Basic Lesson Number 005 Preparing for Power Outages

Discussion in 'Survival Stories' started by GARY R MOSIER, Jan 30, 2016.

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  1. GARY R MOSIER

    GARY R MOSIER Expert Member
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    Basic Lesson Number 005 Preparing for Power Outages


    I was busily getting ready to fix breakfast a couple years ago when the power went out. Additionally I had a 18 pound turkey in the roaster, ready to be popped into the oven, once the kitchen was cleaned up. Hey it's Sunday and I do the cooking on Sunday. (Family Tradition)

    Fortunately, I had made the coffee, and poured myself a cup. Everything was looking up to a great 4 hours of watching Football on TV, starting in just 2 hours. At that moment the power went out, and I was overwhelmed by "What the F*&^% has happen now, thoughts"

    Having been trained on the potential devastation of an (EMP), I was feeling down. Was this it? Was this the big one? Would I, Could I, watch my football games on time? I tried the phone to call the power company, but no luck. I looked outside expecting a major storm front, but no it's sun-shining out there. So again "what the F*&^% happened" my wife came into the kitchen and announced that the power company had sent a letter, telling everyone the power would be out today for about 4 hours for maintenance and upgrades on our system. A wave of relief swept over me. Four hours. No problem.

    However, it got me thinking, and these are the lessons I learned.

    1. Keep Maalox/Rolaids on hand at all times. Initial stress produced out-of-this-world heartburn.

    2. Appreciate the power of ready-to-eat foods you have in storage. Those boxes of cereal will come in handy one day.

    3. Make sure you have sharp kitchen knives, they are essential; because you never know when you will have to cut up a 18 pound turkey into manageable pieces, to cook in a solar oven, or deep fry it. If the power had not returned, the family may have been lucky to get turkey sandwiches.

    4. Have an alternative to your washing machine. One load sat in the washer with a full tank of water until the power came back on. Several baskets of clothes still needed to be washed. Our little washboard/bucket seemed inadequate, but our 30+ bottles of laundry detergent gave me hope.

    5. Have diversionary activities available. No power = no computer, no radio, no TV, and on and on. It was a great time to review our checklists for our bug-out bags.

    6. Water storage is essential. We were fortunate a while back, during a 2 week outage that we never lost our water, but I cannot rely on past experience. I gave my water barrel's and water storage tank a big hug.

    7. Know your neighbors. Check on one another and offer help when needed. With age comes wisdom, resourcefulness, and skills obtained from a lifetime of hard work and hard times. Plus maybe someone will have additional information that can be passed.


    We shall be prepared for the next time!! Bought a generator 2 weeks later. End up using it about 2-4 times a year.
     
    JimLE likes this.
  2. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Store fuel for generator in old coleman fuel cans gas stays good longer coleman fuel will run generator allso make sure to get one that is going to power all your needs freezer refridgerator is a must most small generators will not kick these on. You run low wattage lights only as needed long peroids of outage can be roughafter a bad storm days weeks can pass heat is a must at times a small generator will not run heaters or your home system i suggest mr buddie heaters for heat they are a great choice a20lbbottle runs 5days on low and puts out alot of heat. Coleman lights that run on fuel donot use indoors ! Now again propane works put out light and heat both so they are a good choice
     
  3. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I lived without electricity for 12 years, its not hard to do, and I will do so again post SHTF.
    wife was brought up in a thatched cottage, no mains, oil lamps for lighting, wood burning range for cooking and heating and an outside outhouse.
     
    Keith H. likes this.
  4. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    City urban people think electric is a must we do well on our power system its simple and not big fancy we do have a woodstove for heat and can cook on it but we allso have propane heat and cookstove nightlights we use solar path lights that we have put in pint mason jars for late night stumbles around place they work great set out each day and they light all night
     
  5. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    even where I live most people don't even own flashlights, why should they when all they have to do is flick a switch?
    the thing is in the UK electricity in homes is under a 100 years old, it wasn't connected in any houses until the 1930s and in some places not until the 1960s, but very few people today could live without it.
    the power grid is the weakest system we have, already it is at breaking point, one bad winter and demand will outstrip supply and we will start to see blackouts.
     
  6. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    People here same way dont reluze how old our system is and we do have blackouts and grid trouble ours can fail easy
     
  7. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I believe the US is the same as the UK in that they use overhead lines strung between pylons, this is subject to any number of risks from cyber attacks, to winter storms and EMP/solar storms.
     
  8. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    I would be in good stead with respect to power outages since its a common occurrence in my area. Everything from antiquated lamps and candles to solar cells is present as a back up to power outages. Dry cells are also still in abundance as well as the prepaid electricity meters which unless exhausted, one doesn't have to worry about power outages. There is still a uptake of solar technology and the ever innovative technology hubs in institutions of learning are coming up with all sorts of gadgets for extreme survival like solar chargers.
     
  9. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Expert Member
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    Power outages are pretty common where I live, especially during the rainy seasons where storms come and go as much as three times monthly. So it's only natural that we here are used to power being cut during heavy storms, and not have to rely on everything to be run by electricity. Canned goods are great in these times, as well as cup noodles, but most of all it's just having to be in a pretty decent shelter to protect you from the heavy rains and flooding in some areas. Power outage is awful, you wouldn't be able to access modern day technology and make daily living a convenience, but it is definitely far from the worst event that could happen.
     
  10. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I have never had a problem with black-outs, except one time when I wanted to purchase some fuel on the way home & could not.
    I was raised in our 18th century family home in England, we did have black-outs, but they made no difference except that we had to light the candles at night. Cooking was done over a wood fire.
    After I moved to Australia I lived off grid for over 40 years, 30 of those years without electricity. Our house is now solar powered, but we still cook on a wood burning stove which also heats our water. Black-outs are still not a problem for us.
    Keith.
     
  11. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Powerr outage lol. That just makes all the got to have junk useless life for many years worked before people hooked to the grid. Yes the old grid is overloaded but most of the trouble is the junk get rid of alot and life is better
     
    Keith H. likes this.
  12. explorerx7

    explorerx7 Expert Member
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    I have candles, flashlight, and a backup stove that uses LPG I also have kerosene lamps which I avoid from using as much as possible because of the fumes that it emits. I don't have a generator, however, I would be able to function without much bother for a number of hours in the event of a power cut.
     
  13. JimLE

    JimLE Expert Member
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    i've had me a possible power outage to do list for some now.which is..
    possible power outage checklist
    check rechargeable batteries for any that need recharging..
    check hand crank and rechargeable radios..
    make sure ALL flashlights,headlamps and radios are up to par.
    make sure the cell phones are charged(mainly my smart phone)
    vacuum
    check oil lamps
    check things for the car.like the rechargeable/portable jump starter to make sure it's charged up.
    make sure laundry is done
    wash dish's if any needs it.
    sweep n mop
    make sure everything is brought in from outside(if anything)
    check fluids in the car..
    make sure dog goes out,seeing how she won't go out when its raining..(spoiled) lol

    now i have more reasons than ever at doing more..here's why..

    i had been doing things on the internet as usual.reading this n that.then it started.i guess that was between 7:00pm and 7:15pm.then it went off and stayed off between 7:30pm and 7:45pm..and that was within 3 minutes of receiving a tornado alert phone call,(thunder call) from the locale tv station..mom had received the call when i was outside.so i didn't get the needed info i needed.and because of that,we failed to take the needed safety steps for our safety.other words,we didn't take cover.what gets me,there were no strong winds,and we didn't hear any thing that could be a tornado or what ever..but yet i was already taking the needed steps for light and other things by the time we started having light issues.and had very little to do,after the lights went out,and stayed out.we finally went to bed for the night.between 10pm and midnight.and that happened on friday,april 29th

    staurday april 30th
    i made the needed phone calls to the electric company and phone company,seeing how we lost both.(cell phone).one of my niece's came and got my mom,so she can stay with her.seeing how she has electric and ac.i stayed put(home).and did diff things around the home and yard,that don't require electric.and took my time doing things.and between the time i got up in the morning and by noon,i learned it was a tornado.so i set out to locate a generator,and found one to brrow.so i was able to save the food in the fridge n freezer..had to make a 36 mile round trip to get gas for it.then i did more stuff around the house.by this time,i had already used a car lighter to recharge every thing that needed it.cell phone,nook color(tablet)among other items.i learned that a power converter,that plugs into a car lighter.is idea for battery chargers,recharged flashlight batteries..

    Sunday may 1st.
    phone line finally got repaired.a tree had fallen,in which it took out one of those phone boxes thats seen on the side of the road.pluss i now have a phone jack in my bedroom now.in which i have a phone plugged into it for when the electric is off.i had to get more gas for the generator.so i got some pic's of the damage done.got back home,and did a handful of things that needed doing.then kicked back and read ,the survivors some,then i stopped reading and put it down,around 9:25pm.then at 9:30pm the electric comes back on.:D im so happy now.i went out,and unplugged the fridge from the generator n shut it down.then went back in,and plugged the fridge n freezer back into the outlet,and then walked around,and enjoyed the lights being on.called mom at 9:45 to let her know their back on.

    monday may 2nd
    got up and got coffee started.
    left the house around 7am and got mom,and brought her home.now we're happy campers once again.
     
  14. jeager

    jeager Master Survivalist
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    hummmmmmm???????????

    Perhaps I should by a couple kerosene lanterns for use outside at night.
    Kerosene isn't so expensive that I can't keep a 5 gallon can full.
    I have Coleman lanterns and fuel.
    Night fishing don'cha'know.
    Extra mantels is a good idea.
    Coleman lanterns put out a great deal of light but any light using flame must be used
    carefully indoors.
    Fire and using up oxygen.
     
    JimLE likes this.
  15. Patrick Gilbert

    Patrick Gilbert New Member
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    The first thing I always do it take a deep breath. It's not the end of the world and I like to stay calm. Then I tell everyone in the house that there might be a storm or the power might go out. Next I find all the flash light or anything I can use for light and I put them in a place that I can easily get to. Then I just sit on the couch and read a book or watch tv until it happens. When it does I go grap the light and there you go. You are prepared.
     
  16. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    best way is to have a flashlight in a handy place AT ALL TIMES not just when a blackout is announced.
    now that is being prepared.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
    Keith H. likes this.
  17. JimLE

    JimLE Expert Member
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    i now have 3 more flashlights to speak of.in which 2 of clip to a pants pocket,or what ever.and yes.1 is cliped to my right pocket now.its come in handy some already,where there wasn't enough light.and at night as well..including the campout im on right now..
     
  18. jeager

    jeager Master Survivalist
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    I do.
    3 in my car and several through out the house.

    My home is in the country and the power only goes out when:
    it storms
    when it does not storm
    when it's sunny out
    when it's not
    when it rains
    when it's dry
    in the summer
    in the spring
    in the.......................

    frequently
    This is why I have a sump pump with 12 vt. back up battery
    and TWO 12 vt back up batteries.

    Once I had TWO FEET of water in my basement and it's a finished basement.
    Dry wall, furniture, wood burner, etc.

    My gun and reloading room was in the basement.
    Not any longer. I converted part of the attached garage to a gun and reloading room
    and it's quite lockable and secure.
    There is always the attic to store most guns and ammo but not powder and it gets
    quite hot despite fans to vent the heat.
    Not good.

    If the shft for an extended time and the basement floods I'll make it a frog pond.

    That ain't good either.

    I have a gas generator and 20 gallons of gas but even that will run out one day.
     
  19. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I agree with lonewolf, all very well if you have prior warning, but that is not always the case. You need to be prepared beforehand. A sudden blackout is when people start panicking.
    Keith.
     
  20. Rere

    Rere New Member
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    even where I live most people don't even own flashlights, why should they when all they have to do is flick a switch?
    the thing is in the UK electricity in homes is under a 100 years old, it wasn't connected in any houses until the 1930s and in some places not until the 1960s, but very few people today could live without it.
    the power grid is the weakest system we have, already it is at breaking point, one bad winter and demand will outstrip supply and we will start to see blackouts.
     
  21. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    We never know when we are going to lose our lights or how long they will be out. That is the down side to living down the back roads of East Texas. The lines are on poles and if there is a storm or even a winter ice storm trees are going to fall on the lines. After a hurricane we might be in the dark for a week or more. I was raised near the coast and we also lost power pretty often. What does all this mean?

    We have an LED battery powered light hanging in every room of my house all the time.
    We have battery powered fans
    We have a 1500 gallon cistern and a high volume gravity water filter
    We have a swimming pool with 15,000 gallons and a septic system that doesn't use power.
    We have a gas grill with a burner on the side and 3 cans of propane
    We have 5 kerosene lamps and a kerosene heater and 2 5 gallon cans of kerosene
    We have A Eco-zoom rocket stove that cooks like nothing ever
    We have several Coleman stoves lanterns and a Coleman oven
    We have a big meat smoker and a smaller smoking kettle
    We have three tents
    We have a generator to keep my freezer and fridge going.
    We have a huge collection of board games, cards and dice games
    We have several months worth of food not counting the Freezer stuff
    We have several battery powered radios and MP3s with speakers and hundreds of books on tape
    We have thousands of books
    We made a hand powered clothes washer a long time ago
    We have a clothes line
    We have more flashlights and batteries than I can count
    We love to camp
    We have several wind up and battery powered alarm clocks.
    We have hundreds of candles
    We have all manner of outdoor games
    We have a trampoline/ the greatest hammock EVER!!
    We have several outdoor fire pits and a chimenea
    We have a box wood stove and a BBQ pit With an a frame to hold the pots

    To tell you the honest truth we always have a great time when the power goes off because we get to play with all of our camping stuff and other toys that we normally don't use very much. We invite friends over and have cook outs and play games and it reminds me so much of the world that I grew up in and enjoyed so much. When I was a kid friends and neighbors got together all the time for coffee. Our Church had a couple of covered dish suppers a month. We had friends and spent a lot of time with them. Now we have TVs, computers and Telephones...My daughters hate that I want to talk to them instead of texting them and usually won't answer the phone! I PAY for their phones. That ends this year though. I've retired and my company won't be providing phones any more.
     
    JimLE likes this.
  22. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Found a pocket watch I simply had to possess. I bought it "for my son's birthday" (he's pushing 40).

    Him having it is me having it. It is now in our family.

    I got the fellow way down in asking price, however I must've paid over $100 too much for it. I simply had to possess it. Elgin made in 1898, pristine, keeps time like a quartz movement, but only 17 jewel (I don't care).

    We humans need to track time.

    Used to be life-critical on the old sailing ships. Even if you have a sextant, you gotta know the time of day. A ship's chronometer had to be accurate, else you didn't really know where you were longitude-wise.

    Stop and think about all of the reasons you need to know the time of day. Now, you wanna depend on a steady stream of batteries or other electrical sources when push comes to shove?!

    Keep your timepiece buddy wound or its pendulum swinging.
     
  23. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Thomas Jefferson's clock at Monticello:

    https://www.monticello.org/site/house-and-gardens/great-clock

    I bet a bunch of you all have visited his place and have seen this wonderful clock. Every time I've visited, I've been utterly taken-aback when near that majestic timepiece. T.J. is my hero. I always say prayers for him and his family when at the Monticello family cemetery. In my mind, I'm standing there right now. Let's all say prayers for Tommy and his extended family. His little ones died so young.
     
  24. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Thomas Jefferson was one of several remarkable men that put together something that until we started dismantling it offered a freedom and safety from government tyranny that has never been equaled. A lot of his work was influenced by the work of George Mason but he took something good and made it great. Unfortunately he was a better philosopher and thinker than he was a leader. The years surrounding his presidency were turbulent to say the least.
     
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