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6 days without power

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by 20South, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. 20South


    Nov 18, 2002
    East of CBUS
    and what did we learn in this house?

    The ugly (not catastrophic but very frustrating)

    1) young kids lose flashlights assigned to them.
    2) young kids leave battery powered lanterns/fans running when they shouldn't
    3) My house is not setup for moving air through it naturally
    4) It did not take long for the temperature inside the house to hit 89 degrees.
    5) Cell service was spotty and at times left us unable to communicate outside of our own 2 way radios (Big hole)
    6) My neighbors were largely unprepared for anything - most vacated leaving their homes in a precarious state.
    7) Cash. We had it and many of our neighbors didnt. I had heard many of the local stores opened up and were letting one person at a time in with cash only sales. Had we needed something and not had cash, we would have been forced to barter at a disadvantage or drive 20+ miles to an area with an ATM and power.

    The good/bad
    - The generator did its job, but not having a generator big enough to run our A/C was an issue. It was put in and setup for the cold winter outages. Looking to re-order some finances
    - All of the solar rechargers were great. Need to get a few more so every member of my family has one.
    - Water was not an issue, we didnt lose it nor tap into supplies
    - Seafoam brought new life to a 5 gallon can of gas I forgot to put Stabil in a year ago. I don't know the shelf life of it, but I will have more of that in the future. Seriously good trade potential.
    - Sleeping with my pistol plus having my headlamp loosely around my neck became 2nd nature in a hurry.
    - Food - Not having to get involved in the panic at our local stores the next day was tremendous. Instead we leisurely strolled down after about day 4 when most peoples power had begun to be restored and an experience like any other day shopping.

    In any case, it was eye opening to be in this kind of heat without power for nearly an entire week. While there are things that I will change going forward, we were in a good position had we been forced to continue living this way. Many thanks to all of you out here for the sage advice and sharing of your experiences.
  2. GLOCK17DB9


    Dec 30, 2011
    Troy, MI
    I hope all the lessons learned will be remembered for the next outage! Good luck:wavey:

  3. smokeross

    smokeross GTDS Member #49

    May 15, 2011
    Yeah. Try it at 25 below 20 miles from town. I am always amazed at how unprepared the masses are. Sounds like you and your family had things pretty much in order. Way to go.
  4. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
  5. Redheadhunter21


    May 6, 2012
    6 days is a breeze it's day 10 that most people lose it, glad you did alright though
  6. 20South


    Nov 18, 2002
    East of CBUS
    I guess I could see that. It was originally supposed to go out 10 days, but I am not complaining about not having the opportunity to go that long.
  7. RMTactical

    RMTactical CLM

    Oct 7, 2000
    Behind an AR-15
    6 days is good for a trial run, still gave him real world experience.

    20South, thanks for the report. Glad things are getting back to normal.
  8. Stevekozak

    Stevekozak Returning video

    Nov 9, 2008
    Good report! Good on ya for being prepared!
  9. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

    Mar 17, 1999
    Western WA
    Good lesson and thanks for the report.

    However, the above comment caught my eye. Really, you DO NOT want to be setting up your generator to run your A/C. You're going to wind up with a huge gen and huge fuel consumption.

    I would maybe consider it if you regularly lost power for a week at a time 3-5 times a summer, but for emergency type use I would highly recommend getting a couple good fans. Much cheaper and more useful.
  10. Haldor

    Haldor Retired EE

    Oct 22, 2006
    Central Arizona
    And investigate have a whole house fan installed instead. Being able to exhaust the hot air from the house makes the difference between uncomfortable and unbearable.
  11. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    +1 on these ideas, plus a couple others. A soaker hose or sprinkler on the roof can make a huge difference in house temperature if you have the water to run them. Also might consider a simple, removeable window a/c unit for emergency use. They can be had down to 500-600 watts & up and might be worth looking at.
  12. pugman


    May 16, 2003
    Just an idea on the flashlight thing..

    My brother went through some similar with his six year old daughter...the solution: light sticks.

    Obviously they are not as bright and compared to the cost of a set of batteries are more expensive. This said, daughter misplaces a lightstick - no big deal. There is nothing to leave on as it will eventually die. When he was without power for a few days but wanted to go outside to run around (he was there with her) - just connect it to her via a belt, necklace, etc.

    And to a six year old they are waaayy cooler

    While this is sound advice; I see you are in Washington. Wisconsin hit a record in the hottest temperature ever recorded in Milwaukee at a 115; there is literally no wind or what does blow feels like a hair dryer.

    A couple of fans won't do it....not here...not now. Thankfully we are supposed to cool way down to the upper 90's by the weekend.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  13. racerford


    Apr 22, 2003
    DFW area
    You are comparing the cust of running a generator to have AC versus the cost of running it on normal power. Yes it is much higher. Or maybe the cost of running fans.

    I compare it to having to go stay in a hotel out of the area. I compare it with the cost of the running the generator with the comfort of my familiy and getting to secure my home.

    KKnow if you don't have the money the bank or in an emergency fund.... well you do what you have to.

    At my house we have a standby generator that runs key circuits (septic, firg freezers, microwave, some lights and one of the airconditioners). It has saved me from staying in a hotel several times. It was really helpful when our children were babies, even if only for peace of mind.

    Everyone's mileage varies.
  14. 20South


    Nov 18, 2002
    East of CBUS
    This is a great idea. We always have them around Halloween and they do generate enough light to get the kids around the house. I wont let them out on our dark streets unattended anyway. Thanks!
  15. 20South


    Nov 18, 2002
    East of CBUS
    I went to look for a small window unit, but apparently most people had the same idea as I had. I will wait until the fall when they go on clearance now and pick one up for next year. I really like the idea of soaking the roof too. Our roof is metal so I would assume it to go a long way towards cooling if I could continuously move water across it. Ive never looked into it.
  16. 20South


    Nov 18, 2002
    East of CBUS
    We have a fan that circs the air continuously through the house which is on one of the emergency power circuits. However, our house is 126 years old and insulates like a greenhouse for the most part. Eventually it does start feeling like a hair dryer.
  17. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    Set up a rain barrel system ta help reuse the water/rainwater they may catch.You'll havta decide between potable and non for it's use.'08.
  18. garyo

    garyo Millennium Member

    Dec 29, 1998
    NC USA
    All the speculation and talk about what could possibly happen, deeply pales to a good report like this. Thanks for taking the time to write down your thoughts, it is very much appreciated!
  19. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

    Jan 20, 2004
    Alaska, again (for now)

    Really depends upon the size of generator you need, and the type of generator.

    A good quality diesel, or NG generator will use less gas than some of the larger gas powered generators, and provide more power.
  20. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    I was in a house that lost power.
    3) Most houses are not setup to move air.
    4) Opening up the windows at night helped, but not having power for a fan ment is didn't help much.
    5) Cell service was a big hit and miss. I think we lost a tower the night of the storm because the area normally had bad signal had none. I considered pulling out the ham radio, but didn't have anyone I really wanted to talk with locally. In a real SHTF, I would want to have the HAM listing to traffic and FM radio.
    6) Some neighborhoods are different. The one I was in had generators running all night. The house I was in had a generator, but it died sometime on Saturday.
    7) Cash. I didn't need any. I didn't use any. But I had it and was happy I did.

    The house I was in had a generator large enough to run the AC. It really wasn't that big. IMHO, I suggest getting the generator big enough for the house, but only run the AC if needed.

    I have a solar charger on order. I was unhappy when I had to leave to power up some devices. I will get a larger panel to charge the large computer later on.

    Water wasn't an issue until a day after the power came on. Then it was off for 15 hours. I am using my bottles so I don't have to boil. I will refill the same 2 liter bottles for the next time.

    No issues with fuel. The tank was full to start with and I need to refuel sometime next week.

    I sleep with a gun with light next to me. No change. My eyes get use to the dark. I can ID an issue with no problems.

    I had access to a grill and had just purchased a pile of food. I will continue to eat my grilled food for the next week.

    I also used my work site as a backup facility. They have freezers, ice machine, showers, full sized backup generator, ..... There are good things about working for who I work for.