× Prepping, emergency plans, shelters etc

Building up after a SHTF situation

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4 years 2 months ago #5448 by Simomax
After a SHTF situation, once the dust settles, some may want to start building stuff in order to get on as comfortably as possible. We have no idea what the outcome may be, whether its bad or no water, lack of food, no electricity or gas. It could be any one or all, who knows! But, in the event something does go out we may want to throw something up; some solar panels, solar water heater, water filtration, rain collection, diesel heater, whatever. Some may already have these things in place, or some may have only some things in place and some things stored to be built or installed later. Some may have stuff boxed up ready to be fitted with the intention of doing so after the dust has settled.

Which ever scenario it is, you are going to need tools. You are also going to need PPE (personal protective equipment). If you have to build or install something, your environment may have changed. It could be a mild nuclear winter, biological outbreak, floods. So you are going to need to have the correct PPE for the relevant situation. You also need to think about power and if that goes out. It would render any power tool useless and battery tools, the life of their batteries. If you need to cut wood, you need a hand saw. same with other tools, a hand drill, decent screwdrivers etc. Get a generator? Sure as long as you want everyone to know you have it. So as well as the regular prep kit, food, supplies, meds etc. tools and PPE should be among them.

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4 years 1 month ago - 4 years 1 month ago #5470 by mw0uzo
Yes, this.
I have been thinking about making a water filter, rainwater in, drinkable water out.
Maybe two plastic barrels stacked on top of each other with the right filter materials inside.

The other thing I have been thinking of, is to install a solar panel on top of the roofbox and roofrack I've got for the car

That will be useful for charging and power if we go away for any reason. And prolonged operation of HF radios etc
And with it attached to the box, it can be opened and angled towards the sun. Also the box is still useful.
Last edit: 4 years 1 month ago by mw0uzo.

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4 years 1 month ago - 4 years 1 month ago #5471 by Simomax
just a couple of words about rain collection and DIY filtration; bird shit.

Be very careful when using rain water for drinking and washing as if it is contaminated with bird shit it could contain all sorts of bacteria or viruses in the water. Use chlorine tablet(s) in the collection container. Some time ago I thought of having an inline type filter with chlorine tablet just to treat the water on the way to the storage container. Something that forced the water in the bottom of the filter where the chlorine tablet was, and comes out of the top, much like a fish tank sump filter. Or a UV sterilizer that could be run from solar. This would require a pump also to circulate the water through the UV constantly for it to be very effective.. Also some mechanical filter for the water to get catch dead leaves etc as they can become rotten when submerged constantly, but depends how much bacteria are in the water. No bacteria and things should not go rotten, just decompose (oxidize).

I have my RO filter which is fantastic for filtering the water, but it has 2 major downsides. 1, it requires at least 40-50psi pressure for it to pass through the membrane and they are incredibly inefficient with the amount of wasted water. I do have the parts to make a pressurized container that can pressurize with my air compressor (that will run from my solar). Or I could use a foot pump. I would get limited uses from my compressor throughout the night (when batteries not charging) as it runs around 500w for 7 minutes (without conversion inefficiencies from the inverter etc) or so to fill. I have about 2400wh battery storage at absolute best, so I would have to plan to use it during the day as/after batteries have charged in order to use the energy as efficiently. A foot pump would work, but that would require a lot of manual work. Add to that the massive amount of water my RO filter wastes. Out of every 3 litres of water into the filter, I get about 1 litre of nice clean water, but 2 litres of waste water. The waste water can be used for other things, such as watering plants/crops etc, but is no good for drinking or washing with.

I also have a small low power ozone generator that I pulled from a drinking water machine. It pumps air through a chamber where high voltage is applied and creates ozone (o3). The air with ozone is then pumped into a bubbler in the water container. This is good for doing about a litre at a time over 10 minutes or so.

My preferred method, for ease of use and setup would be rain collection into a container with chlorine tablet prefilter (the water runs closely past a chlorine tablet into the collection container where another chlorine tablet resides. The water wont taste good right from the container if it has been left in there a while due to the chlorine, but allowing it to air for a few hours will let most of the chlorine evaporate off. So would have to work a day ahead or something to make sure waster was good to taste.

2nd, I'd go for my RO filter and pressurized water container. Loads more hassle, uses loads of electricity and wastes twice as much water as it produces, but would taste stonkingly good and would also guarantee there are no nasties in there.

I have done some research in the past and gone over and over this a few times in my head, and there isn't a one-size fits all solution to clean water in the event the taps dry up. There is also just straight distillation which is super good at cleaning the water but consumes a fuck-ton of energy (whether electric or fire) and does remove all the needed minerals from the water so drinking distilled water or pure RO for any length of time is not a good thing. Sure if it is life or death, I'd drink it for fun but its not ideal long term.

There are many caveats with any kind of water filtration and you really have to just go with what you have and make best. But always be of the mindset that your source water may be contaminated.

I like your idea about solar on your car. Very simple and effective source of power without using fuel.
Last edit: 4 years 1 month ago by Simomax.

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4 years 1 month ago #5476 by Radslug
Here in central California, USA, our weather is either cold and wet - or sunny. So solar works nicely so long as backup methods are available during the winter.

We already had the basics for earthquakes, but the fires & week long power outages these last few years have prompted us to be far more prepared to be self sufficient. Most recently we added a propane stove b/c I gotta have my coffee if civilization is even hanging on by a thread.

COVID-19 just added another dimension, mostly in the form of longer term food stores.

If you have sufficient sunlight, solar distillation works nicely too. It's rather inefficient but so easy to scale up. Same for phone & other device charging. After the LTE internet backup project is finished, my next one will be larger scale solar + battery backup.
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4 years 1 month ago #5489 by Simomax
I had forgotten about solar distillation, thanks for the reminder, Radslug.

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