Old Man Winter Will Hit Us Tonight!

We are expecting an ice storm at midnight tonight with down trees, powerlines and widespread power outages. Maybe like the one we encountered two years ago. The 2001 ice storm took five trees from my backyard and we were without power for three days. It took more than a week or two to get power back to the Metro.
We are somewhat prepare with two (small) tanks of propane, 20 gals of kerosine and lot of foods in our pantry.
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How did you fare in the storm? Are you still alive and kicking? Not too much damage, I hope. Des

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Everyone were expecting a repeat of 2001. We were lucky it passes us by.

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New York had a storm in April 03 that knocked my power out five days. That was a great learning experience. One of the things I learned was that I sleep a lot better when I hook up the generator and run the furnace for an hour before bedtime. Don't wake up quite so cold either.
--

Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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Get a deep cycle battery and an inverter. Then you can run an electric blanket all night. The only hard part is getting out of a warm bed into a cold room.
--
Jim Rusling
Partially Retired
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Y'know, that's not so bad an idea......
--

Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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outages, which covers most of them. I have a generator for the few that exceed that time or if it is real cold. I prefer not to run the generator at night while sleeping unless it is going to be cold enough to worry about frozen pipes. I originally got the batteries and inverters for the TV and computer, but it does work real good for the electric blanket.

--
Jim Rusling
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Date: Sunday, May 04, 2003 7:40 AM
Ice Storm 2003 NYS, USA Lessons Learned
April 03, Thursday, 2003 News radio people were talking about freezing rain coming. ** Lesson: When the radio people talk about weather, go immediately to buy groceries and gas up the vehicle. And the gas cans. Better than that is to keep groceries at home, and couple gallons gas in the shed.
April 04, Friday, 2003 Freezing rain. Went out in the morning, and had to scrape the ice off my truck. I have power.
Called my parents. Their power had gone out about 2 AM last night. Talked to Mom. Dad had put his big flash light on the kitchen table, and pointed it towards the ceiling for light. He also went to the cellar to wire the generator into the furnace. Dad got the generator out, and had it running for a moment or two. And then the motor jammed, and the pull cord won't pull. He decided about 6 PM that it was cold enough to need a fire in the fireplace, and about that moment the power came back on. ** Lesson: Run the generator every year, even if you're sure it works fine. Don't let your handyman neighbor come over and spray ether in the spark plug hole. Washes the oil off the cylinder wall.
Got a call from Jason, a bachelor friend of mine who doesn't drive. His power is out. But the natural gas was OK. He was low on groceries, so we planned to go for lunch and shopping. ** Lesson: Keep groceries in the house. Shop before you run out.
I called a bunch of people from church, and other friends. Several people were without power, but they were all "doing OK". Radio news guys say about 50,000 people without power. ** Lesson: Call a few people and get the word out. But don't spend all day on the telephone trying to be nice to people. You're wasting your time.
I made several telephone calls. The diner Jason and I usually go to was without power, and I did manage to find a grocery store which had power. And an eat in cafe. ** Lesson: In storms, call to see if the restaurant and stores are open.
I loaded bags of salt and gravel into the back of my truck, figured that would be the major need. I took out my heating and AC tools. I drove to his place to take him to the store. The trip took about twice as long as usual, the traffic is running very slow. Many traffic lights were out. But regardless of anything else, the State Thruway had power, and was still collecting tolls. Hmm. ** Lesson: Travel takes twice as long in storms. And the State still wants their highway tolls.
The walk in and out from the parking lot was slow, the parking lot was very slippery. And we got freezing rained on. But it was nice to get him home with groceries. We got food that would cook on a gas range, the microwave won't work without power. He also bought four submarine sandwiches, which was a great idea. "no cook" food.
We got back to Jason's house, and his dad suggested that he go to the firehall, they have power there, and Jason could be safe and all. I went home, expecting to find my power on. By this time, I was cold and tired from braving the weather, and I was tired.
I headed home, very slowly. Got home, and as I was coming into the trailer park, it sure did look darker than usual. I mean, totally dark. Arrived home 7 PM to find that the power had gone out at 5:53. ** Lesson: Just because you have power NOW doesn't mean you will have power LATER. Keep a written list when you make phonecalls to check on people. Leave lots of space next to or between their names on the list for updates Things change, and you will want to change your notes.
My neighbor Al was standing out by the street, watching everything. He had a 2D Eveready flash light which was growing very dim. I offered him a couple batteries, but he didn't want them. Al caught me up to date on the neighborhood news. There was a branch down behind our trailers, and we went out to look. The branch was balanced on the power wires. I realize that Al is the "Neighborhood Watchman" and is trying to stay up to date on who has power, and so on. ** Lesson: Most neighborhoods have a Watchman who wants to know everyone's business. This surprised me, I thought Ernie was our watchman, but he stayed indoors and out of sight most of the time.
Across the street, Kenny and his wife are doing OK with a couple burners on the stove. Kenny wishes he still had his kerosene heater. I pondered the question, but the Spirit said it didn't matter if I offered to loan him one of mine. I have two.
Ursula, elderly and frail, was very cold. She was worried about the burners on the stove, but more worried about it being cold.
Ernie, on the other side of me, had a coleman lantern, and was doing fairly well.
Skip, the truck driver, wasn't home at the moment.
I went home to work the phone. Everyone seems to be OK. One gal I talked to, Sharleen, started a sentence "if it gets too cold" and I expected she'd say "you can come over here". But to my disappointement, she just reminded me that we had a couple church meetings tomorrow, and I could go to the church to warm up. Dan's house is covered in ice, and so he's out in the garage assembling the generator they bought in March 1999. Needs something to do. ** Lesson: Not everyone out there welcomes you, and wants to invite you over. Remember who invites you over, they are your friends. Remember who calls YOU, because they are your friends.
More telephone calls. I reminded a lot of people "have generator will travel" but no one was interested. ** Lesson: Don't waste a lot of time on the phone offering to give your services away.
I lit my kerosene heater, and went to bed. I listned at the back door for a few minutes. The darkness combined with the sound of branches cracking and popping around the neighborhood. It was spooky. ** Lesson: No matter how comfortable you are, Mother Nature is still very powerful.
Saturday April 05, 2003 Woke up to the sound of branches popping. I looked out the door, and realzie that a lot of the noise was pieces of ice falling off the trees. It was 60F in my bedroom. Not bad, at all. I use my setback thermostat to run it down to 64 at night, so I'm used to that. Got up, and pour the bath tub full of warm water, and warm up that way. Breakfast. Still have milk and some ice cubes. ** Lesson: Ice cubes and refrigeration are wondeful. In the winter you can put your milk out on the back step.
Radio says 67K people without power. Someone found a creative way to warm the house. He hooked a garden hose to his laundry sink, and snaked the hose around the floor of his house. Ran hot water thruogh the hose, and into the bath tub. The hot water hose helped warm the house. Very clever. Must remember that.
I had breakfast, and decided to try to find something useful to do. At about 7:30 AM, the tree guys came down the street. Saw up branches fallen, and feed them into the chipper behind the truck. One of my neighbors had a branch fall through the back window of the son's car. I had no damage to my trailer or vehicles.
I talked to Skip today. He had a battery radio, but no batteries. He also has a gas range, but no pots or pans. I went home, and got him a pan out of my camping kit, and some batteries for his radio.
I mentioned gasoline to Skip, and he told me which gas stations had power today. The van was low on gas, so I threw two gascans in the back and took them along. I found a couple gas stations without power, and one which had power, and long lines of cars waiting to gas up. I got in line. At 1.73, I was able to fill the two gascans, and then put some in the tank before the pump shut me down at $50. But it sure is nice to have some gasoline. But fifty bucks! Wow!
I made a few more calls, and found one friend of mine who had borrowed a Honda generator from his brother, and the generator refused to start. Went there, and it started with a shot of ether, and a change of gasoline. Can't kill a Honda. It was very quiet, too. He had sent his son to go fill up the gascan, and the Suburban. His son came back much later, there was a very long line of cars waiting to buy gasoline. ** Lesson: Stock several cans of ether starting spray at home. You may need it.
I learn that the reason he was pursuing a generator is because the cellar had flooded without a sump pump. About two inches water. They were able to move some of the water by buckets, but that was a very slow process. Another friend had a 12 volt sump pump which wasn't doing much good. The fire department came down the street at that moment. They let us plug into their generator for a few moments to run the sump. Finally, we did get the sump wired into the generator, and that helped a lot. They also have a Bissel carpet cleaner which we used to extract much of the water out of the cellar carpet. The carpet is a total loss, no surprise.
While in the dark cellar, I blew the bulb on my 2AA minimag. Had to find my way out of the cellar, and up to the truck to get another bulb. I've been considering the Opalec conversion, to make my mini mag work on LED light bulbs.
I also wired a plug into the furnace wiring, and they can now run the furnace on the generator. ** Lesson: Even if the home owner has tools, go get your own tool box. Sure is faster if you know what tools you have, and all the wirenuts and parts.
About this time, some friends came over. They had half a house with power, and the furnace is on the dead side. I went to go switch off a couple breakers, and put the furnace onto the power.
We did get a dinner invite with one of his sons, whose family has power. That was much appreciated.
I came home and tried to see by the light of a fluorescent lantern that takes 6 D cells. I learn that cheapie carbon batteries are near to useless, the only last a couple hours. Resolved to buy only alkaline batteries in the future.
Sunday April 06, 2003 Decided to go to the city to attend church. One of the buildings had power. Many traffic lights are without power. People are mostly courteous, and treating them all as four way stops (as the law requires). Stopped at my parents to use the computer and wash laundry. I made a couple phone calls, and it turns out my lunch invite had been delayed. The Spirit said to visit a couple friends. I did, and found them cold in the house, it was 40F in his living room. He was wearing his winter coat in the living room.
Radio says that up to 145,000 people are without power. Three or four counties have been declared "state of emergency, no unnecessary travel".
Went to my dinner invite, which was wonderful. And then went home to get my generator. And no big surprise, my generator wouldn't start. I'd bought it in early 1999, and had run it, and then put it in the box and had not run it since then. I gave it a shot of ether, and it ran on that. So, several shots of ether later, the carb diaphram shook loose, and started to deliver gas.
Went to Scott's and wired the generator into his furnace. About an hour's run time, and the living room and rest of the house came up from 40F to 69F, which was major improvement.
I got home about 11 PM to find my own house about 47. I lit the kerosene, and it was about 52 in my bedroom by the time I went to bed. I tried to heat the house by running the shower on full hot with the bathroom door open. it was nice, but I set off the smoke detector, and had to take the battery out for about an hour. It is a 2001 dated battery, I've got to change that some day.
Monday April 07, 2003 Woke to find it very cold in the trailer. I decided that if I could run the generator for others, I could run it for myself, too. I got my box of electrical tools, and wired the furnace. I put the generator out on the porch, and chained it to the railing. An hour of generator allowed me to check my email, and also to warm the house a bit.
I went to ask the neighbors if they would like me to wire into their funaces, and warm them up. Al had a kerosene heater, and said his trailer was warm from end to end. I notice though that he didn't at any point ask if I was OK, and would I like to come in and get warm. Ursula said she didn't want a wire across the street. Ernie said he had a generator coming from the firehall, and he was OK. Skip had gone to go find a warm mall to visit.
The generator runs for about an hour and a half on a tank of gas. It was long enough to warm the house, but not that it was running all night.
The friend with the 40F house where I was last night didn't have a telphone on, something wrong with the line. I considered whether to drive up, the Spirit said that it was personal choice, but not needed. So, I drove up there to see if he was OK. I found a note on the door, they had gone to a shelter, and weren't home. Well, that explains the promptings.
I pulled out the cell phone, and made a few more calls. Didn't find anyone else who wanted use of a generator.
Went home, and powered up the furnace for my night sleep.
Tues April 08, 2003 This AM, decided to go to the bank, and a couple stores. I found the Dollar Tree had sold out of D, and AA batteries. But they ahd plenty of 9 volt and C cells. ** Lesson: Keep batteries at home. Also, buy some flash lights that run on C-cells, since they don't sell out as fast. Mag and Kel have lights that run on C-cells, and American Science and Surplus used to have C-cell flash lights ( www.sciplus.com ).
I had left the furnace plugged into the generator. I had a sense that I oughta plug it back into the house power. I got home, and was about to pour gas into the generator when Skip came home and cheered. He noticed before I did that the power is back on. I plugged the furnace back into the power, and got back on the computer.
This writing is public domian, and may be copied, distributed, etc.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org www.mormons.org . .
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You should start the generator more often, like monthly or at least quarterly. Once a year, it needs maintenance, like an oil change, and cleaning.

How about this one, make sure you have a phone that works on phone company power? Lots of phones, answering machines, etc, which are plugged into wall warts, go dead when the power is off.

The state has backup generators.

Another advantage to a gas stove.

Save it for more urgent needs. Have "gen will travel", might sell better when the power is out during a summer storm, and things are flooding and not cold.
It isn't like the stuff in the fridge will defrost...

Yeah, she always deserves respect.

Good idea, as long as one has a gas water heater. I don't know about these fancy ones, with power vents, I suspect that it wouldn't work with the power off.

When you hear stories about the weather on the news, one of the things to do is fill up. This is a good thing to do any way, since it reduces the problems with condensation, in the soon to follow cold snap. In winter, you should keep the gas tank more full than the summer for this reason.

And add fuel stabilizer, such as "stabil" to the gas, so it doesn't go as bad when left in the machines. You shouldn't need ether. A heat lamp spotlight goes a long way towards warming up a small engine in winter.

That more urgent need thing I mentioned earlier.

And do the wiring and testing before you need it? Yep a spare parts box bucket of what ever is great. I've used a metal paint roller tray, for 2 generations now, throw all the old, unused, misc, hardware in it. One can sort through it reasonably rapidly by spreading out the nuts and bolts and stuff.

Ummm, don't you mormon folks have a thing about stocking the kitchen with supplies?
Now that you know who the good people are in your 'hood, this spring when the weather is nice, you should have a get together, since you'll have plenty of memories to share.
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Remember to unplug your home PC. Power on/offs, surges, sags--all are not good for your hard drive. I figured I was all set for a power drop--gas furnace, gas water heater, gas stove, coal stove backup. Then I noticed the electric igniter on my furnace and water heater, the electric circulating fan on the coal stove...well, I can still light the kitchen range with a match. I imagine the water bed will stay warm for a while.
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(none) wrote:

Why?
RB
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I put my steam boiler on battery backup. There are no motors on it, just some 24V controls, so it lasts 6-7 hours on a 1500VA backup. Same with water heater. Forced air and hydronic systems are out of luck and need generators...
EJ

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Musta missed this when it was posted--sorry. I'd worry most about the heads not parking and then plowing up the hard drive. Voltage spikes would be tough on the power supplies and might feed through to the electronics. Drops followed by sudden surges would stress the power supply filter caps, etc. Momentary low line frequency wouldn't be good for anything relying on inductance. Every time the power comes back on, even for a few seconds, the PC would start up again, reboot, then crash when the power went off.
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How can I avoid getting silverfish?
Michael
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Don't have moist areas.

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snipped-for-privacy@rigel.oac.uci.edu says... :) :) How can I avoid getting silverfish? :) :) Michael :) :) :) Homes that have silverfish problems are usually brought in the home in the building material and as time goes by the populations build up and they start to find thier way inside. Keeping the openings around pipes and such tight will help reduce the activity inside, if they become a problem at all.
--

Lar. (to e-mail, get rid of the BUGS!!



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says...

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http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/iiin/silverfi.html
says...

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(none) wrote:

I don't configure my PC to self power up when power is lost and returned. Making it go up and down repeatedly is a foolish thing to do. Tony
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(none) wrote:

Battery back up with surge protection set to force a shut down without restart when the battery level reaches a certain percentage of charge. For me it's 85%.
The answering machine is also plugged into the UPS.
--
Mark

N.E. Ohio
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