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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Yes I’ll hide a solar setup…….don’t worry that 30 feet of panels is a tree
Better “Zero” All your guns – NOW.
While ammo is still available.
And learn “Combat Shooting.”
VERY DIFFERENT – From Range “Bulls Eye” Shooting.
ie As Fast as you can shoot(control Recoil) and still be “On Target”. Me – State/DHS Certified Instr., Combat Competition Shooter
Shoot for the mass
Trolls are back.Just different names
Let them troll I find it funny to see the ignorance and stupidity of them and all they know is how to trash talk and sponge off the system and in the time frame you still need court jesters with the clown show in DC
Haven’t seen any trolls
if you look in the mirror nekriD relyT … I’m certain you will see one!
If I look in the mirror I see a handsome man with a enormous heart
Digging a pit deep enough to place your generator below ground level then cover the pit with something to camouflage it can help.
You need air to get in and exhaust to get out.
Soil will dampen the sound quite a bit.
Reduces the human detection range.
If you have a real chimney, you could put the generator in the basement and run the exhaust to the chimney.
Reduces the sound that way too.
Or toss a few dead bodies around your generator to give others a HINT….
on long spikes like Vlad the Impaler…
I have a very quiet way of powering Generators. And the invention is public domain or licensed. Plus if you can get a AC/DC motor Generator with this type of engine you will maximize your power. Generators in a pit still vibrate and you can track that vibration. However there are ways where certain engines don’t vibrate don’t need exhaust or air. Points. You could stand atop this system and never know that it is there.
Lol who is tracking for generator vibrations
An engine that doesn’t receive air or emit exhaust definitely won’t vibrate. Nice, intriguing claim, though.
Steam engines are good, reliable and relatively quiet. They can be dangerous to operate though and need constant monitoring. Still, hook one up to a generator (modified alternator) and you have power. Skip Goebel used to design such systems in the Ozarks. Also, wood gasification can work, but still runs a combustion engine.
LOL! Sounds a lot like the one thing you can eat or drink that will cure, cancer, diabetes, obesity, pattern baldness, increase the size of your dick, and make super models fight each other to be with you. But they never tell you what it is and they will sell you a bottle at a discount for $69 and then $99 for every bottle after.
Tumeric cures cancer and you can grow it in your herb garden inside your house. There you go. I gave you free advise and you didn’t pay me any money to receive it.
Oh William, please tell us of this miraculous engine that doesn’t vibrate, nor need exhaust or air that can still produce enough power to be useful. I remember that long ago Mazda was trying to market rotary engine vehicles, but they had so many flaws that they stopped producing them. So please enlighten us all with Make and Model of this miraculous engine so we can all run out and get one before they all disappear.
Folks, I really do hate it when someone makes a claim but doesn’t provide enough information and/or links to verify what they say.
SHTF major tool everybody is definitely going to need will be personal protection that doesn’t require ammunition. Native Americans did it best with bows and arrows, and long bladed knives. The natives were silent killers as our colonial fathers found out, the hard way. Plenty of food outside if you like squirrel, possom, and racoon. Grow your own indoor garden for hydoponic organic food (medicinal herbs and vegetables).
Bullets are cheap stock deep
That’s because it won’t run!
If you live in the city or suburbia none of these tactics recommended are feasible for the average person or a prepper. Solar energy in most neighborhoods these days is pretty much of the norm and not a specialty that gets special attention. Wind turbines in most cases are not practical in residential areas due to height restrictions and generally the lack of sufficient wind. The use of a noisy generator can also be mitigated by the use of a solar generator, of which there are numerous units available in a multitude of sizes and price ranges. These references to personal power plants would probably be more in tune with an individual living in a fairly secluded location. In that case as a prepper, even if you’re not Off-grid, you would hopefully already be in an obscure or rural location where these power plants would not draw too much attention. Trying to camouflage or do a daily put up and take down of a system regardless of where you live is absurd and an exercise in futility. Additionally, in an EMP situation, none of these means of power would be functional anyway, unless you have a really good faraday cage. I would be more concerned about removing and protecting those tanks of propane the barrel and the wood stove shown sitting outside the house. Those would be more of a magnet than the solar panels or a wind turbine. If you already live in a secluded location these power systems are not an issue. You’ll need to be more aware of roving trolls’ intent on breaking and entering, robbing and looting. In that case be sure to have your means of protection readily available and be vigilant.
Oregon Chuck, you have a very good perspective about this topic. I agree with your recommendations, they are more useful and practical than the article.
All I see is perfection
If you are where others can hear or see your business, then you are in the wrong place. If you are in the right place, no one will hear or see your business unless they are already trespassing.
Trespassing will be dealt with.
The only good trespasser is a deceased trespasser in my book. My garden needs more free fertilizer. Trespassers make excellent free fertilizer. Only cost is the bullet and the reloading of the case and primer. Goes along with child molester, thief, wife beater, etc.
Keeping valuables safe by keeping them out of sight – this Mr Michael Major use to be called common sense.
So William, what is your way ?
Not bad article for a short term SHFT but think about this for a few minutes. I have a generator and it is not as noisy as most, but I will not be depending on any power. The problem is if you are dependent on having power you have already lost survivability. I used my generator for my wife’s comfort while she was disabled.
To survive in a SHTF that will be long term you must learn to live as the people did back when they had no electricity.
To some people believe they will be able to use their power for as long as necessary, but the truth is eventually those power sources will end.
Now granted it will give you some additional comfort for the short term. But it will also cause you higher discomfort and less survivability when you no longer have it because you would not have prepared for those eventualities. There are many things that can cause you not to have power. Some of them are having to leave your place, lack of parts, or having a lack of knowledge to repair.
So, it is best to be prepared for having no power sources.
if SHTF, all it takes is one serious fire to wipe out everything you have stored up, and then what? Can you survive on what little you can manage to salvage? As Dreaded posted, without the knowledge and means to live without power your chances of surviving long term are greatly reduced.