1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Scenario - power goes out.

Discussion in 'The Learning Center' started by Atlas, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,956
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Set up- A winter storm has come through and taken down many of the power lines in the area. The local power company is saying that it could be weeks before the electricity is back on in your home, place of work, and all shopping centers in the area. Depending on your location this could be caused by snow or high winds, so take that into consideration.

    Address these issues in your reply:

    What will you do with your refrigerated food?

    How will you light your living space at night?

    How will you heat your home?

    Will water still flow from the faucets? How will you address this, if not?

    Will looting and security be an issue?

    How will you keep yourself entertained while this emergency is ongoing?

    Will you still need to travel? If so, how will you do that and what precautions will you take?
     
    twp and hypnos like this.
  2. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,956
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    What will you do with your refrigerated food?
    Keep it in the refrigerator until the fuel runs out for the generator. I would severely limit the time that the door was allowed to be open. To work around this, if the temps were below zero outside I would store the foods I wanted for the day outside.

    How will you light your living space at night?
    We have several lamps and many candles now. A couple of the glass lamps that use lamp oil, 4 or 5 battery powered lamps that are rechargeable and several boxes of candles. I believe we could last for quite some time on this.

    How will you heat your home?

    We have a wood stove and fire wood stacked up.

    Will water still flow from the faucets? How will you address this, if not?

    We are on a well that requires 220 VAC. If we need to run it we would have to run the generator. The well can either pump straight to the house, which is normal, or pump into a 5,000 gallon water tank. We usually keep the tank topped off with rain water that we catch off the roof of the shop.

    Will looting and security be an issue?

    Over a short period of time I seriously doubt that things would change too much here. It is possible that if the area were to see a long term grid down scenario things would degrade, but we fo have some security plans in place for that.

    How will you keep yourself entertained while this emergency is ongoing?

    We have board games and books. I am sure cabin fever would set in, but we aren't too afraid of being outside in the cold here, since it never really gets below zero degrees Fahrenheit here.

    Will you still need to travel? If so, how will you do that and what precautions will you take?

    I would avoid it at all costs. We do have a 4x4 truck that does good in the snow up to a foot or so, but I usually worry about others more than myself.

    This is a likely scenario here, and many people are dealing with similar weather conditions as I write this. Since I have dealt with this scenario many times before, so I am pretty well prepared for it at this point. Our biggest struggle was water, as when we first moved in the house was not wired for a generator and the well didn't have a tank yet. Not having the ability to easily flush toilets is a pain.
     
    twp and hypnos like this.
  3. Sally Rudd

    Sally Rudd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    327
    What will you do with your refrigerated food?
    I don't keep a lot of food in the fridge and in winter I would probably pop it in a tote and leave it outside on the shady side of the house.

    How will you light your living space at night?
    I have solar lanterns, a set of solar lights and a couple of plug and play 5v led lights and battery packs.

    How will you heat your home?
    Paraffin heaters.

    Will water still flow from the faucets? How will you address this, if not?
    That I'm not sure about, but I do have about 20 litres bottled water and more plenty in rain barrels outside along with enough water treatment methods.

    Will looting and security be an issue?
    I don't really think it will be such an issue here.

    How will you keep yourself entertained while this emergency is ongoing?
    Radio, downloaded music, plenty of board games, pack of cards portable DVD player.

    Will you still need to travel? If so, how will you do that and what precautions will you take?
    If I still have to go to work, then yes. I would switch from train to bus and start carrying my hiking pole.
     
    twp, hypnos and Atlas like this.
  4. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,956
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Thank you for your post Sally.

    I think that water could be the biggest hassle in this scenario. Having a way to catch water is a really good idea, though I don't know what an apartment dweller might do.

    If the power goes out do you lose water pressure @twp and @jimLE ?
     
    twp and hypnos like this.
  5. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2018
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    1,740
    RE water pressure without electricity, we have municipal tanks located well above the city itself, so we've never lost pressure, but we've also never had a long term power outage. In that event, the tanks might run dry without power for the pumps.

    We have about 100 liters of water stored in the apartment (2 liter soda bottles) which is intended for cooking and occasional toilet flushing (much less frequent if we have lost municipal water). We will do without bathing for several days, up to say 10 days, if needed. Then it will be limited to one liter soapup and 1 liter rinse.
     
    hypnos and Atlas like this.
  6. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,956
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Do they suck the water out of the truckee river and pump it up to the tanks? I always wondered how they did that, and how long it would last.
     
    twp and hypnos like this.
  7. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2018
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    1,740
    No, they have multiple wells in the valley and tanks on both sides of the valley. I'd guess they have about two days worth unless they impose restrictions and close some of the pipes. I don't know what the plans are for an emergency.
     
    Atlas and hypnos like this.
  8. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    660
    Because it is a sever winter storm, it is cold enough to move the fridge or freezer into a non heated garage or other space free of animals to maintain its temperature.

    Without power, I draw, read, and journal. Cleaning and doing inventory passes time rapidly.

    Heat as well as light could become a problem. I would elect to do both by closing off unneeded sections of the home, and place blankets over windows and under doors. I would also light several candles i have stocked up. And a woodstove if available.

    For water, sufficient snow fall and a woodstove is all the more one needs to have a supply of fresh water.

    If it is extremely cold, i would drain the system, and add antifreeze tothe toilets to prevent damage. Capture as much water in the process for cleaning and other utility tasks. Drain the water heater and turn on all the faucets in the house.

    Looting may be a security issue after, but not during i would think. Still i would keep a firearm handy as always (except for right now unfortunately :( )

    I also have a four wheel drive pickup which contains my emergency items, break down kit, and a small gas can.

    I have an inverter as well to supply emergency power to my domicile should that be needed. I would also elect to maintain my battery with a solar charger.
     
    twp and Atlas like this.
  9. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    660
    I have several headlamps, solar chargers, and flashlights as well i forgot to mention... one of each in every bag, with spare batteries. Failing all of that, i would make my way to the nearest hospital. All have back up generators.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    Atlas likes this.
  10. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,956
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    @Sally Rudd has a great kit that would work well for this situation. I was a little surprised that she didn't mention it in her post.
     
    twp and hypnos like this.
  11. Sally Rudd

    Sally Rudd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    327
    LOL, I suppose because it's packed away for the move I forgot it! It's a 20W panel and 20amp battery with a 10A (I think!) charge controller and a 300W inverter. Big enough to keep a few important small things going, but it won't power anything large or power hungry. I've used it in the past to keep powerbanks and batteries charged as well, which in turn sees that lights and other things can be kept going.
    I also forgot to add I keep a few packets of baby wipes and surface wipes to keep water use down for washing and cleaning if needed. Neither are something I use regularly, but they are useful in an emergency.
     
    twp, Atlas and hypnos like this.
  12. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    660
    That is a great idea, i have some but i had not really factored that angle. I like wet wipes too for off grid situations.
     
  13. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,956
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    I use them for camping all the time. I buy a big box of baby wipes for the same price as a tiny box of the adult branded wipes. The aren't bamboo or whatever but I don't care.
     
    twp likes this.
  14. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2018
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    1,740
    I like the wetwipes too. Also, while we don't have a newspaper subscription, I do pick up copies of the local liberal newsletter, for free, and they will make good toilet paper in the event of a longer term event. It is also poetic justice in action...
     
    Atlas likes this.
  15. jimLE

    jimLE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2017
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    402
    I don't loose water pressure during outages.due to the water towers.plus i figure where we get the city water from.most and likely still has power.even if it means back generators..i keep wet wipes on the tolite tank.
     
    Atlas and twp like this.
  16. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,956
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    I would assume that most water districts have a generator back up for these pumps, but I don't know how you would find out if they did. Does anyone know?

    Because all of our water comes from on top of the mountain all the towns here are fed by gravity.
     
    twp likes this.
  17. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2018
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    1,740
    I'm not sure about all the wells here in Reno, but I know some do not have generator backup. We've never had a situation which needed them, in the 10-20 years I've been here. But I'm checking for glaciers moving down from the North this morning, just in case.
     
    Atlas likes this.
  18. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,956
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Actually, I take that back. They do pump the water up the hill from the lake to the top of a mountain, from there it is held in several ponds, then treated and sent out to most of the rural homes. I forgot about that, but I only know about it because I stumbled upon the pump house one day while out playing in the woods. They had two big generators there as well.
     
    jimLE and twp like this.