Well this is the time of year when we think about moving south...but then March come along and we start to see slight glimpses of springtime...and we forget about our winter troubles...
Here is what we had to deal with the last two days.
Its very cold and our electric went out. After a quick call to the outage center at the Elec Co-op...we found out that it was on our end. But our breakers were fine...my husband went down to the electric pole and those breakers were off...he reset them, but he had to figure out why it turned off. To make a long story short...he discovered that the pipe to the submersible pump split because of the cold. Even though it is down below the frost line. Our well is quite a distance from the house, down in the middle of the woods....he nearly froze repairing that...the pump was continually pumping, but because of the split pipe, it couldn't get enough water to the house, so that caused the hot water heater to blow up. And then when the electric was out, some of our water pipes in the house froze. (we keep a small electric heater in the basement to keep them from freezing.) (emphasis added)
This is where the "one is none" part of the "two is one, and one is none" saying comes into play. From my Lofty (over 4600' above sea level, where I live, is
pretty lofty, after all
), Pluriscient* Perch (LPP), I could easily proclaim that you ought to have had a propane-fueled catalytic heater on-hand as a backup to your electric heater, just in case the power went out.
OTOH, I can't
see, from my distant LPP, what issues using such a heater might cause in your particular situation. For instance, I have no idea what kind of ventilation your basement has. Since catalytic heaters need a sufficient supply of outside air to function indoors (especially if "not killing the building's occupants"
is part of the mission statement), such a proclamation on my part, no matter how many readers might sagely nod as they read it, might be totally useless for you, if your basement couldn't simultaneously provide needed ventilation and maintain temperatures sufficient to keep your pipes from freezing.
In short, while having some sort of backup system is important for every part of your shelter's life-support system, the backup systems I might choose may not be appropriate for someone else's shelter. The principle of redundancy is more important than the specific execution of said principle.
*"Pluriscient" is my neologism by which I claim to know at least something about multiple topics, without claiming to be omniscient....