In Israel, EVERY gas station is required to have a humongous storage
capability for exclusive use of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force).*
That probably wouldn't work as an emergency FEMA source in areas susceptible
to hurricanes - the gas might sit there for several years.
Old gas is not a problem in Israel, as tanks are forever going to and fro.
There's usually a line of APCs and tanks at stations that give double green
stamps on Thursdays.
Israel can fight a sustained war on three fronts, without significant
re-supply, for thirty days. The greatest supply endurance of NATO facing the
Soviets was ten days.
I don't know. I guess, like everything else, they have Arabs running the
station on the Sabbath.
Running low on gas in my rental car, I pulled into a gas station and stopped
at the first pump. Guy comes running out, grabs the hose and fills the tank.
I offer him money. He has a fit. Runs to the office yelling something (it
wasn't Hebrew or Yiddish - maybe Ladino).
Seems as if I had pulled up to the IDF pump!
Much confusion ensued. Everybody within earshot was consulted. Much
Finally a chap with a resigned look came up to me and explained what
happened. "How can we fix this?" I asked.
"Just go away" he said.
Free tank of gas (but no green stamps).
I know they make radio and TV stations have fuel tanks for their
gennies, so they can stay on the air. I'd be surprised if there were any
formal arrangements with local gas stations to tap their stocks. That is
more likely a local good-old-boy arrangement between the whoever runs
the local emergency services and the station owners. Note that most
scenarios that take out power also throw a lot of water around- do you
really want to trust peoples lives to fuel that may have picked up a lot
of water in it? Unless your draft pump has a water separator on it,
pulling fuel back out the fill hole is risky. Safer to power up the
station with a generator, and use the pump and filter system that is there.
I do happen to know that FEMA has an arrangement in place to use DoD
stocks and supplies when needed, including their CONUS fuel contracts
and storage farms. MREs and cots aren't the only olive-drab things they
have using in the storm areas.
In the foresight department. Wouldn't it make sense for someone with a good
electrical background to set up a truck mount generator, and the necessary
wiring to power up a gas station? And then you could go from station to
station, power them up until the tanks run dry. Would be a nightmare,
though. Convincing the management you knew what you were doing, getting paid
for your service, and the stores would have to staff, and handle money
during a power cut when the banks were closed.
I've been wondering how much of this goes on in true disaster areas.
Mine is loud enough to wake the dead but it must weigh around 200 pounds.
My power came back on yesterday afternoon. It was just shy of 8 full 24
hour days, but nothing compared to what they are going through in Texas.
My scheme to use my largest auto battery with an inverter caused some
speculation here that I probably ruined it. I was charging it on the
generator during the day, then using it at night for a few CFL bulbs and
occasionally some TV on a 13" model - plus Sunday when I taxed it with
my desktop PC. With it back in the Explorer it feels pretty strong. I
guess the coming winter will tell whether or not it can truly hold a charge.
Unless I fall into a pile of money or find a transfer switch for a lot
less than what I've seen so far, I guess I will be using extension cords
if this ever happens again. I'm 51 and this is the first time I've ever
been without power at home for more than a few hours. But I think that
if I lived where the power goes out more frequently I would just pony up
the dollars. Constantly jockeying those cords around every time
something needed to be done sure got old quickly.
Instead of having a loud alarm to warn you when the generator is being
swiped, sudden quiet would accomplish the same thing. Plus the lights going
Nonetheless, your observation is a good one.
I chained and padlocked mine to the burglar bars.
He didn't say he was, just that the inverter COULD make 1200/3600 watts. If
he's running a desktop computer that's maybe 200w, plus a monitor, so maybe 275W
total. That battery will do it easily. It has at least 10X the capacity of
most small UPS's that run a computer.
You are confused. The computer draws 275 watts at 120 volts. The power
source is a 12 volt battery.
a quick and rough way to guestimate power consumption for things in a
12 volt system, as found in an RV or boat is that 10 watts equals 1
amp draw. So if your computer draws 275 watts, that works out to a
27.5 amp draw on that poor battery. If you had a high quality deep
cycle group 27 size 12 volt battery, it may have as much as a 100 amp
hour rating. You cannot draw it down more than 50% of capacity without
seriously shortening it's service life. So you have about 50 amp hours
to run your computer. That's less than 2 hours running the computer,
ON A HEAVY DUTY DEEP CYCLE BATTERY.
He doesn't have a deep cycle battery. It probably has less than 100
amp hour capacity, too. If he runs that truck battery down to 50%,
he'll be shopping for a new battery pretty quickly. It won't do that
more than a few times before it's ruined and loses most of it's
All true. I don't know how far down I drained the battery and I
accepted that I might ruin it before I ever started. I have employees
and I needed to run QuickBooks Payroll and make payroll deposits to the
feds. The cost of a battery is an acceptable loss and I just may
consider getting myself a deep cycle battery. I may even have the board
of directors meet (me) and vote on getting a corporate deep cycle
battery if my accountant approves it!!!
I guess I have exactly enough background, quite by accident, to make it
just an inconvenience. My sons and I fly to the big air show in Oshkosh
every year, where we 'camp' in a tent and get by on a 35 watt solar cell
charging a pair of 12V-12AH sealed batteries. So I get a lesson in
energy conservation every July. Of course, here at home I'm not limited
by how much things weigh. I have a 3500 watt gasoline alternator (1979
model) that I keep in the shed, just in case. It's how I'm powering the
house right now. My biggest dog has a job now patrolling the back
yard. I have gone to great trouble teaching her not to bite but I
guarantee you she will go bat shit crazy if anyone comes over that
fence. There is no natural gas here so the procurement and management
of gasoline is a factor. In the beginning I got caught with little fuel
in my cans. I have been cutting and chipping a lot of brush and I let
myself get low. The one gas station that I found open the day after the
power went out (long lines) was the closest I have been to a riot since
the Who concert where people were trampled to death. Anyway, they were
limiting you to $75 worth and the guy told me they were nearly out. At
that point I had enough to last me for a few days. Due to a coffee
addiction and more camping with the Cub Scouts than I would prefer, I
have a small propane burner and a camping percolator. We also have a
propane grill that never gets used and had a nearly full tank. I have
one 100 ft., one 75 ft., one 50 ft., and two 25 ft. extension cords, all
12 gauge, plus lots of lesser gauge extensions. I have an Explorer that
gets driven once a week and I put the biggest battery it could take in
it last winter. I have a good sized 1200 watt (continuous) inverter and
a smaller 80 watt unit. I harvested the battery from the Explorer and
I would have gotten the fuel out of it too, one way or another, if I had
to. I bought a few CFL bulbs at Harbor Freight and they are nice at
night. I also have a DC to DC converter that will let me run and charge
my laptop from either that small 12 volt batteries or any car battery.
I have two coolers and am used to draining the water and replenishing
them from camping. I also have a Diblasi scooter that claims it will go
100 miles on 3/4 of a gallon of fuel. After that it's bicycles. I have
a plane full of fuel (50 gallons) a 20 minute drive from here. But it's
leaded fuel and not going into the cars, though anything is possible if
it were a worse disaster.
Job one was cleaning all firearms and locating every spare round. I
know this may be controversial but I had no idea how long this was going
to go on and I have no intention of peacefully turning my place over to
looters. But to each his own. Next, how do you get ice? It disappears
quickly in this type of situation. For the first couple of days we
powered the refrigerator from the generator, at least during the day.
The ice maker is a joke. I do believe it is intended for convenience
and not throughput. I found that by filling small plastic cups with
water I could make more ice than I needed. For news we started with
battery powered radios. Then I dug up the antenna for the 13" TV and
that let us watch over the air TV news. I'm not sure it was worth the
trouble but the family enjoyed it. Getting power into the house was a
bit challenging and I quickly tired of having to disconnect everything
just to close and lock the doors every time I left. I finally took some
of that insulation for hot water pipes, taped it into the jamb for the
sliding door, cut a foot long piece to go over a (now precious)
extension cord, and cut a 2x4 with my cordless circular saw to hold the
door against the insulation. I'm sure there are better ways. I don't
know if a generator can wet or not. I drug two saw horses and a sheet
of plywood out of the shed and that's now my fancy generator roof.
Here's my impression of the whole deal. This started 8 days ago and I
still am not back on the grid. It's an inconvenience but boo hoo. We
still have water to drink and the toilets still work. We never ran out
of food. It could be a whole lot worse. I was a pretty handy guy once
upon a time but I have spent the last couple of decades as an office
person. I've lost my touch on a lot of things. I broke a lot of
things. I melted a few things. I invented new curse words when the old
standbys seemed insufficient. Again, boo hoo. When A doesn't work you
try B. Maybe you'll figure out how a better way to do A when you're
trying to sleep. You stay at it, find things that work, and abandon the
things that don't. Don't count on the kindness or competence of others
and you won't be disappointed. It really doesn't take a hell of a lot
to get by if all you have lost is electricity. I don't know how well I
would do with in a total loss situation like the people we are seeing in
Texas, but I would approach it the same way. Keep trying things and
don't give up.
I'm not going to reread this one because it was a stream of
consciousness effort, but that's my take on the power going off.
The EU2000i is a great little unit! Very quiet, and the power quality is as
good as what I get off the grid (I've looked at both on a scope).
I bought mine at mayberrys.com, great prices there if you can live with waiting
a couple days for it to arrive.
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