Various back up ideas to our everyday utilities – don’t be without when they are interrupted

Backing up back ups ( Belt and Braces)

Just a few points to ponder about your preps, If we rely on mains utilities etc we overly expose ourselves to unnecessary risk, We can mitigate against this with assorted back ups ( budget and circumstances permitting)

So first and foremost our domestic utilities even in first world nations they can be very vulnerable.

So can you back them up.


Central Heating,       Back up Wood Burning Stove and (or Wood / Coal Combo) / or Bottled Gas Fire.

Domestic Water Supply,         Back up Berkfield / Berky Filter and or Stored water / Water  Catchment System/ Domestic Well or Borehole / Pool. / Extra tanks in Attic.

Mains Connected Toilet,     Back up Portable Camping Toilet plus bio chemicals/ Soak Away Hole in garden.

Mains Lighting,     Back up 12vdc LED lighting ( battery powered) and or Candle and Lantern

Refrigeration       Back up 12vdc / Propane Fridge Combo , Root veg Cellar, Water Immersion.

Domestic land line phone,      Back up Cell phone and or Ham / CB radio (Battery / PV powered)

Authority Trash Collection   Back Up Garden Incinerator and Compost Bin / Waste fed food critters

Motor Vehicle, Back up Motorcycle or Quad and or Bicycle with endless chain and puncture proof tyres (Skidoo in the cold zone, Boat in wet zones)


  • Comments (15)

    • 6

      I would also make a case for 5v USB power sources. The big advantages to 5v are; availability, lower price but most important portability.

      A good solar panel, power banks and any number of usb lights and other gadgets can be a cheaper and more efficient option.

      5v gadgets and lighting is readily available and really inexpensive. 12v not so much, you tend to have to go to a specialist motoring store, as a result of that tends to be quite a bit more costly. 

      A good 5v set up can cost a lot less than it’s 12v equivalent and it can and is lightweight compact and portable.

      At the really cheap end you only need to spend a few pounds to get some sort of lighting going.

      There are also solar lights, just because the label says outside, doesn’t mean they are exclusively so and we all know how cheap these sets can be. 

      It’s simple enough to pop them outside or on a sunny windowsill during the day then have the lights where you need them at night. 


      • 9

        Yes I have a 5VDC portable PV kit and I want a 12VDC kit as well.  Most our phones, I pads, laptops etc these days are 5vdc

      • 4

        Do you have some examples of 5v lighting?

        I do have a small portable solar charger and battery bank, so having a few lighting sources that could be powered by this would be so great!

      • 5

        Olly if you go onto Amazon or Amazon UK  and search for USB LED lighting strips you will see dozens of types. They come on a roll and have self adhesive backing.



      • 8

        These are much better. I use one camping on a power bank and I have a few more for when the power goes out. really cheap and bright enough to read with.

        USB lightbulb


      • 6

        Thanks for sharing that Linnet. How do you feel like the light output compares to the normal light bulb in your lamp? 

      • 4

        I would say it’s as bright as a 60 watt lightbulb, but the area it illuminates is smaller. It’s a good white light 

      • 4

        Oh nice! I’ve seen those strips but the ones i’ve always seen were powered by a 12v power brick. That’s nice they have a usb 5v option. 

    • 6

      I edited the title to hopefully make the point of the post clearer for other people. You’re welcome to edit it more.

    • 10

      This past year has sure made me glad I’m a prepper.  First Covid… now heavy snow & near zero temps in Mississippi.  Snowing again now.

      Glad both my fireplaces are wood burning and glad I have lots of firewood.

      I have plenty of water in my Water Bricks if I were to lose power.

      • 6

        Where do you get your firewood from? Is it from trees on your land?

        I’ve seen your previous post about your water bricks in your prepping closet. Are you worried about them freezing out there? Have you only partially filled them up to prevent bursting?

      • 6

        Yes, my wood is from a big oak tree on my property that was blown over in a storm.  And, yes, I don’t fill them all the way so that the ice can expand without damaging the bricks.  I do the same with water in my truck & the water in my get home bag.

      • 5

        Apparently many folks storing water in TX had filled there water containers to the top, And they have burst.

      • 8

        Sounds about right for Texas.  🙂  But seriously, one must plan on freezing temps… even when in the deep south.

    • 10

      Regarding lighting, my parent’s had a dyno driven crank flashlight from WWII. I found an example of a contemporary version of it  Emergency MECO flashlight

      An alternate to refrigeration could be to rely on dehydrated preps such as milk powder, egg powder, etc.

      Markers, dry erase markers, paper, poster board, and painters tape would provide the ability to display messages on windows to communicate, as happened during Covid-19 or signal neighbours for community watch and other warnings, and distress.

      If incinerating any waste, ensure the burn container, if using a barrel, or the chimmney stack if using a chimera style unit, has spark arresters with a bucket of sand nearby to prevent fires especially in close quarters. Never burn close to house, during high winds or under trees. 

      Watch for rodents attracted to compost bins, vulnerable root cellars and neighbouring waste that is not being managed.

      Cross country skis in winter. They work in the urban areas also.

      Footwear proven by your personal use that you can walk in for over 20 miles without blistering or harming your feet. In cold climates a pair proven beyond manufacturer claims that the boots will handle the cold.

      A sturdy wheeled cart that you can harness yourself to (so you don’t twist your spine in order to pull it) and haul supplies or firewood, etc.

      Thank you for raising an important topic for planning and prepping, Bill.