What to do when the lights go off

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Are you prepared for the electrical grid to go down?

The U.S. power grid is at greater risk today than ever before. The nation’s infrastructure is crumbling, solar storms are raging, severe weather is slamming the country and the threat of an electromagnetic pulse attack looms large in this age of global terrorism.

Future power outages are almost certain, and they will likely last longer and cover wider areas than anything seen before.

But you don’t have to worry. Energy expert Jeffrey Yago can help you prepare for the worst with his new book, “Lights On: The Non-technical Guide to Battery Power When the Grid Goes Down.”

Yago is a licensed professional engineer and certified energy professional with more than 40 years of experience in the energy and emergency power field. But you don’t need to be an energy professional to learn from him.

In his book, Yago lays out detailed, easy-to-understand instructions to help laypeople replace their grid-powered devices with battery-powered appliances. He also covers the many ways to keep batteries charged and ready to use, giving Americans electrical self-sufficiency before disaster strikes the power grid.

As Yago demonstrates in a series of online how-to videos, it’s not difficult to switch over to battery power. It starts with a few basic tools.

“Typically we need to take a wire, remove the insulation,” Yago says. “I like to use electrician’s pliers, which have the different sizes of openings for different sizes of insulation.”

In addition to pliers, he recommends a good crimper – one that locks and has color coding – because the serious prepper will be working with many different sizes of wires and terminal ends while connecting their various batteries. He said preppers will also need a pair of wire cutters, a socket or open-end wrench to tighten up battery terminals, Phillips and flat-blade screwdrivers, and a voltmeter.

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Once you have those tools, you can build your own backup power system to charge a cellphone or any device that comes with a 12 volt DC adapter. In one do-it-yourself video, Yago shows viewers how to build a portable gel cell battery outfitted with the same type of DC outlet found in most automobiles. He recommends combining it with an adapter that allows you to plug in multiple devices at once.

“Say [there’s] a power outage or an off-grid weekend retreat, you can take this [battery] with you, fully charged, and you can operate or charge up multiple cell phones or LED lights or any of the smaller portable DC appliances,” Yago instructs.

The next step is to make your portable battery solar powered. In another how-to video, Yago uses a solar module and a motorcycle battery to construct a portable solar charger.

He notes the charger he built in the video uses a 7 amp-hour battery, which is enough to easily charge up three or four cellphones. He said his solar powered charger could also charge up an iPod or any small USB device – or even a laptop on a sunny day. However, he said it could not charge a desktop computer or a similar large device.

“But again, this is portable,” he says. “The idea is, what are the small devices you may have either to bug out or to go camping, such as some LED lights or USB-type connectors for cell phones and that type of equipment.”

That is just the beginning. Yago goes into far more detail about how to replace various appliances with battery-powered ones in “Lights On.”

The WND Superstore is your one-stop shop for all things preparedness. Browse water filters, gas masks, emergency long-term food kits, self-help guides, and much, much more. Be prepared when disaster strikes.

H/T WND
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