip.  Here’s some great information on some of the quietest portable generators.  In addition to pros and cons of some top picks, you’ll get additional information on what to look for when shopping as well as some guidelines on what to expect at different price points.

The Ultimate To Do List for Preppers

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When the world comes to an end, you don’t want to be filled with regret. Here’s a to do list for preppers.

  1. Create a food journal. Include what you and your family eat in a week. This will make shopping for food storage infinitely easier.

  2. Learn multiple ways to make a fire. You can start one using a lighter, a magnifying glass, a magnesium stick, fire ribbon, etc. Learn how to start one using each method in case one fails.                      

  3. Stay current on doctors appointments. Do by getting a check-up asap. Additionally, stay on top of your medications.

  4. Rid your house of non-essentials. You can easily do so by holding a garage sale and getting rid of everything you don’t need while making money to buy what you do need.

  5. Get a bicycle (if you don’t already own one) and a repair kit. Bicycling could very well be the main mode of transportation post-disaster, so if you don’t already own one, buy one. Get a repair kit and learn how to use it as well.

  6. Develop a food rotation system for canned goods. Check expiration dates and cook anything that hasn’t yet expired. Create a rotation system in which you keep track of upcoming expiration dates so you can remember to replenish supplies.

  7. Prepare firewood. Keeping your firewood supply stocked will take a lot of work, so start preparing your firewood now. This is especially useful if you’ve never chopped firewood now.

  8. Keep your car filled with gas. Always make sure your car is more than half full.

  9. Have a maintenance check on your car and stock up on car maintenance supplies. Always stay up to date on maintenance checks for you car. Also, post-disaster, you will most likely start being your own mechanic, so stock up on car maintenance supplies now.

  10. Plan sanitation routines. Set up a portable toilet situation and how you and others will maintain proper hygiene. This may be one of the least “fun” things to plan, but it’s important to get it set up asap.

  11. Become familiar with your neighbors. You never know what resources they could offer in a time of need.

  12. Read articles and books on prepping. They could offer useful insight.                                                          

  13. Practice cooking with prepping supplies. This will get you used to using your cooking equipment and knowing how to work with what you have. This isn’t something you want to figure out in the heat of the moment.

  14. Practice living off freeze-dried and canned foods for a week. This will help you figure out if you packed properly or if you need more variety in your potential future diet.

  15. Learn sign language. You don’t need to learn everything; just the essentials to communicate effectively with your family in a time of need.

  16. Learn self defense. You can do so by taking a class.

  17. Buy defense tools. Anything easy to wield and that is sharp should do just fine.

  18. Buy canned products with less sodium. Products high in sodium will make you thirstier, ultimately depleting your water supply faster than intended. Buying canned products with less sodium should help with this depletion.

  19. Get books and card and board games. You may need something to entertain you and your family or at least ease any tension.

  20. Learn how to garden. This may be how you obtain some of your food.

  21. Learn how to read and navigate with a map and compass. You may not have a GPS and your phone may not even be in use, so learn how to navigate with a compass and map and with just a map alone.

  22. Prepare medical supplies. Get first aids kits and learn how to use them.                                                      

  23. Be sure to have cash on hand. Credit card means may not work, so it is always useful to have cash on hand.

  24. Prepare for your pets. Be sure to also stock up on food and other supplies for your pets. This includes any flea and tick medications as well as a carrier.

  25. Get a crank radio. A crank radio is your best bet if you don’t have power. It will help you stay in current if there is still news.