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Seeking Advice for living with a power failure
12-25-2013, 10:26 PM (This post was last modified: 12-25-2013 11:39 PM by AliShibaz.)
Post: #1
Seeking Advice for living with a power failure
My city was hit with a massive power failure over the past few days.

It was caused by freezing rain which landed on all the trees and the weight of the ice caused many, many branches to break and fall on power lines. That caused widespread power outages.

Try to imagine you are asleep at two o'clock in the morning and the power suddenly goes out. It is freezing cold outside and the power remains out for four days.

When it first happened, about 500,000 homes in the city were without power and TPTB announced that it could take up to one week for all homes to be fully restored.

About ten years ago I figured it would be good to try to prepare for just such an outage. So I bought a hand cranked radio that can be used without any power or batteries. I also bought a large variety of flashlights and many batteries of all different sizes. But it wasn't nearly enough in the way of preparation.

I used the radio to listen to the mayor conduct news conferences. But you would not believe the level of stupidity. Many radio stations were telling people to check their web sites for more info on the outage. But if there is no power, many ISPs were out and many people couldn't even access the Internet even if their ISP were up because they had no power for their PCs.

When my power was restored, I found that my ISP was still down and it took another 12 hours for my ISP to come back up.

But, I'm seeking some advice from anyone who may have lived through such an event in the past.

Can anyone suggest any kind of devices or equipment that would help me live through a power outage?

The hand cranked radio seemed like a good idea. But it is a total misery. You have to crank it 25 times every 6 minutes and so to listen to the radio, you wind up cranking and cranking and cranking until you just crank your fucking guts out.

I had tried to prepare by buying a large amount of batteries of all different sizes. But batteries tend to run out of power rather quickly. I mean when they are in storage, they can leak out their power.

The one issue I want to ask you is about stoves - like propane stoves or white gas stoves. White gas is sometimes called "Naptha" gas.

I know you can't use white gas indoors cuz it releases lots of carbon monoxide and that will kill you quickly. But I can go outdoors to cook for short periods.

Anybody know anything about diff kinds of stoves? Are there any I can use indoors?

Any other advice or recommendations about things I can buy now to prepare for the next one would be most appreciated.
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12-25-2013, 10:45 PM
Post: #2
RE: Seeking Advice for living with a power failure
gas/diesel generator, solar charger, general camping supplies, canned food, bottled water... guns.

or...

a plane ticket to somewhere nicer.

"Yeah. I understand the mechanics of it, shithead. I just don't understand how this is any less retarded than what I'm suggesting." - Kiley; Housebound.
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12-25-2013, 11:27 PM
Post: #3
RE: Seeking Advice for living with a power failure
yes,generator,inverter,etc.
I get it all the time,just wait it out,read more,luckily my heating doesn't go off since I got plenty of wood

guns?start wildly firing away at the energy comp.employees who try to fix things seems to be a good idea

i solar panel will easy give you enough power for your pc,radio etc.

consistency is the hobdob
of small minds[
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12-25-2013, 11:42 PM (This post was last modified: 12-25-2013 11:43 PM by AliShibaz.)
Post: #4
RE: Seeking Advice for living with a power failure
How can I run a generator indoors? Most generators that I know use some kind of fuel like diesel and they produce large amounts of carbon monoxide.

Are there any generators that will provide AC electricity from the sun? I can't imagine there are because it takes a lot of power to produce AC electricity and solar powered generators only produce tiny bits of power. I would guess they only produce about one percent of the electricity you would need to produce the equivalent of an AC outlet.

You would need to use a gas powered generator to do that, wouldn't you?

Oh, you said that one solar panel would produce AC electricity? But it only works during the day time and in the middle of winter, the sun is only out for about 8 hours a day and most of the electricity you need it needed at night.
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12-25-2013, 11:42 PM
Post: #5
RE: Seeking Advice for living with a power failure
This won't solve your current problem, but planning ahead, in large urban areas it is always a good idea to live in a home that is near a hospital and on the same power distribution trunk.
Whenever there is a power outage, they will always restore power to the hospitals first.
And whenever there is a significant power shortage, forcing the power company to engage in rolling blackouts of neighborhoods, they will always exclude the trunk lines feeding the hospitals.
I live in the neighbourhood adjacent to our regional children's hospital.
I have so far had 15 years without a power outage.

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
- Robert A. Heinlein
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12-25-2013, 11:45 PM (This post was last modified: 12-25-2013 11:51 PM by AliShibaz.)
Post: #6
RE: Seeking Advice for living with a power failure
Yes. They did restore power to the hospitals. But the nearby homes were SOL. They didn't get any of the power that the hospital used.

I could be wrong. But I fear that if you ever have a power outage, the hospital will get their power real quick. But that won't help you - unless you go into the hospital - which is a real good idea.

You can always go into the hospital and find somewhere warm to sit down. Much better than freezing.

If you are interested, the power company explains exactly who gets restored in what order. Just check your power company's web site. If you can't find that info, you can always check Toronto's power utility.

They have lots of good info. But it's so stupid because it's totally useless during the outage. Even if you can access the Internet, your ISP will likely be down.

I couldn't use my PC cuz there was no power. But even if I could, I still couldn't access the net cuz my ISP was down.

http://www.torontohydro.com/sites/electr...oringpower

There is a FAQ and one Q is: What are Toronto Hydro’s priorities for restoring power?
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12-26-2013, 12:39 AM
Post: #7
RE: Seeking Advice for living with a power failure
obviously the generator is outside in a shed,running on petrol or diesel,hooked up to your powergrid inside,giving you 220 or whatever

consistency is the hobdob
of small minds[
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12-26-2013, 12:40 AM
Post: #8
RE: Seeking Advice for living with a power failure
(12-26-2013 12:39 AM)srijantje Wrote:  obviously the generator is outside in a shed,running on petrol or diesel,hooked up to your powergrid inside,giving you 220 or whatever
anyway hospitals have generators,they don't run out of power

consistency is the hobdob
of small minds[
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12-26-2013, 01:35 AM (This post was last modified: 12-26-2013 01:38 AM by AliShibaz.)
Post: #9
RE: Seeking Advice for living with a power failure
That will work OK if you live in the country and have a shed.

Unfortunately, I live in a large city, in a highrise and we don't even have balconies.

I can go outside into the back yard and fire up a Hibatchi or a BBQ and cook something. But I can't do much inside my apartment. Yesterday, some people used a generator indoors and died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

You know, it seems to me that finding a way to cook indoors without electricity or carbon monoxide shouldn't be such a huge problem. There must be some way to creat a device that will cook food or at least make a cup of coffee.

Don't you think?

I have seen videos on Youtube where people claim you can warm up a room (even if it's a small amount) by using candles and clay flower pots. Some people claim those videos are just bunk. But it's interesting to consider. Even if it is bunk, I'm thinking that in 2014, there should be a way to produce some warmth - even if it's only a little bit - and to do it safely.
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12-26-2013, 03:12 AM
Post: #10
RE: Seeking Advice for living with a power failure
using a generator inside your house is the dumbest thing I heard in a long time

consistency is the hobdob
of small minds[
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