Of preps, plans and a reality check
By Dyers Eve
Before I get into my post, I wish to preface my following statements. I am a 43 year old veteran that grew up in a small North Central Central Florida town. Having lived a fairly poor childhood and in a hurricane hotspot most of my life has made me a prepper by default. The advantage to growing up poor (I say poor but I really never knew it that way until I was older), is that I learned to be resilient and have always been able to think through things and make do with what was available.
About 8 years ago I left Florida for a job promotion and after the housing market crash I ended up in the “Inter-mountain West”. I have always prescribed to 5G coverage (guns, generator, gas, grub, gallons and gallons of water). I have adequate preps for my family and I, plus a little more for good measure.
Just a few days ago a large winter snow storm struck our area. Funny thing is they newscasters named the storm “Bruno” for some odd reason or another. Anyway we lost power, the first time in 4 years or so I should add. I wasn’t worried because I have an 11,000 watt welder/generator for my business. We lost power and I wanted to get to my items that were in my detached garage. My garage has no manual door opener, just electric. Only a few preps are in my garage, my welder/generator and SO cord linking to the house being 2. Well, not having given adequate forethought to the matter, I went to open my garage but I quickly found no power no entry to the garage. I felt like a moron. Yes I could have used my ax but it wasn’t an emergency. I had plenty of firewood for heat and had already made dinner so no real big deal. BUT, it did get me thinking….What if?
So, I thought for a little bit and tried to find some commercially available mechanisms to solve my issue I had just experienced. None are to be found. I went to the local “depot” store and all their specialists said was “the door has a release cord on the inside, just use that”. I guess they didn’t understand my explanation.
So I decided to think out side the box, a little.
I purchased a Master Lock Select Access locking key storage box. It is die cast steel and fairly durable and secure. It has a 4 number combination lock mechanism. I mounted it to the outside of the garage door fairly high, making sure it cleared on opening and closing. I mounted it with 1/4″ bolts, nuts, lock washers and large fender washers. I drilled a larger (approximately 1/2″ hole in the back of the box that mounts against the door. And a corresponding hole in the door as well. I tied a 1/4″ rope to the release cord and ran it through the lock box and used a fender washer and tied a knot. I made sure there were no obstructions to catch on the rope and verified adequate clearance.
It works like a charm. Next time we lose power it may be for an extended period of time, this problem has been solved. Cost $30 for the lock box, I had spare hardware and rope. Installation time 45 minutes.
I currently live in a rental house, although it is long term, I am unable to install a “man door” in the garage due to lease rules. Is this a permanent solution? Maybe. I am going to fabricate a thicker piece of steel with corresponding holes to place on the backside of the door to stiffen up the box mounting.
I hope this helps some fellow preppers having a similar issue.