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Old 03-11-2008, 01:16 PM   #1
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Are you prepared for power outages, etc.


This past weekend we had some absolutely nuts wind which knocked down hundreds of trees (lots of free wood for the taking for wood burners!) My wife mentioned her coworker still has no power still and is living on a hotel. To me this sucks. I wonder how prepared most people are?

We are not prepared at all as of right now.

Unfortunately I don't think I could dedicate a lot of money to the issue but I'd like to be prepared just enough to keep us in our home. I wonder if I should be thinking generator + manual transfer switch or more like portable generator with an extension cord out the window (Cost?????????)

I would say the general needs are food keeping from spoiling and either heat or A/C or neither depending on the time of year. Heat is all by gas and therefore doesn't require a heck of a lot of electricity.

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Old 03-11-2008, 03:43 PM   #2
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Are you prepared for power outages, etc.


I have 2 generators now. Full size and more portable size.

We always have a stock pile of canned and packaged food, stored water, stored gas, extra cash, and other things. Gas stoves, extra propane.
Well Water.

Hopefully, I will be moving into a New (to me) house at the end of the month. I will have a whole-house generator system installed and hooked up by this fall. It will be propane fueled and hooked up directly to two large home-sized propane tanks.

(Installation cost: Free. My electrican and I have an agreement that we work on each other's homes for free)


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Old 03-11-2008, 06:06 PM   #3
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Are you prepared for power outages, etc.


Cord of wood and a couple of extra bottles of LP for the grill.... Maybe some railroad safety oil lamps.. People actually used to live like that!
Its like camping in your own home.

The food in your fridge/freezer noramlly aint worth the cost of a generator unless you have numerous outtages.

We were without power for 4-5 days when Isabel came thru. Although it was Sept. and didnt need heat....

I still had to demonstrate my railroad lantern skills to my wife. Now she knows stop/backup etc all from railroad lanterns!
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:09 AM   #4
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Are you prepared for power outages, etc.


Lots of different flashlights, including the new-technology LED lanterns. A kerosene lamp. Plenty of canned food in the pantry. Bottled water. Wind up AM/FM/Weather radio. Portable short wave radio - not a transmitter. Some cash. Portable CB radio.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:24 AM   #5
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We were thinking about a small generator mostly for the furnace. We get high winds and nasty winter storms here, and we have had outages probably 3 or 4 times this winter that last an average of 3-4 hours, but had one that was 12. Normally we head over to my in laws because they have a wood stove, but sometimes during a winter storm that is not possible so we need to have a backup. In the coldest months of the winter, our house will go from 68 to 50 with no heat in about 4 hours.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:36 AM   #6
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We really do not see power outages here, but it the idea would be to make it so that we could stay in the house.

This would mean the fridge, a few lights, and furnace in winter and possibly A/C in summer but that is probably unrealistic. I don't know what that draws but probably a lot and then I'd have to figure out how to get 220v hooked up.

I am not sure how good or reliable they are but a Coleman 5000 watt generator is 500 bucks. Like I said not looking to spend a ton of money.

I see manual transfer switches and I'm assuming these things go AFTER the panel on the way out to the appliances or outlets on the other end of the branch circuit? Our central furnace fan might be pretty powerful but our Rinnai wall furnace is only maybe 250 watts.



Looks pretty simple.

Last edited by pcampbell; 03-12-2008 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:44 AM   #7
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Are you prepared for power outages, etc.


living in south florida, yup......always ready. We had no power for 5 days after Wilma, but lived very comfortably, having bought a generator the year before. Lights, tv's, computers, the only thing is we didn't get a strong enough one to run the central a/c, soooooooooooo, we bought two window shakers on sale and are REALLY ready for comfort with no power.

Food is a given.........come June, I buy a few extra items each time I shop and start stocking up for the season.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:47 AM   #8
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This is a good point. If it happened to come in the summer, I'd probably just run out and get a couple of window units. They're usually $99 everywhere.
Chances of it happening when it's HOT are probably less likely since A/C is only 3 months of a year here. Rest is either heat or nothing.
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:48 PM   #9
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Are you prepared for power outages, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pcampbell View Post
We really do not see power outages here, but it the idea would be to make it so that we could stay in the house.

This would mean the fridge, a few lights, and furnace in winter and possibly A/C in summer but that is probably unrealistic. I don't know what that draws but probably a lot and then I'd have to figure out how to get 220v hooked up.

I am not sure how good or reliable they are but a Coleman 5000 watt generator is 500 bucks. Like I said not looking to spend a ton of money.

I see manual transfer switches and I'm assuming these things go AFTER the panel on the way out to the appliances or outlets on the other end of the branch circuit? Our central furnace fan might be pretty powerful but our Rinnai wall furnace is only maybe 250 watts.




Looks pretty simple.
We had an ice storm just before Christmas that left us without power for 3-1/2 days. I ran a 6500watt Coleman generator non-stop during that time and it worked flawlessly. I could run the furnace (oil burner), well pump, lights, reefer, and 1 burner on the stove. I alternated the feezer and refrigerator on 8 hour shifts. It took about 10/12 gallons of gas per day. I like the transfer switch idea. I may need to have one. Right now I backfeed my welding receptacle through a monster extension cord.
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:25 PM   #10
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Are you prepared for power outages, etc.


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Food is a given.........come June, I buy a few extra items each time I shop and start stocking up for the season.
Yup, when I lived in Florida we always kept extra dry groceries and gallons of water stashed away in a closet, along with flashlights and candles. I guess I was lucky though, the longest I was without power was about 6 hours. As much as FPL's customer service sucks, their technicians are top notch.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:47 PM   #11
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Yup, when I lived in Florida we always kept extra dry groceries and gallons of water stashed away in a closet, along with flashlights and candles. I guess I was lucky though, the longest I was without power was about 6 hours. As much as FPL's customer service sucks, their technicians are top notch.

they freakin better be, you should see how much the bills have gone up since wilma
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:21 PM   #12
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we also keep a good supply of those chemical light sticks that you snap thoughout the house, no batteries to worry about, plus the kids love them, which helps keep them occupied
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:02 AM   #13
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do whatever one else does, wait for FEMA
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:19 AM   #14
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do whatever one else does, wait for FEMA

interesting I haven't seen Iowans screaming for them......just some food for thought.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:05 AM   #15
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Are you prepared for power outages, etc.


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interesting I haven't seen Iowans screaming for them......just some food for thought.
Reminds me of a recent email I received
Levees That Failed In IOWA ???????

Why isn't the Federal Government relocating Iowa people to free hotels
in Chicago ?

Where are all of the Hollywood celebrities holding telethons asking for
help in restoring Iowa and helping the folks affected by the floods?

Where is all the media asking the tough questions about why the federal
government hasn't solved the problem? Asking where the FEMA trucks (and
trailers) are?

When will Spike Lee say that the Federal Government blew up the levees
that failed in Des Moines ?

Where are Sean Penn and the Dixie Chicks?

Where are all the looters stealing high-end tennis shoes and big screen
television sets?

When will we hear Governor Chet Culver say that he wants to rebuild a
"vanilla" Iowa , because that's the way God wants it?

Where is the hysterical 24/7 media coverage complete with reports of
cannibalism?

Are the people declaring that George Bush hates white, rural people?

How come in 2 weeks, you will never hear about the Iowa flooding ever
again?

Just wondering!

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