There are many items in relation to prepping that we would want to conceal from outsiders. For example, food, water, survival gear, weapons, gold, silver, or even a survival garden are all things that we would want to keep hidden from view.
The reasons we want to hide these types of items can vary, but we often just want to prevent anyone from stealing what is rightfully ours. In addition, we also want to avoid having anyone dropping by to borrow our equipment for their needs.
Of all the items we would want to conceal, I believe that backup power systems are one that we should be taking a lot of time and consideration in hiding.
Therefore, what I will talk about here are several types of backup power systems that we will want to shield from the prying eyes of our neighbors and passers-by.
One Critical Step To Take After SHTF
Once you find yourself in an SHTF scenario with a functioning backup power system, one thing you must do is exercise strict noise and light discipline.
Related: 10 Things You Should Never Do When The Power Goes Out
A post-SHTF world is going to be very quiet and dark. If your lights are on and there is abnormal noise coming from your house, the neighbors will know you have power and will definitely be knocking at your door.
Keep the curtains closed and avoid making any noise. Running the blender to make some post-apocalyptic margaritas is probably not the best idea, as is powering up the TV and sound system for movie night.
You’ll need to take a walk around your home to check that no light is escaping and be very aware of how sound will carry to the exterior of your house.
The biggest issue with generators is that they are very portable and easy to steal. Often they are on wheels which makes moving them around easier but also makes theft easy as well.
They also must be run outside your home, exposing them to the threat of theft while you are inside.
It is easy enough to keep a backup generator in your garden shed or garage. While this conceals it from view, it does little when you actually have to use it.
Generators are loud. Even inverter-style generators make enough noise to alert everyone around you that you have power.
The best way to conceal your generator is to build an enclosure for it so that you can soundproof it while moving the exhaust to the outside. There is not much you can do about the smell of exhaust fumes, but at least the sound can be dealt with to an extent.
These enclosures can be built with readily available materials and do not require any special skills to construct. You can also find plans and videos online that will take you through the process of making your generator quieter.
Even with an enclosure, there will be evidence that a generator is running, so you must carefully consider when and how often you use it.
There is not going to be a solution that will make your generator totally silent, but if you deaden the noise enough, it will be more difficult for people to track down the location of the noise. Alternatively, you can build your own silent “power plant” for cheap.
Solar Power Systems
Hiding a solar power system is very tricky.
The biggest issue is that the solar panels must be placed outside the home to collect energy from the sun.
An easy way to conceal your panels is to put them outside only when required.
However, this may be impossible if the front of your home faces South, which may result in insufficient sunlight reaching your backyard to make the panels effective.
One option is to place the panels inside the home so sunlight can shine through the windows to be collected by the panels. This is going to reduce the efficiency of the panels but will help to conceal their existence from your neighbors.
There is also the issue of constantly moving the panels as the sun transits the sky.
The battery bank that the solar panels charge can easily enough be kept inside the home. Because this type of backup power system is silent, there will be no overt evidence that you have a functioning backup power source besides the light and noise you make with electronic devices.
Suppose you are fortunate enough to have a source of running water near enough to your backyard to take advantage of hydroelectric power. In that case, you will still want to conceal it. However, preventing people from following waterways is difficult, so your hydroelectric generator will undoubtedly be discovered.
Related: The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make In A Blackout – Field Report From Venezuela
The best way to hide a hydroelectric power plant is to divert some of the flow from the stream, river, or creek to your hydroelectric generator. Then, after it passes through the generator, you create a path for the water to return to its source downstream.
This can be as simple as running some large-diameter PVC pipe you bury underground with the hydroelectric generator.
The power cables must also be buried with the appropriate conduits required by local regulations and electrical codes.
This is another backup power option that is exceedingly difficult to conceal. A wind turbine must be high enough to be exposed to enough wind to generate the required electricity.
Therefore, it is impractical to disguise a wind turbine as anything else. This leaves the best option to only put it up when absolutely necessary.
When you are using a wind turbine, you can also use your house or trees to shield it from view. Backup power is critical to long-term survivability in a post-SHTF world.
It is also one of the more expensive components of your preparedness strategy, which is one reason why concealing it is going to be an essential aspect of your preparedness planning.
Despite the difficulties of hiding some backup power options, you should still take the time to consider how they could be hidden from view.
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