Recent articles about climate change effecting certain regions makes one wonder if they should be considering how to change their preps accordingly. People in regions that formerly only had to worry about hunkering down might now have to consider evacuation due to fire, flood or hurricane. Other people may be considering what to do if the drought from the last two years becomes persistent causing a severe problem for home food production. Certainly these topics are worth considering. In some cases, people will have to adapt.
Welcome back for part 8 of the “Getting Prepared: A Primer for Beginners” series. Today we talk about your inventory of engines and motors.
The main thing to remember about engines and motors is that they essentially have one purpose.
To convert thermal and electrical energy to produce force or motion. Thermal energy is converted into electricity. Work can be converted into electrical energy as well.
How many lawn mowers do you own? If the mower craps out, keep the engine. It will be useful for a variety of things from go-carts to generating electricity. Of course you will want to remove the governor for some purposes. That old Evenrude? There have got to be ways to utilize it for alternative purposes. A really big mixer comes to mind! I’m sure you can think of other things to do with them.
Treadmill motors can be converted to generate electricity on a windmill. You can re-purpose almost any electric motor for some more useful purpose. Your biggest limitation is your imagination.
The most important thing to remember is not to let any appliance motor nor any combustion engine out of your house until you have verified it is worthless. Then I would think long and hard about if I wanted to dismantle it and use it for pricey scrap metal for everything from cash to reloads.
Now that you know you can use your old motors and engines, let them figure into your plan for generating your own electricity and other projects which require force or motion. Once you know how you want to use the engine, research how to make it work for you. But remember, if you don’t find anyone who has done what you are planning, you can still do it. Find a way. Figure it out. The more you try, the better off you are in the long run. Then you will be the one with the plan.
Along with the engines and motors, figure out how much fuel you have on hand as well as how much fuel you currently have the capacity to store. If you choose to turn some of these motors into generators, be sure to factor the fuel supply they will need to meet your needs and keep your battery bank charged. We’ll post more about electricity storage in another post.
As long as I can remember governments at all levels have had an emergency preparedness plan. I remember those early grammar school years when the nuclear war sirens would sound and we would all walk single file behind the teacher out of the classroom, down the stairs, down the long hall and line up against the wall. When I looked to my right and to my left, the wall was filled with every child from the school. As we were instructed to sit down “Indian style” we were also told to put our head down and cover our heads. The teachers all stood in their dresses and sensible pumps next to the the first student in line from her class. No teacher sat down, nor covered her head. I always thought they were going to die for it.
In later grades we were shown emergency preparedness films. From this we learned we could get fresh water from the toilet tank. The films showed everyone going to the local nuclear war shelter. Then came the local tours. They were all windowless basements filled with barrels of water and crates of food. A single bare light bulb hung from the ceiling of each room in the shelter. It was clear there wasn’t enough food, water, or bedding for the whole town, even to this grade schooler.
One day, as a young adult, I realized it was all hog wash. Yep. The government at all levels, had spend millions of dollars teaching people to run to a shelter where all would be taken care of for them. By the time I was 18 years old I knew the government, with all its good intentions, couldn’t really protect or help everyone. The knowledge that it was up to me to look out for myself, and the family I hoped to have, changed the way I thought.
All that has changed. Or has it? After looking at the civil preparedness plans of communities around the globe, it’s pretty much the same. The local government proudly announce on their web sites, on the radio, and on television that they have a plan. They try to reassure the public that they are prepared for almost every possible event, even a dirty bomb. While they offer words of comfort to citizens, they don’t tell people what events they are not prepared. The list… dirty bomb, check…. tornadoes, check…. blizzards, check…. earthquakes, check…. and so it goes. There are rumors that governments have begun implementing plans to protect certain things from possible EMP events and major solar events.
But, let’s face it. No public entity can truly prepare for a long term situation. What they want is for people to go about their lives in a confident manner believing there is a safety net in case it should all go south in a handbag. Believing that is like believing the kid in the desk next to yours really wants to do your homework.