surge protectors for preppers

overlooked preps

Surge Protectors
Surge Protectors

Did you know the real value of a surge protector? It's not to save your computer,
it's to save your life! A surge protector guards against voltage spikes and will
certainly help you save your computer, but the real value of a surge protector for
preppers is in its safety features. Think of it as your anti-shock device.

Did you know that during the Solar Storm of 1889, known as the Carrington Event,
telegraph operators suffered electric shock? If only surge protectors had been
invented! The Carrington Event was the largest recorded geomagnetic storm, and
they say it could happen again. Only this time the devastation will be much worse
because we have more equipment and more humans operating the equipment.

So now you know. Surge protectors can add a layer of protection guarding against
the devastating consequences of an
ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP) related

How to Pick the Proper Surge Protection
There's a lot to know about choosing the proper power surge protection for your
home, but for preppers there is one specification that stands above the rest. Here's
how to pick a surge protector that will meet your needs in prepping...

Features to note in surge protection:

  • Joules (measure of electrical energy):  The most noteworthy of
    specifications on your surge protection is the Joule rating. A Joule is a unit of
    electrical energy (named after English physicist James Prescott Joule (1818–
    1889). It's the absorbing power of a surge protector. The more Joules your
    surge protector has the more power it has to cushion the blow from a
    devastating surge.  

    It's all about the family joules, you might say, and a little math. If you have a
    surge protector with 2000 Joules, then that surge protector can take ten 100-
    joule hits or one big 2000-joule hit.  When the joules are used up, your surge
    protection is gone.

    Preppers should select a surge protector with the highest Joules possible to
    guard against an EMP whether it's a wall mounted surge protection or
    extended cable power strip.

  • Cordless surge protection (power in wall tabs). Sometimes cords get in the
    way. If your appliance is close to the outlet, consider cordless outlet power
    protection. The Belkin outlet power surge protector, pictured immediate left, is
    a surge protector that plugs directly into the wall to avoid cord problems.

    If your device or appliance isn't so close to the power source, then you'll need
    to look for a corded power strip with surge protection.

  • Power strip with built in surge protection (extended power).  A power strip
    will help you extend the length of your power cable, but make sure it has built
    in surge protection. Not all power strips include surge protection! How can you
    tell the difference between an ordinary power strip and one that has built-in
    surge protection? Look for a surge protector light, but more importantly look
    at the specifications and a high number of Joules! Power strips have around
    200 Joules, but a surge protector starts at around 2,000 Joules!

  • Outlets. The more outlets the better! Invest in a surge protector that has at
    least six outlets. You'll use them!

  • USB (Universal Serial Bus) connections. USB ports enable charging of
    compatible mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras and other USB-powered
    devices. Hotel rooms never seem to have enough power outlets to charge all
    your devices. A mini surge protector adds protection. Pictured right, Belkin's  
    Mini Surge Protector

  • Warranty warning: A warranty may provide a layer of security on your surge
    protection, but just because the device has such promises, doesnt' mean
    you'll ever see a dime. You may need to go through some hoops to get it. For
    example, you might need to keep the box, mail the unit back to the
    manufacturer, work with your insurance company, provide proof of purchase,
    and keep tabs on how old it is. A warranty may expire five years from date of

Why do you need a surge protector?
A surge protector helps regulate or manage the overflow of electricity from your
service provider to you. While it seems we have a constant flow of electricity to our
homes, the reality is that electricity isn't a constant. The flow of electricity actually
moves from areas of high electric potential energy to areas of low electric potential
energy traveling on the wire, and sometimes there are blips in this potential energy.
Voltage is a measure of this potential energy. Because it's not a constant,
sometimes voltage increases. This is a surge. If the surge is high enough, it can
destroy equipment, and maybe you (as it did with telegraph operators in the Solar
Storm of 1889).

Causes of surges may be:
  • Thunderstorms and lightning strikes;
  • Tree limbs touching power lines;
  • Faulty wiring;
  • Animal getting onto the transformer;
  • Internal power outages (refrigerators, air conditioners, hair dryers, power tool
    and other appliances shutting off;
  • Electromagnetic Pulse (Solar Storms or bio-terrorist attack).

A surge protector detects excess voltage and then diverts this extra electricity into
the grounding wire.  One way to stop the surge is to unplug your equipment. This is
not practical since you need your equipment and since you'd only be protecting it
when you're not plugged. That would leave you vulnerable. So now you know, and
now you know why you need a surge protector.

Tips on Surge protectors:
Here's how to pick a surge protector that will meet your needs in prepping...

  • Think beyond your computer and T.V. Think of a surge protector as
    necessary maintenance tool for your electronic devices (and your life). Without
    proper surge protection you'll ruin your appliances if there's an electrical
    overload; however, if there's an extreme overload, as with an EMP event, you
    could get killed. Imagine prepping for years with food storage, ammunition
    and supplies, only to get killed opening a refrigerator or loading the dryer at
    the wrong time! This underscores the importance of surge protection for

  • Consider a whole house surge protector. Installing a "Whole House" surge
    protector can help prevent electrical damages to all your appliances, no matter
    which room. Install a "Whole House" surge protector with the help of an
    electrician, but first watch the video below.

  • Install surge protectors throughout your home:

What's the difference between a power strip and a surge protector?
Choosing the proper power surge protection product is important particularly to
preppers. There is a distinction between a power strip, a surge protector, a surge
arrestor and a home electronics protection device (or a whole house surge
protector). Here is a run down of the differences...

  • Power Strip.  A power strip is not the same as a surge protector! While many
    power strips include built-in surge protection, some models simply extend the
    line of power you have. In other words, a power strip helps expand your
    power socket. The purpose of the power strip is to add more outlets. They
    usually do nothing more.

  • Surge Protector or Surge Suppressor. A Ssurge protector, also called a surge
    suppressor, helps control extremely fast, high-voltage transients or surges
    common in electrical systems. In ordinary times, voltage transients damage
    electrical equipment instantly or degrade the components on the circuit boards
    over time, resulting in shorter life expectancies of your electrical equipment.
    Surge Protectors are like an insurance policy against electrical transients
    caused by voltage surges, such as lightning surges and utility-related and
    other surge events.

  • Surge arrestor. A surge arrester protect electrical equipment from over-
    voltage transients caused by external (lightning) or internal (switching) events.

  • Home Electronics Protection Device. The Home Electronics Protective Device
    (HEPD), pictured immediate left, provides surge suppression at residential load
    centers. It's compact and affordable surge suppression that's designed to be
    installed next to residential load centers. HEPDs work together with surge
    protection plug strips to provide surge suppression for sensitive electronics.
    HEPDs reduce surges that might otherwise overwhelm plug strips and damage
    connected household equipment. HEPDs also provide surge suppression for
    important items such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, and lighting
    that plug strips don’t protect.

More important information on surge protectors

  • Did you know surge protectors wear out over time? Diamonds might be
    forever, but not a surge protector. They're good for around 5 years (and so is
    your warranty if you have one). After that, it's about time to get a new one.
    Check out Amazon's Surge Protectors Buying Guide to learn how surge
    protectors keep your devices safe:

  • Remember to unplug during severe storms! If you know mother nature is
    headed your way with a fury, the simplest thing you can do to protect your
    devices is to unplug them before the storm.

  • Consider also a CO Detector! When a blackout hits, electrical shock is not the
    only danger. The primary cause of death during an ordinary blackout is carbon
    monoxide poisoning!

There's a lot to know about prepping with surge protectors and we hope this article
helped underscore the significance that this device can make in your prepping
efforts. Now that you know the importance of prepping with surge protectors, you
know to install surge protectors at every opportunity in your home. Because without
surge protection you might get killed!

Top selling surge protectors on this page: Belkin,

Happy endings...
Rethink your preps in terms of everyday survival. A surge protector can provide a
happily ever after for your computer and your life!

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