Preparing for Power Outages?

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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net says...

Maybe "prepared for this by living in California" meant developing a general attitude of preparedness.
It sure helped me. Especially being there during a major earthquake.
And I live in another earthquake risk zone, even now.
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dkhedmo wrote:

We rarely have lethal weather, at least for humans. Quakes happen every once in a while, as do snowstorms, but so far most have provided personal entertainment rather than terror. Electricity was off for a number of hours while they spliced the mall across the street into the system. Cable has been out longer than that. Biggest nuisance is the goddam Rose Parade, which lasts for DAYS.

SoCal for 65.
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The Real Bev wrote:

Five months of non-stop rain = mudslides blocking roads for weeks at a time (ever been to Big Sur?) and houses slipping off hillsides yearly. I'm sure plenty of people experience flooding, as well. The city of Napa comes to mind.
Five months of non-stop rain + seven months of hot, dry summers wildfires/firestorms, which threaten/damaging multitudes of homes yearly. The firestorm in the East bay was deadly, and the hillsides are still scarred with areas that haven't yet been rebuilt.
I'm sure the people in the Sierras have few tales to tell about massive snowfall and its effects.
Just to name a few.
Karen
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Oh, and of course they NEVER have power problems in CA. LMAO!!
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Steve Barker




"Gil Faver" <rowdy\' snipped-for-privacy@xxyz.com> wrote in message
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Steve Barker wrote:

for some reason this isn't including the rest of the thread ...
is beside the point. Most parts of California don't get very cold, at least as compared to the upper midwest. Different areas require different praparation.
We have a lot more power problems here in Hawaii than they ever had in California, but we never got cold ... (and our water is really gravity fed. I do keep some bottled water around in case the filtration fails).
disaster preparedness to me includes: - food that can be stored without refrigration and (at least in a bind) be eaten without cooking (you propane stove doesn't help if your house was flattened by a hurricane or earthquake, but you may still be able to find the cans or boxes) - enough batteries of all sizes we use - enough tarps to cover the house (or what's left standing) including bungee cords to secure them - as I mentioned, we don't usually get cold here, but we can get very very wet. Wet can easily cause hypothermia even here, and in very little time.
Maren, Hilo, HI (do you have any idea what 40"/rain in a day is like?)
Palms, Etc.: Tropical Plant Seeds - Hand-made Jewelry - Plants & Lilikoi http://www.jach.hawaii.edu/~maren/palms_etc / - Job's Tears/Coix Lachryma Iobi available -
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Gil Faver wrote:

When I lived in California (the Bay Area, specifically), we had a power outage that lasted well over 48 hours because of a "storm". In this "storm", the winds got up to a whopping 20 miles/hour, and we received maybe 2 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. It turns out PG&E had just cut a bunch of jobs in order to save money a few months earlier, and the jobs they cut were the people who were responsible for maintaining the lines (making sure trees were trimmed and so on) and repairing them. So a bunch of tree limbs fell on the lines and cut out power, and it took forever to repair them, so we were without power for days even though nothing big had really happened.
Luckily we had a natural gas water heater which did not need electricity to start, and it was January so it was not too cold outside, and we did fine without heat. But it was still stupid.
- Logan
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I experienced the same thing -- probably not the same storm though! In any case, living without power for 48 hours is really quite miserable.
I just got up early, went to the office and shaved and showered there. Worked late, ate out and went home to sleep.
Home really was nothing more than a place to sleep.
Now that I work at home and have three kids, it would suck very much indeed!
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wrote:

Oh, the first 48 hours is almost (and, in some respects, literally) a picnic.
It's the second and the start of the THIRD 48 hours when it beings to get "old."
That's what happened to us in the "Northern Neck" of VA when Isabel hit the fan.
We get 4-6 hour outages every time there are high winds or significant snow. Ice storms can put out "off the grid" for a day.
Unfortunately, our generator is just about impossible to start when it's below 32F.
And yes, we need electricity for our water and heat. We have "back up" LPG heaters. Next on the "wish list" is a kerosene heater that will also provide some light.
AND we found out that hard way that LPG comes in a "winter mix" and a "summer mix." The difference is that the "summer mix" only provides enough gas pressure to make the regulator work when the tank is over 70F.
NB: LPG isn't necessarily pure propane. It's often a mixture of propane and butane and "whatever."
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I'm with you, that the first two days of my power cut were an adventure in camping in. By the third day, the coldness had soaked into the very center of my trailer, and it was really getting miserable. If I'd not had the generator to run the furnace, I would have had to move my matress into the kitchen and live there.
Interesting about the summer and winter LPG. Much the same with diesel road fuel, I've heard. A trucker going north with a tank full of summer fuel might have jelly in the fuel lines when he gets to some place cold.
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Christopher A. Young
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This is exactly what NJ did last year to Save JCP&L money.
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"Anybody can have more birthdays, but it takes balls to get old!"

BetsyB
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I keep some candles, flashlights, kerosene lamps around, I keep the propane bottles filled so we can grill if we want, but since we have a gas range, only the oven is affected. City water is not a problem either. If I lived in a very rural area I'd have a generator. In my entire life, only after Hurricane Gloria were we without power for about 30 hours. Longest time otherwise is maybe an hour. Give that 60 year history I can't justify spending a lot of money for equipment.
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I have a drawer full of high powered flashlights and batteries including two that plug into outlets go on when the power stops. Also two battery powered radios, one a headset, the other with speakers. As for food, plenty of canned food,water and dehydrated stuff.
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I'll admit to being surprised. After reading your common sense posts for so long on this group, I would have figured you for the most prepared guy on the list.
OTOH, knowing your priorities demonstrates wisdom, which is a far greater trait.
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Christopher A. Young
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My house has a well and sump pump which are critical. First thing I did when I bought the house 18 months ago was to buy a 6 kW gasoline powered generator, and had an electrician install a 10 breaker panel in my basement and an external outlet to connect the generator to the panel. I selected the 10 most critical circuits to run on the generator, including the well pump, the sump pump, the fridge, and my oil furnace. I also keep 10 gallons of gas in the garage. Haven't had an outage yet, but I can sleep at night.
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wrote:

I did same. Generator and panel have been in place one year and used 3 times with longest outage 20 hours. It is my opinion that the power infrastructure has been deteriorating over the years. We live in a treed area and power company has been saving money on tree cutting. Just about whole neighborhood has generators.
Frank
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I've been noticing that power cuts are ever so much more common. That may very well be why. I'd not thought of that. Thank you.
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Christopher A. Young
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Per Frank:

Deregulation.
The primary purpose of electric utility companies is now maximizing profit.... period.
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PeteCresswell

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Yep. Now repairs, etc., are underfunded because of profits, whereas before it was underfunded because politicians did not want to tick off their constituents so the Utility Commissions never raised rates.
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wrote:

and they don't overengineer to give a large tolerance for abuse,they design for economy and low-cost.
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Jim Yanik
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And part of it is that it is so hard (maybe impossible) to build new (for instance trying to get a new big generation plant through the bureaucracy) that you have to keep old around.
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