Preparing for Power Outages?

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We're always prepared for it; every winter we can be sure there will be longer outages than that. The last one at New Year, lasted longer than two days. Lots of trees and lines down in 90-100 mph gales, and the engineers couldn't safely start repairs until the wind dropped. We were the last house on the island to get reconnected. A few years back, the entire island had an outage of no power for nearly two weeks.
Because that bad storm was forecast, before it started I'd run the laundry through the machine, made sure we had spare radio and torch batteries, fitted fresh candles into their holders, and fetched the gas camp stoves into the kitchen. If we get blacked out by surprise, all those are always kept in the same place so we can find them in pitch dark. I have oil lamps too but seldom bother with those. We normally use those radio phones which don't work in a power cut, but the old plug-in one does so I got that out and plugged it in.
We always keep a good store of supplies in the pantry. Knowing we wouldn't want to open the freezer I got out some frozen bread and home-cooked food , and turned it down to max cold.. Last year we replaced an elderly fridge/freezer with an A-rated high efficiency model. With the power off, and the door left shut, it keeps food frozen solid more than twice as long as the old one did. We're at the same latitude as Moscow, and Jan in Alaska, but warmed by the Gulf stream . Even without central heating, in midwinter the indoor temp of this well-insulated high solar gain house doesn't drop below 55 F. We put on extra fleeces and were warm enough.In January it gets dark by 5pm , we lit candles, played games, listened to the radio. In our kitchen we have stainless steel splashbacks on the walls above the worksurfaces. Great candle-reflectors; so just four candles makes the night-time kitchen bright enough to cook and wash dishes.
At our previous place, the water supply was pumped so a long outage meant no water. If we had notice, we filled the bath, a barrel and saucepans, which gave a week of drinking and cooking water. For washing and flushing lavs, we fetched buckets from several outdoor roof-collection barrels, the stream in the garden, or if those ran dry, the river 50 yards away. At this place, gravity pressure makes sure the water still works during power cuts, what a luxury :-)
Janet.
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I'd not thought of washing laundry before the storm. But you're right, that needs electric.
Normally I carry a flash light in my pocket, and have one or two in the house where I know I can find them in the dark.
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On Sun, 25 Feb 2007 23:41:57 GMT, Janet Baraclough

We have the opposite situation here, the power goes out in the summer (hurricanes). One thing I figured out is to keep the fridge and freezer stuffed with half liter bottes of water. That ice will hold the freezer and fridge for a real long time and when it melts it is still good drinking water, which may also be in short supply. If it really looks like it will be out for a while I will transition over to my RV propane fridge. I have up to 150 gallons of propane in the ground
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"Janet Baraclough"> wrote

Unless the ice/tree branch that took out the powerline took out the phoneline too. Its a good idea to have a cellphone too.
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wrote:

My last quarer mile is underground. Beyond that is a part that runs over a stream from pole to pole. During a storm, a tree was knocked down and fell on the phone line which caused one telephone pole to snap, and the wires to fall on the ground and on the stream I mentioned. Part was under water and much more when it rained and the stream rose a couple feet.
But since the phones wwere still working, it took the phone company about 3 years to fix it. (If they had only told me how low on the list it was, I would have stopped calling them (3 times total. Once they came out and marked some things but it was still another 18 months.)

Yes, that could be very handy.
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Don wrote:

When we had our longest outage, it was when a tree took out the service drops to the house. ALL of them, power, phone and cable for high speed internet. Back then I didn't have a cell phone, none of the neighbors were home, so I had to find a pay phone to call in the trouble. Since then, I took a job that required me to have a cell phone, it doesn't work great in our canyon, but if you go to the right part of the house, you can place a call.
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Get a cable to charge your cellphone from your cars' cig lighter outlet. Then,if you lose AC line power for a few days,you still can charge your CP from your car.
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(Jim Yanik) says...

Yeah, and then drive to somewhere that has cell phone service.
Doesn't a car adapter come with every cell phone?
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Nope, that's about $20 more.
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"BR"> wrote

We are so far back in the sticks in a very sparsely populated county that no broadband will ever be available so the choice is dialup or satellite. We have the Hughes satellite which works pretty good most of the time. When the power goes out we'll run the generator through a PC power backup and then plug the computer and satellite modem into the power supply and be back online pronto. The only downside so far, and I'm going to fix it is, our satellite dish is on the peak of the 2nd floor roof and not easy to get to and when it gets real cold and then rains the dish loads up with 3" thick ice, making it unworkable. So right now I am investigating a solar powered heater coil that will wrap the dish and the feedhorn effectively eliminating the ice buildup. Kinda pricey though at $400.
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Don wrote:

You might want to consider a radome for your dish, if one is available. I've seen fabric radomes for receive only sat dishes, no heater expense, although if the snow is really bad, it might cover up the radome enough to stop working, although show should slide off a properly designed radome.
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Don wrote:

[...]
I used to think we'd never see broadband where I live but we received notice last week it was now available. I jumped at the chance to ditch my satellite (Wildblue). I had not fulfilled the Wildblue agreement for 1 yr service but the phone company agreed to do an even swap if I'd let them have the equipment back - DEAL! DSL is so sweet and the same monthly price as Wildblue...
Our county sounds similar to yours in population size so who knows? you might get a notice yourself someday.
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"AL"> wrote

We're in Brown County, south-central Indiana. Nothing ever changes here.
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At least now the time does (G&D&R). Who is Nashville's phone company? Kurt (From Indy) Ullman
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wrote:

Yep, unfortunately you're right. Changes next weekend from what I've been told.
Who is Nashville's phone company?

AT&T. The problem is there isn't enough people around here that want broadband and they won't run a line just for us. None of the neighbors even own a computer let alone have a web connection. Many farmers and hunters and such.
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AT&T promised they would run DSL to rural areas, but there is rural and then there is technophobic. (g0.
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wrote:

We're only 1/4 mile from 45, west of Bean Blossom, and on a good day I can see the wires from my house. But they won't run them to our house. Frustrating.
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Wires aren't the problem with DSL, IIRC it is getting within a mile of the
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In article

You an SBC customer?
To get DSL service, you have to be within 18,000 cable-feet of either a central office (CO) or a digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM), which is usually a green box about 18" square mounted on a pole.
"Cable-feet" refers to the length of the actual cable run, not the straight line distance from your house to the CO or DSLAM, and cable routing can be pretty bizarre at times.
Gary
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Gary Heston wrote:

[....]
as soon as we'd heard SBC had bought PacTel we Scooby Danced all over the office with joy and much laughter. it was a case of the good consuming the evil and the evil were soon to get a lesson in manners. yep that was a fine day indeed.
people from different parts of america are different from one another. the network support engineers at the SBC Network Operations Center [NOC] in Texas were all intelligent, pleasant and good to work for where as the network support engineers in california were evil, cacophonous and rude. did you know it can sometimes take 4.75 times longer to deliver a software patch to a rude customer? yep sure can.

and without pulse coded modulation [PCM] what could you get?

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