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View Full Version : Modern Idocy, how we are not prepared to survive -rant-


meaty-btz
12-02-2011, 9:33 AM
Our cultural idiocy of the "now" and "the half-assed" appears to set us up for utter failure. This even seems true for many of the common prepper.

Lets start with Maintaining Comfort and Modern Life in the face of extended Storm damage and threat.

Bad Storms are real, we have them all the time in this country and just a few days ago in LA. Most people make bad bets and are bad at assessing risk. So thinking and planning for a 3-week long power loss would make sense for any home owner who is sitting on 250,000-1million dollar investment.

So lets go with power-loss. You spent lets say 500K on your home but you won't spend even 1% on your investment to provide sufficient backup power supply in case of extended outage. A 60 DB full throttle LPG/Nat Gas 20KW generator is less than 1% your investment and will power the heating and cooling and electrical needs of a 500K house for weeks. This is an auto-start/stop auto-cutover fully setup rig.

Do people do this? No, they buy a 4KW Sears Generator without the cut-in switch and not even wired into your home, makes 80DB of noise and runs on gas. So you have to snake extension cords over to your critical appliances. What is worse is most people with the Sears Generator don't maintain it, what is even worse is those people often have no reserve fuel supply for that generator.

What goes even farther is most home owners don't even have a 4KW Generator from sears. The majority of those with generators have these little dinky 1KW Generators, or like the home-owner I live with now a broken 2KW sears generator and a dinky 1 Solar Panel battery pack. Even more have nothing at all. Having lived in a modern apartment for nearly a week without power using lamp oil I can tell you, life gets pretty damn primitive without power and that lamp oil will make you feel ill and will blacken your ceilings.

I suppose I am venting, I am not in a position to prep. I am poor, destitute, and barely surviving. I watch idiots about me doing nothing to prepare that can.

My own father bought a Costco generator for Y2K, but he didn't even take it out of the box, or get the cut-in panel. Even farther he didn't stockpile the gas to run the damn thing, let alone the fact it was a cheapy under-powered unit. Why even bother? If you do it half-assed your *** is still grass! ARGH! My father is ex Gov, ex Mil, and a smart man. You would think that he would have the sense to do this correctly. That Y2K generator is still in its box... does it even work? Beats me... Well at least he is stockpiling ammo..... *sigh*

I suppose this sort of thing would be understandable better if we realised our whole culture is beset by this. We have cities in ND who were flush with cash from the population boom mis-spend the money and then ***** and whine when their infrastructure (roads and sewage) are not up to par and they complain they don't have enough money. No one spends on infrastructure, the most critical part of any company, network, power-grid, and city.

I have, in my own job, had sits refuse to buy new servers that cost 3500 that they needed or they faced risk of data-loss who would then turn about and spend 35000 on digital projectors and document cameras. In this real world case they suffered a critical failure and had 70% data loss. Nearly 6 years of data forever gone. When the crap hit the rotating wind generator I was the one left holding the bag. I was the one who had to fix it and spend the time and effort on recovering what I could.

We are a half-assed, under structured, and unprepared culture. It haunts us at every turn. So when you look at your prep supplies and your plans, keep this in mind: Am I doing this our cultures way or am I really ready? What I am willing to sacrifice in the now to ensure my life is both productive and comfortable come what may to the extent that I can prepare?

This from someone who cannot prepare beyond the most basic of things. My disaster existence may be mean and uncomfortable compared to yours but I would rather see those who can, avoid what I will have to deal with. We are not talking TOTWAKI, we are talking just severe weather. Unless you like living in FEMA Camps.

Am I prepared:

Flood
Fire
Power-Loss
Earthquake
General Storm

The funny thing is if you prepare for comfortably riding out the above, chances are you will be ready as you can be if our friend TOTWAKI decides to show up.

Ripon83
12-02-2011, 10:03 AM
My brother and I prep. My two sisters do not. When my father passed he had two assets to his name; a fine property in the Nevada high desert he used for deer hunting and access to some stream fishing and he later found out some geese fly through once a year and he enjoyed that - and his condo on the golf course. The sisters really wanted that condo - and sold it. My brother and I love that land.

So I tried to talk to the sisters about being a little more prepared in case something goes wrong in the world, a storm, a flood, a SHTF economic problem - anything. Silly they thought....they pay close to $6k a year in health insurance premiums, put $5k a year in retirement funds, and would not bother to spend $300 a year on some extra long term food stocks. I know their husbands, good men, one has some solid skills in farming and machine work - the other is a computer geek. If things went bad I know there is little I could do for them.

meaty-btz
12-02-2011, 10:59 AM
What really gets me is that this issue infects our whole culture to the point of Last Minute everything, shipping, buying, selling, corporations are doing this. Towns and cities are. Its like playing a game of head in the sand in regards to anything good. It is like having a million dollars and blowing it on hookers and blow and then falling dead the next year from a splinter because you are broke and it got infected.

I envy you your land. Your example is great, people spend 5K a year on Health Insurance, 1K on gym membership and assorted things for their health but wont spend 500 bucks on food or a generator... ummm *scratch head*..

Ripon83
12-02-2011, 12:59 PM
Some do come around. I referred to my brother in law (wifes side of the family) a few times now. It was May or June that I got him to read "One Second After" and he's taking prepping very seriously now. He never owned a gun in his life and now has 2. He lives in a rural area on a well but had no power back up - now he has solar with batteries and a generator. At the time he read the book he had "zero" food stock and now has some - not enough - but its a start. I'm guessing he's spending $300 a month on it right now (guns, preps etc). He wants to buy silver but believes the other essentials have to come first. I feel for him in one thing - his kids are the worst I could ever imagine. They will have a hard time if there is a problem in this world.

vmwerks
12-02-2011, 1:23 PM
The immediate threat to most people isn't the zombie apocalypse. Just because you are prepping for something doesn't mean we all should. Not having healthcare is a daily risk so why not pay for it? It's a bigger immediate threat than let's say a chemical attack or invasion of our country by the bad guys. We only border 2 countries and for the most part have a good relationship with them. North Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East - a different story altogether.

Maybe our country is too complacent, I don't know.

MFortie
12-02-2011, 1:26 PM
Question: If there is a major power outage, does the natural gas still flow? Not sure if it's 'pumped' or pressurized by equipment that requires electricity...

If it doesn't flow, then someone would need an onsite LP tank, I presume. Can a residence served by natural gas from the utilities even install an LP tank?

Me, I have a 7.5KVA diesel genset in my motorhome -- during a 'short' power outage, yeah, I'd run extension cords. During a long one? Not sure I'd want to be running a genset and advertise I have power and fresh food!!! (Besides, I could always 'camp' in the MH...)

But I do agree there are way too many people with their heads in the sand...

meaty-btz
12-02-2011, 1:37 PM
That is just it, a proper sized generator of quality is quiet. An undersized generator has to run at full throttle and is much noisier and fuel inefficient.

Natural Gas will usually work when the power is out for some time. I had gas pressure for a full week w/o power once on municipal natural gas. Getting yourself tank is even smarter.

@VMwerks, what in my original post even mentions zombies??? We are not prepared for common threats, of which the greatest is storm or earthquake which in California are daily risks. Like health care a few well spent dollars equates not just survival but something every American is desperately in love with: Comfort.

The larger the motor the quiter, smaller motors have to run more RPMs for the same effect so they make more noise. The large slow motor is the better generator choice. This kind of thinking is what is lacking. Cost/benefit analysis. Taking the time to ask what do I need? Do I wish extra for comfort? As for food prepping, anything more than three days in a major city without power will result in food shortages as most cities only have an on-hand supply of about that much before local resources are exhausted and supplies need to be trucked in. The problem is perishables may not be available at all after a few days and only enduring stuffs may be available. You don't need the 7 year itch of food, can if you want too, but at least ensure you have food to live through a major earthquake where water, food, and power may be disrupted for weeks.

Eljay
12-02-2011, 2:38 PM
If you're in earthquake country (i.e. anywhere in California) you should think about having no gas although it's certainly possible to have gas and no power. There's just really no way to tell in advance. The good news is that just having extra charcoal or propane enough to run a BBQ for two hot meals per day for a week would put you ahead of most people - think about how much fuel it would take to cook up everything in your freezer at a minimum, and that way you can save the non-perishable stuff until a little later.

ireload
12-02-2011, 2:54 PM
Meaty during the several hour blackout in my area over two months ago, there was a lot of people in my neighborhood that got caught off guard. It's great they all have electronic gizmos but they are useless without electricity.

Unfortunately there are still alot of people who "do not learn their lesson in life". They take for granted what comes out of the electrical outlet and water faucets. Just last week I showed some of my prep items to my next door neighbor. He knows I prep but I never told him to what extent. He did mention to me that he needs to get in the ball with purchasing more water, food, and a generator. To me that would one less person to be knocking on my door in times to crisis. I'll be taking target shooting soon since he told me that he never fired a gun in his life.

I just don't have one source of lighting nor one source of cooking or keep warm for example. I have back up for a back up. Redundancy per say.

CAL.BAR
12-02-2011, 2:54 PM
What really gets me is that this issue infects our whole culture to the point of Last Minute everything, shipping, buying, selling, corporations are doing this. Towns and cities are. Its like playing a game of head in the sand in regards to anything good. It is like having a million dollars and blowing it on hookers and blow and then falling dead the next year from a splinter because you are broke and it got infected.

I envy you your land. Your example is great, people spend 5K a year on Health Insurance, 1K on gym membership and assorted things for their health but wont spend 500 bucks on food or a generator... ummm *scratch head*..

$500 buck on a generator? Harbor freight maybe (lol) And THEN what. another $100 in extension cords? It is expensive to have the electrical work done to take your home off the grid to have generator power. Then.. how (and where) are you going to store gallons and gallons of gasoline necessary to use that nifty generator? Which, if you pay only $500 for will be loud enough to wake the dead (and piss off the rest of the neighbors living on top of you.) Most people in LA/OC live on postage stamp sized lots no more than 5K square feet if not in condo buildings. What happens if even a fraction of people follow your advice. Can you image what happens when HALF A MILLION generators all start up at once?????

vmwerks
12-02-2011, 3:01 PM
meaty-btz: that was tongue in cheek - what I meant was how many times has SHTF in the U.S.? I guess it would depend on what you consider SHTF to be, I would rate Katrina a localized SHTF since law enforcement was either out of control or non existant. Rodney King riots not so much... I do see your point but for a majority of Americans it simply isn't a reality for them.

meaty-btz
12-02-2011, 3:03 PM
LA, well there is your problem right there.

I still dream of the day Urbania burns and consumes itself in madness.

To answer your question: It would sound like the worlds largest angry bee hive from a distance?
It would divide by zero and end the universe?
Everyone would go deaf and go mad and devour each other in a fit of generated rage?

@Vmwerks sorry I only now turned on my humor ;) It was off for the work day. Scarasm and hate are usual for the workday ;)

I suppose I just hate the fact that we get to deal with the ravening hordes when it does become a reality. Like locusts or something, the plague of Urbanites spreads across the land like a black death!

problemchild
12-02-2011, 3:27 PM
Some would say not being in the position to buy or putting yourself into a position of having nothing the same as those who can and dont. I dont know your situ but maybe take a second job and stash some cash for food and power.

I have a dinky 1k honda and love it. Its all I need to charge batteries and surf the web.:chris:

meaty-btz
12-02-2011, 3:40 PM
Some would say not being in the position to buy or putting yourself into a position of having nothing the same as those who can and dont. I dont know your situ but maybe take a second job and stash some cash for food and power.

I have a dinky 1k honda and love it. Its all I need to charge batteries and surf the web.:chris:

I can never lambaste a Honda generator. They are just too well made no matter how dinky.

Well I land in the more paranoid prepper camp. My not being able to refers to my own house and property rather than being totally unprepared. Wife and I have been discussing generators for our attic living area since the person we live with is unwilling to build the house to operating specs. We prefer electric cooking during SHTF because it allows indoors cooking and keeps noise and fumes out of doors where it belongs. Keeps the internal environment about the same as normal for greater comfort.

If I had my choice I would be living on 100 Acres surrounded by a 20ft tall 6ft thick at the base re-enforced concrete wall, a well, a solar field, a large propane tank, a 20-30KW low RPM generator. There would be internal and external sensory packages to alert to wall approach, wall breech, and house breech. A gasification system or an alcohol fuel stil. Of course if I had that much money I would not be in this state and would have a full machineshop making really cool things. :chris:

XYZ
12-02-2011, 3:56 PM
Great post. Makes you think. I see my co-workers save for their retirement pouring a lot of money into the future. Yet none do any food storage for even a 3 day natural disaster scenario. I hear others saying I'll just show up at your place in case SHTF (earthquake) to which I reply it's not my responsibility to take care of you for your failure to prepare. Each time there is an event it should be used as a learning experience for others. Katrina, LA fires, windy storms, floods in the Midwest, etc. It took me awhile to get to a place where I feel comfortable but not complacent with my prepping. I'm thankful for those in this any similar forums that provide great recommendations and comments. I know I'll be prepared while others are not.

mindwip
12-02-2011, 4:10 PM
Well I do believe in prep but I think a generator is over kill in some cases. Not every home needs one and running one in a condo or townhouse will likly result in a broken genny over any long period.

Also why do you need a tie, in most i could see running it for would be the fridge but that's just an exstention cable away.

PS my point of view

mindwip
12-02-2011, 4:11 PM
comes from so Cal temps.

smle-man
12-02-2011, 5:33 PM
You only need to run a generator for 2-3 hours a day to keep the refrigerator cold and do some other things; when it gets dark go to bed and get up when it gets light. Use your vehicle as a source of fuel if you use up what you have in the generator. Let you neighbor plug into your generator to keep their fridge cold too in exchange for some gas. I have a noisy 5 kw and a plug in panel for my house and that is how I have done it.

chris
12-02-2011, 6:44 PM
If you're in earthquake country (i.e. anywhere in California) you should think about having no gas although it's certainly possible to have gas and no power. There's just really no way to tell in advance. The good news is that just having extra charcoal or propane enough to run a BBQ for two hot meals per day for a week would put you ahead of most people - think about how much fuel it would take to cook up everything in your freezer at a minimum, and that way you can save the non-perishable stuff until a little later.

this sounds like a good idea. since i would have to say that many of have BBQ's in the back yard. having extra propane or charcoal both will fit into people's budgets. not all of us can afford a generator we all have bills and responsibilities to attend to and some cannot afford a generator to just sit there.

if it did ever go bad i would hopefully be able to get a 3K generator from my work. they are serviced all the time and work also. but keeping that extra bag or two of charcoal for the just in case is a good idea.

Dutch3
12-02-2011, 7:07 PM
I have, in my own job, had sit(e)s refuse to buy new servers that cost 3500 that they needed or they faced risk of data-loss who would then turn about and spend 35000 on digital projectors and document cameras. In this real world case they suffered a critical failure and had 70% data loss. Nearly 6 years of data forever gone. When the crap hit the rotating wind generator I was the one left holding the bag. I was the one who had to fix it and spend the time and effort on recovering what I could.

I feel your pain, brother. I am the one bearing the responsibility for the decisions of others who are not qualified to make them.

We are implementing a plan to use NG backup generators to safeguard our data (my idea), but the logistics and details of the installs are being dictated by those who have no clue as to how these things actually work. When the plan fails due to incompetent implementation, I guarantee it will roll downhill straight to my azz.

Eljay
12-04-2011, 3:00 PM
this sounds like a good idea. since i would have to say that many of have BBQ's in the back yard. having extra propane or charcoal both will fit into people's budgets. not all of us can afford a generator we all have bills and responsibilities to attend to and some cannot afford a generator to just sit there.

if it did ever go bad i would hopefully be able to get a 3K generator from my work. they are serviced all the time and work also. but keeping that extra bag or two of charcoal for the just in case is a good idea.

Also note that at the start of summer a lot of places (Costco, Home Depot, Walmart) have serious sales on charcoal especially if you buy a pair of bags.

meaty-btz
12-04-2011, 3:29 PM
You guys rock. Took a rant thread and made it a good information and discussion thread.

Panchira!
12-04-2011, 4:18 PM
We had a long 4-5 day power outage on our street (blown underground wire) and let me tell you within hours people had ther generators out and running at full tilt! Little did they realize it could not power most of their stuff in their homes mostly the frige/freezer any high amp alliances. Within hours after people started running the gensets they all started ripping the spark plug wires out of them! Because they were so noisy! Most people placed the gens infront of their garages to prevent fumes coming into the house. Just walking out side you could almost die of co2! It stank so bad from exhaust fumes. We at our house have a gen but decided not to use it. We used candles instead way cheaper then buying gallons of gas.

Yeah we list all our refrigerated food but we survived. We camp a lot so were used to no power. There are ways to make a gen quieter, get multiple mufflers, run the exhaust underground, ect. The problem is you'll run out of gas or propane/ng and you'll have a boat anchor sitting there.

Best thing is to have solar power and have a batt bank and have it wired up to where you can disconnect it from the grid silent, and always have electricity (maybe less when it's raining ect. Just my .02 cents worth.

SDM44
12-06-2011, 10:26 PM
Just last week I showed some of my prep items to my next door neighbor. He knows I prep but I never told him to what extent. He did mention to me that he needs to get in the ball with purchasing more water, food, and a generator. To me that would one less person to be knocking on my door in times to crisis.
I hear others saying I'll just show up at your place in case SHTF (earthquake) to which I reply it's not my responsibility to take care of you for your failure to prepare.


IMO, I'm cautious and weary about who I talk to about my prep items. I treat that subject like talking about my guns.... nobody really knows what I have, nobody really cares to know what I have, and I don't like to tell people what I have. My wife knows I have guns, but doesn't know how many or which ones (she's not into these things). But she does know that I do prep and will have stuff for our family if/when it's needed.

If there is an outage, whether small (a few hours to a couple of days) or a true SHTF where I need to bug-in for awhile and really secure my house, I'd rather do so without having my neighbors or others know what I have. I'm not buying enough to feed myself and others when they come knocking on my door (which they can't since I have a cinder block wall around my property and locked gates to my courtyard).

Call me selfish or what not, but in a crisis situation (no matter how big or small), my only priority is my family. I live in a good neighborhood but I don't know any of my neighbors except the very old chinese couple next door (I'm a corner house) and they would keep to themselves because of their ways. Therefore, what I stock up and use at my house is my business and I'll keep it on the down-low if/when I do have to use these items, such as using a generator. I don't want to advertise that I have one so I'll run it during the day and not at night when it's quiet.

Scout2Diesel
12-07-2011, 12:05 AM
This money thing depends more on your point of view used to create your reality. What is really expensive is not being an autodidact.

Wednesday evening I typed my last invoice and emailed it. Then shut down my desktop computer system(s) as I had been on the UPS battery for about 5 minutes.

Thursday was more fun after my zig zag commute took about twice a long as normal.

I used my $20.00 1800w generator bought on Craigs List a while ago to microwave my lunch. Well it did cost a little bit more: oil & gas +$3 more. The mini fridge was iced over and didn't even need a hook up.

My little $26.00 500w inverter & $85.00 deepcycle battery ran my: DSL Modem, Router, Switch, 2 VOIP phones, Netbook & Laptop. It was on about 8 hrs @ 2ah drain. (-16ah about 50 left)

Friday I just used the inverter. Still had ice cold soda.

I marvel at the people who have x times more resources ($$$) then me and are somewhat helpless in times like this. The Accountant next door did quiz me on how things were working, he liked the inverter setup @ $150 vs honda good generator > $1000. We'll see how well this experience sticks in his memory .... April 15th is right around the corner.

I think it is a desire of human nature too help each other. At least for most (well minded) folks. Not being prepared may be a forgivable sin. It is people who would use force and offensively steal from other people that are really disgusting. What do you thing about them Meaty?

stix213
12-07-2011, 1:10 AM
What's far worse than not having a generator, is not having a plan. Not having thought about what you would do. I love the OP's generator setup, but for me its overkill. I've made the decision that home electricity is not a requirement.

I have food/water, dog food, AA batteries, and camping stove style fuel cans to last a few months of heavy use. I also have a 1.2kw generator that I can use, but its not a critical part of my preparedness.

meaty-btz
12-07-2011, 8:28 AM
Just food for thought,

Question 1. -which is generally quieter and more fuel efficient when you have 1500Watts of need?
1. A 1500 Watt Generator
2. A 2500 Watt Generator
3. A 3000 Watt Generator

Question 2- Which Generator will generally have a longer life and lower maintenance cycle assuming quality is identical between the choices?
1. A 1500 Watt Generator
2. A 2500 Watt Generator
3. A 3000 Watt Generator

This is the kind of thinking I am talking about, not that you need a huge stationary generator but that the smaller just get you by type of generator is actually not a very good idea.

ireload
12-07-2011, 8:37 AM
IMO, I'm cautious and weary about who I talk to about my prep items. I treat that subject like talking about my guns.... nobody really knows what I have, nobody really cares to know what I have, and I don't like to tell people what I have. My wife knows I have guns, but doesn't know how many or which ones (she's not into these things). But she does know that I do prep and will have stuff for our family if/when it's needed.

If there is an outage, whether small (a few hours to a couple of days) or a true SHTF where I need to bug-in for awhile and really secure my house, I'd rather do so without having my neighbors or others know what I have. I'm not buying enough to feed myself and others when they come knocking on my door (which they can't since I have a cinder block wall around my property and locked gates to my courtyard).

Call me selfish or what not, but in a crisis situation (no matter how big or small), my only priority is my family. I live in a good neighborhood but I don't know any of my neighbors except the very old chinese couple next door (I'm a corner house) and they would keep to themselves because of their ways. Therefore, what I stock up and use at my house is my business and I'll keep it on the down-low if/when I do have to use these items, such as using a generator. I don't want to advertise that I have one so I'll run it during the day and not at night when it's quiet.


Not being selfish at all. You do what you think is best for your family. I opened up a bit to my next door neighbor since we purchased both our house at the same time. He has me watching his house when they are away from vacation and have known him for over 10 years now. I basically look at him as an asset and not a liability. He knows the back area of the city/county we live in due to the type of work he does. I use to have my other next door neighbor who was a SEAL but after his retirement went back to Texas with his family. There has been other "assests" that has moved away within my block of the neighborhood, a navy helicopter pilot and a navy EOD.

meaty-btz
12-07-2011, 8:39 AM
Not being selfish at all. I opened up a bit to my next door neighbor since we purchased both our house at the same time. He has me watching his house when they are away from vacation and have known him for over 10 years now. I basically look at him as an asset and not a liability. He knows the back area of the city/county we live in due to the type of work he does.

Indeed, my bugging plan involves a cadre of families working together. When the goblins come out or the ravening hordes of welfarites are loosed you are going to need more than just a family of 4 if you want to hold your own.

ireload
12-07-2011, 8:55 AM
[QUOTE=meaty-btz;7625746]Just food for thought,

Question 1. -which is generally quieter and more fuel efficient when you have 1500Watts of need?
1. A 1500 Watt Generator
2. A 2500 Watt Generator
3. A 3000 Watt Generator

The lower wattage maybe a tad quiter.

Question 2- Which Generator will generally have a longer life and lower maintenance cycle assuming quality is identical between the choices?
1. A 1500 Watt Generator
2. A 2500 Watt Generator
3. A 3000 Watt Generator

Since you stated "quality is identical between the choices" all 3 would be the same in my opinion. A generator that is rated for heavy duty (like a contractor series) use pressurized oil system with a oil filter would have a longer life and lower maintenance compared to a once in a blue moon type non-heavy duty use generator. Compare the features between the heavy duty and a light duty generators and you'll see what I mean.

In my situation the main reason I have one is for the refrigerator and communication. Other electrical or electronic devices are just luxury for me.

ireload
12-07-2011, 9:00 AM
Indeed, my bugging plan involves a cadre of families working together. When the goblins come out or the ravening hordes of welfarites are loosed you are going to need more than just a family of 4 if you want to hold your own.

Another scenario one of it did come into play back in 03' wildfire, I was called to work to assist in keeping an eye out on the building. When my boss said stated "on the building" I was practically on the roof manning a 2 1/2" fire hose and wetting down the rubber membrane of the roof since it was raining embers all around. When I was gone my next door neighbor kept an eye out for my family. There would be times when SHTF I may not be home and it's good to know that someone I can trust to watch over my family or I can watch over his.

meaty-btz
12-07-2011, 9:14 AM
[QUOTE=meaty-btz;7625746]Just food for thought,

Question 1. -which is generally quieter and more fuel efficient when you have 1500Watts of need?
1. A 1500 Watt Generator
2. A 2500 Watt Generator
3. A 3000 Watt Generator

The lower wattage maybe a tad quiter.

Question 2- Which Generator will generally have a longer life and lower maintenance cycle assuming quality is identical between the choices?
1. A 1500 Watt Generator
2. A 2500 Watt Generator
3. A 3000 Watt Generator

Since you stated "quality is identical between the choices" all 3 would be the same in my opinion. A generator that is rated for heavy duty (like a contractor series) use with a oil filter would have a longer life and lower maintenance compared to a once in a blue moon type non-heavy duty use generator. Compare the features between the heavy duty and a light duty generators and you'll see what I mean.

In my situation the main reason I have one is for the refrigerator and communication. Other electrical or electronic devices are just luxury for me.

Well in question 1, you would be running at a higher throttle speed in order to generate the needed juice. That creates more noise. A 1500 Generator is lets say generating 80Db of noise at full throttle, the 2500 Generator is running a larger motor it is say only running at 50%, let us say that the larger generates 85DB at WOT, however it is only running at 50% Throttle so we get maybe 50-60 or less Db of Noise. The 3000Watt Generator is probably only slightly off idle for most of the time but the motor is again larger so it probably ceases to gain noise benefit over the 2500. Mind you this is theoretical but if you look at the models offered and their specifications this usually bears out to be generally correct.

In question 1 part 2, the same pattern usually holds. An engine running in its ideal harmonic range uses less fuel than one at WOT and one at IDLE.

In Question 2 the pattern does not hold. A larger slower rotating engine will outlast a smaller faster rotating engine all qualities being equal as the wear parts experience more wear over time in a higher RPM motor, even more so since the wear surfaces are smaller in the smaller motor. We saw this kind of thing when it came to old pump and similar agri use motors that are borrowed from automotive designs. A good example is the Ford FE Big-Block of which many are still in service in agri use that have never been rebuilt. They would turn 600-700 RPM for 24 hours at a time. As long as the oil is good and the gaskets are good that motor will last a very very long time. Half a century or more so far.

SO when looking at peoples generator choices they always go minimum, cheapest. The result is a NOISY, short life, high wear device. While low frequency noise carries further than high frequency noise, direction finding of low frequency noise is much more difficulty than direction finding of high-frequency noise.

Almost everyone here has commented on the noise a generator makes as being a detractor due to informing others. Well yeah, if you buy a POS generator that is undersized. If your generator is hitting WOT you have too small of one. There are a good number of generators who at middling operational loads will be less than 50Db. Same goes for exhaust, little 2 strokers are going to stink.

This is not just about Survival, this is about: COMFORT and MODERN WAY OF LIFE. Anything will do just to get you by.

Eljay
12-07-2011, 9:52 AM
(Apparently I should have hit refresh before replying - didn't see the last response before writing what follows)

The answer to which is quieter is... it depends. Some generators always run full out. Some do a better job of ramping up and down with power needs. If you have two Hondas with Eco Mode or whatever it's called, I believe the larger one will actually be a bit quieter, or at least it will be a lower pitch that doesn't carry as far.

meaty-btz
12-07-2011, 10:14 AM
Yeah, pretty much any generator that lacks adaptive output is junk. Thankfully almost all good generators use something akin to the Honda's Eco Drive (I love honda generators!). Even their little hand-carryable guy is great.

A good example is a 40KW generator running on natural gas (a good one) at full load puts out.... 60Db of noise. That is seriously quiet, not only that but it is 60Db of lower frequency noise.

The point being a generator need not be: WOT, Noisy, or Smelly. It will be if you cheap out! Essentially anyone with a cheap generator after SHTF is going to be Goblin Bait.

Panchira!
12-07-2011, 11:26 AM
Generators are good to a point. You'll run out of gas or the propane/ng will run out. Honestly having something that is less wear and maintenance prone the better. You will have so much on your plate already the last thing you need to worry about is maintaining a generator system. I'm not saying generators are bad they work for the quick uses ect. But to run everyday not 24/7 to me in another headach. I'd be more concerned with finding food and water. IMHO I'd rather spend my money on prep items that can be used with out electricity.

But if ou must have a gen set and it does have a contained oiling system (filter ect.) remember to buy tons of spares! And don't forget oil too! Only time I'll ever use my gen set is for emergence communication. Just my .02 cents

gabe123
12-07-2011, 6:04 PM
Generators are only good for emergencies like storms or earthquake where help doesnt take too long to arrive. In true SHTF, it will either run out of gas or get stolen/ robbed. It required maintanance too. I would rather stock up Rice, instant noodle and canned food, and propane tanks. I have more battery than i need to keep my house lit up for 2 weeks. Weather in Socal is not servere unless you live in the desert like my wifes family. Of course if i worry about tv or internet, then its not that bad. I think i can still use my car or battery to charge my phone. I dont think its realistic to bug out in this concrete jungle. Pls excuse my typo. Im using a phone.

Panchira!
12-07-2011, 6:36 PM
Yeah it's like I posted before, when our neiborhood didn't have power for almost a week people started to vandilize generators steal or cut the spark plug wire or just steal them outright. It was mostly because of noise though.

The problem is people won't buy the expensive good generators because well lets be honest they would rather have clothes, new shoes or a new bag for the lady. But they are good in instances where it is caused by natural disaster like a earthquake or storm.

One last pice of food for though...the fire danger! You can buy to biggest and best gen set and it can still catch fire and burn your house down. Safety is key with gens!

Salty
12-08-2011, 1:11 PM
I don't see the absolute need for a generator. Convenient, YES, but not necessary.

My water heater is gas, my stove is gas, and my furnace is gas/battery. I don't watch TV, and rarely use a real computer. I can charge my phone in my car, or at work, in a coffee shop, etc. Also have a propane camp stove with extra propane, plenty of flashlights, batteries, candles, blankets, etc. The food in the fridge may spoil, and if it really hits the fan I may have a tough time charging my phone, but it's not the end of the world. People lived without power for ages, and campers and some folks in third world countries still do. I don't see it as a show stopper.