Preparing for Power Outages?

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We just had a ice storm and I had no electricity for 22 hours. I was mostly unprepared and didn't like the experience at all.
What are you doing to prepare for this?
Thanks.
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Jonathan Grobe Books
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We usually fill the bath tub with cold water. Nearby for flushing. Handy for cooking if you have a gas stove. I have one kerosene lamp. Flashlights and batteries for a small portable radio. I ususally light the oven and place a pot of water on top.. Stay out of the freezer if possible. Know what you need from the fridge before opening the door. Five years in AK will teach you all these things.
--
"Anybody can have more birthdays, but it takes balls to get old!"

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Why fill the bathtub? Does a power failure cause your water to quit?
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Steve Barker




"betsyb" < snipped-for-privacy@TRASHoptonline.net> wrote in message
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"Steve Barker" ( snipped-for-privacy@some.yahoo.com) writes:

The pumps at the filtration plant stop working if the outage is bad enough. At the very lest, it results in contaminated water.
Michael

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writes:

I wonder what's in all those towers that look like giant golf balls. If the outage is bad enough, will gravity stop working?
Don
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wrote:

Regular size golf balls.

No. That's why the driving ranges keep operating.

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wrote:

Those "elephant balls" as they're known as around here are mainly fire protection reservoirs for industrial and commercial sites. At a few thousand to a few hundred thousand gallons' capacity, they're but a drop in the bucket compared to the demand of even a small town. Serious water storage tanks capable of supplying days worth of water are measured in the multi-million gallon capacity. Our little town of about 50k people recently built two 10 million gallon tanks that are advertised to hold enough water for a few days. These tanks are perhaps 50 ft tall and large enough in diameter to stage a dirt track race in.
What elephant balls that aren't associated with fire protection are basically surge tanks, designed to lengthen the cycle of pumps that supply the water and help stabilize water pressure. One generally doesn't want large pumps to cycle more often than once every couple of hours, hence the surge tanks.
From very rusty memory, seems like the planners here use 500 gallons per day per person as the design criteria for the water system. 500 or 100, can't recall which but I think 500.
John
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Don K wrote:

Gravity works just fine. But if they can't fill those tanks they don't help much. Here in Eastern Oklahoma we have had 2 major ice storms in 6 years. Many towns lost water for several days at a time. Then water became a jewel beyond price. It isn't fun living without lights, heat, and water.
Lights tend to come back on much later than water. My brother-in-law didn't get his lights back for 11 days.
Bill Gill
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"Don K" (dk@dont_bother_me.com) writes:

So you get all your water from rain?
This is not a theoretical instance.
When we had an ice storm here in 1998, which brought down some of the long distance power lines from the hydroelectric generators (and some of the towers that held up those lines), it was said afterwards that we were within hours of having no water. I can't remember whether they were talking no filtered water or no water at all, but after the fact they did say that if that had happened, an evacuation of this large city was a possibility.
Michael
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writes:

Even so, the typical gravity storage tanks might well be adequate to maintain supplies for the 1 or 2 day outage described in the original post.
Unless I slipped a decimal point, a 50 foot sphere would hold about a half-million gallons of water. A 100 foot sphere would hold about 4 million gallons.
That should be adequate for a decent-sized town until somebody moves in some big generators, starts trucking in water, or evacuating the area.
Don
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wrote:

Those towers are only there to stablize the water pressure. That miniscule amount of water won't last very long with 1000 people using it.
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Yes it does. We live in a mobile home park, "God's Waitingroom"
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Then how do you fill the tub after the power goes out?
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Steve Barker




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On Sun, 25 Feb 2007 20:41:21 -0600, "Steve Barker"
Good qustion. But I think they are referring to times that something like a hurricane is predicted, and people can do last minute preparations before it hits.
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Steve Barker wrote:

The subject line of this thread is "Preparing for Power Outages", so I guess that implies you have advanced notice. :-)
- Logan
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Now, where do I sign up to have the power company give me notice? LMAO!
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Steve Barker




"Logan Shaw" < snipped-for-privacy@austin.rr.com> wrote in message
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I have my own well. When the power goes - so does the well pump. I keep 3 five gallon buckets filled with water (and lids on them) in the bathroom for emergency flushing. since I live alone, that is ample unless the power outage is a very long one. I also keep a minimum of 12 two liter bottles filled with water for drinking and cooking and washing, teeth, etc. My stove is propane and can be lit with a match for cooking.
My biggest problem, at this time of year, is heat. In the past - during 2 ice storms, a kerosene heater in the living room was adequate. Power out 5 days each time.
Keep a stock of canned foods and dry foods that take little water to prepare. A few weeks supply of medications on hand at all times as well as simple first aid and common OTC meds. Flashlights and batteries - and also non battery type flashlights.
JonquilJan
-- Learn something new every day As long as you are learning, you are living When you stop learning, you start dying

Flashlights
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wrote:

I assume you meant lights such as shake or crank lights that don't require battery replacement. Let me expand a little on that.
Shake lights (the ones you shake back and forth to charge either a small battery or a super capacitor) are the rage now but once you try to use one for any length of time you grow to loathe them. Shake til yer arm goes numb for a few minutes of light.
The crank lights - lights that have a hand-cranked generator - are much more practical. Wal-mart stocks a nice little LED crank light that sells for under $10. It is similar to this one:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_idP26270
but is rounder and longer and is un-branded ChiCom product.
I'm somewhat of a flashahaulic so I bought one just to see how it worked. I'm impressed. Three 7mm white LEDs in the front with an alternating switch that turns on either 1 or all three LEDs. A minute's worth of casual cranking produces >10 minutes worth of light. Probably closer to 20 minutes but I got bored timing it :-)
I've put one of these in each of my vehicles, by each door and in my bedside table. This is in addition to my other more sophisticated lights.
For my regular lights I've converted over to either HID (expensive) or rechargeable lithium powered LED lights. This is my favorite and the one that stays on my hip at all times.
http://www.qualitychinagoods.com/1x18650-rechargeable-recommended-p-466.html
This light uses selected Luxeon 5 watt LEDs driven to 8 watts and powered by the 18650 lithium ion battery. This is the same battery that is contained in most laptop batteries. It's robust, reliable and lasts forever. For emergency use, the approx 10 year shelf life is a major benefit, unlike NiMH batteries that quickly self-discharge.
Here are the batteries:
http://www.qualitychinagoods.com/ultrafirereg-18650-2400mah-unprotected-p-524.html
This flashlight only uses one battery so the pair provides one in the light and one in the charger. Speaking of which:
http://www.qualitychinagoods.com/dsdreg-2bay-intelligent-charger-163401865017670-p-265.html
is the one I use. Under $10 and comes with both 120 and 12vdc cords. Plus it'll charge the rechargeable version of the CR123 lithium battery.
One note of caution - This store is in Hong Kong and stuff is shipped directly from there. They have no warranty service that I can tell, as they quit answering email when I tried to get a bad cell replaced. OTOH, products are so cheap from here compared to US prices that for me it's worth the risk. There are several other Hong Kong companies on the net selling the identical product but I don't have experience with them.
The light that probably gets the most use is a 3 watt Luxeon LED headlight from Amandotech.
http://www.amondotech.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID 2
This isn't exactly like mine, as mine is waterproof but this is what they stock now. It uses two LIR123 rechargeable lithium ion batteries. That charger I mentioned above will charge them.
This is a superb light. Pure white light with a very well defined spot. It beats the socks off my miner's light with the huge belt mounted battery in brightness and with an extra set of batteries, in battery life.
If you need to light up the whole end of the state, look at this:
http://www.amondotech.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID 2
This is one of the brightest handheld lights on the market. I love mine. It uses the same miniature High Intensity Discharge arc lamp as is used on high end cars such as Benz and Lexus. Despite the brightness, the battery life is very good at about 2 hours.
It comes set up to throw a long narrow beam of light. For general close in use over a larger area, a trick is to adhere some Saran wrap to the lens. This diffuses the beam nicely.
What all of these lights have in common for emergency situations is that the batteries have very long shelf lives. The lithiums will hold most of their charge for 10 years, so it's claimed. I know that I can't tell the difference in a just-charged battery and one that's been in the light for a year. The SLA type battery in the HID light is known for its long charge retention - several years at minimum. Plus the light can be plugged into its charger and left that way indefinitely.
John
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