The best night vision for "Preppers"
Someone asked me the question, "if I can only have one set of night vision goggles for preparedness what should it be?". I didn't hesitate to answer dual PVS-14s with good gen 3 image tubes and a quick release dual mount. I gave him my reasons and afterwards I thought this definitely deserves it's own post. Btw, I hate the word prepper, and use preparedness instead. I'll be getting into hypothetical worst case scenarios where you would be fully lights out. Possibly a total blackout happened or you killed all of the surrounding lights to remain blacked out in order to take full advantage of having night vision.
Flexibility is the #1 reason why this is the best set up in my opinion.
Bear with me while I build this up. Many of us are married or in some form of relationship but even if you aren't you have family members. Parents, brothers, sisters, etc. This may come off as inappropriate in this day and age but my belief is that if you are the man of your household it is your responsibility for the safety of your family and loved ones. If you're reading this post, chances are you already own firearms & weapons, and probably are or lean towards a type "A" personality. I say this because in my experience people seeking night vision are 99.9% men and almost always fit the "A" personality type. Let's face it, night vision and guns go hand in hand, and guns favor us "A" types. This most likely means you already consider yourself a protector.
Moving on. How do dual -14s play into this? You will most likely be the only one wearing night vision. Having dual tubes will give you more capability for navigating, shooting, driving lights out, and moving quickly using night vision just to name a few. Let's say you are in a situation where you need to guide the people you are protecting to a different area, or you need to leave your house, etc. and will return. With dual -14s on a quick detach mount, you can remove one PVS-14 to leave with them, and use the IR illuminator for signaling. The PVS-14 is a fully functioning monocular, easy to carry/use handheld, uses common AA batteries which are easy to stockpile or find, the single AA battery lasts forever, and it has an on-board IR illuminator.
You need to leave the house for some reason. Maybe you're checking on something or going to a neighbor. Leave one PVS-14 with them. Unlike thermal, they can look through the windows for when you come back. If you don't have a 2nd helmet & mount they can use it handheld. The handheld advantage is awesome because multiple people can use it for taking turns on watch without worrying about helmet sizes, etc. You can signal using IR light so they know it's you returning and they can signal back so you know you're not going to scare them when you return and not get shot. Radios would be ideal but depending on the circumstances maybe you can't use them.
You need to guide them somewhere, which is safer to do at night. You leave them behind with a -14 and move forward. Once you reach the next location you want them to move to within line of sight, you signal them with an IR light (2 flashes for example), indicating for them to move to your location. They signal back using the on-board IR light and then move to your location. It would be a good idea to have a stop/freeze code.
You need to set up perimeter security around your house or location. You use one and hand off the other, so two people can scan 180 degrees to cover the full 360. You can use them handheld so more people can take turns on watch.
There are multiple examples and I can go on and on. Dual PVS-14s on a removable quick release mount are in my opinion the most versatile goggle imaginable. The only other dual tube device that's comparable is the Mod-3, however, it requires adapters to use each pod as a monocular. Without these adapters they don't work. You may not be in a situation to waste time hooking up the adapters and you also have the potential to lose them. The Mod 3 also uses CR123 batteries which aren't as easy to replenish as the more common AA.
If you're real serious about preparedness then honestly the best solution is to have multiple sets of night vision. If multiple sets of night vision are not possible, then dual PVS-14s are the next best solution. In my opinion have enough to outfit at least a few people. Binos or duals for the primary defender(s) and back up devices such as PVS-14s. The way we do it, my wife and I are our own defenders, so we each have binos, and we keep an extra PVS-14.