What I Did This Week To Prep

Chanse, Ryan, Sarah, & Emily with green tomato salsa

We got our green tomato salsa made and canned this week. From our garden we added tomatoes (some red, mostly green), two onions, and three jalapenos. We combined them with additional peppers (red, yellow, more jalapeno, and Hatch chili), garlic, lime juice, cilantro and other spices (here is the green tomato salsa recipe – next time I’ll leave out the sugar). We ended up with six quart jars (including two hotter ones with habaneros added). We waited several days and opened a jar (allowing for the flavors to blend), and it was really good – and gone in no time. It was interesting how you could taste so many different flavors in each bite. This will definitely be an annual tradition.

As described last week (What I Did This Week to Prep-11/4/11), I determined that the circuit breaker between the inverter and battery bank had failed and the batteries had not recharged before the last test. So I removed it, connected the wires, and it was time to test the battery bank again. This time I ensured that the batteries were fully charged (12.70 volts).

Goals (take 2): Power two lamps to light the living room / kitchen area (each with two CFL bulbs), power a 29 inch TV, DVD player, and use the microwave for limited cooking.

Outcome (better than expected): No issues or problems at all! We powered the lamps, TV and DVD player for six hours, ran the microwave for 10 minutes – and the batteries only went down to 12.35 volts. Based on this test, I believe that if we conservatively used power for about four to six hours a night we could run the battery bank, roughly, for a full week before it had to be recharged. Then (and this is the next thing that needs tested), I believe I can use the generator (with one tank of gas) to recharge the battery bank, and then run the batteries for another week. I think this test has tentatively shown that with our gasoline stored we could maintain a usable amount of power for over six weeks. Also since Sarah and Ryan helped me with both tests, they know what needs to be done and can do it if I’m not here.

The last thing, though it wasn’t an emergency by any means, was that I used my Bug Out Bag (BOB). Chanse (Ryan’s best friend) invited us to his football game. Sarah got there at the beginning of the game and I met her, just after half-time, when I got off work. Driving to the game, as I went by the time/temperature clock (41 degrees), I realized I hadn’t thought to pack any warm clothes and all I had was my light jacket. Then I remembered the BOB I have in my car (we keep one in each of our vehicles) and the problem was solved. I had a warm fleece, Gor-Tex jacket, stocking cap, warm gloves, and a wool blanket (I could have even put on my insulated boots and thermal underwear if I had chosen). Needless to say, I was warm and comfortable (and prepared) for the game.

What did you do?

(Monday: ‘Course It’ll Always Be There)



4 thoughts on “What I Did This Week To Prep

  1. Hi Trace – I’ve been following your posts and they’ve been great! How do you attach your bank of batteries to your house?

    • Good question. It’s not attached directly to the house. It’s a stand alone unit that has a short plug (110 volt) that I plug into a 50 foot 14 gauge extension cord and bring into the house. In the house I plug that into a surge protector and then use that to plug in needed appliances.

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