Power outage

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by Tommyswede, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. Tommyswede

    Tommyswede Tracker

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    So, here came this winters first power outage. It's very far between them, but in the winter, they tend to be longer.
    Needless to say, I got a rush from rushing (!) to the garage, collecting some kerosene lanterns and the pressure stove. The fireplace was already lit so for now it's cosy and nice.
    Gets me wonder though, how long I could keep the rest of the family (mostly the wife) happy under no power conditions....
    1544299503756-2008507292.jpg
     
  2. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    I had a power outage for a few hours about a month ago. We had snow on the ground.
    It made me think of getting a wood burning stove. That's my only real fear, heating in winter.
     
  3. Gumbi

    Gumbi Guide Bushclass I

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    I bought a kerosene heater a couple years ago, and I've been testing it out a bit this winter. It puts out enough heat to warm the whole upstairs, even on the coldest days we've had so far.

    I also have several kerosene lanterns that can share the same fuel.

    I would love to have a wood burning stove, though.
     
  4. K7JLJ

    K7JLJ Tracker

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    First thing we did when we moved in was to replace the old insert with a Hampton wood stove. Best piece of mind for a power outage there is!

    I have a few oil lamps but only a gallon of fuel. Stuff is expensive! Flashlights and a solar recharging station is the lighting plan for long term. I might try burning some corn oil from costco, at least it would be cheap although sooty.
     
  5. gdwigg

    gdwigg Scout

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    Last month, our youngest daughter with a two month old baby girl were without power for about fifteen hours. The next day I bought a generator and a hitch mounted cargo rack. I also have elderly in-laws that I figure could need help too.
     
  6. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    What do you cook with? If you have a gas cook stove, that is perfectly safe to use for heat. The burners and the oven can be used. We like to cook on gas but the backup heat supply as well as being able to cook without electricity is always a good thing.
     
  7. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Kerosene is expensive, but it keeps forever. I got mine from a fuel supplier and bought a 55 gallon drum of it. If you keep it in the blue jugs (similar to gas and diesel jugs), it will be easy to access and store. I saved one of the wine boxes and liners (I like the GOOD STUFF :p) and filled it with kerosene. Makes filling lamps and lanterns very easy, no mess.
     
  8. lopie

    lopie Scout

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    define happy?

    My wife and son would be fine reading by flashlight, my daughter too, but she's too young to read for very long, even if I'm reading to her. If we can safely play (like, regular power outage, not EMP) outside during the day, go to the park, go sledding... I think they'd be fine for a while. I have movies for my kids on my phone and tablets for night time and can recharge them during the day if there's enough sunlight for our small solar panels.
     
  9. lopie

    lopie Scout

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    definitely have 2-3 carbon monoxide detectors around because that could go sideways.
     
  10. lopie

    lopie Scout

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    for keeping warm, a family can insulate one room and sleep in it without extra heat... definitely don't have a heat source (other than your body) in a well insulated room, even with a CO alarm.
     
  11. Gumbi

    Gumbi Guide Bushclass I

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    I can buy kerosene at the pump now for $3.88 a gallon, which isn't too bad, considering it cost $8-$10 a gallon at the hardware stores.

    My kerosene heater is rated at 23,000 btu and it's probably too big for our house. Our thermostat is in the living room. When I put the heater in the back bedroom, the heat spreads slowly out to the rest of the house. I had the thermostat set to 70 degrees, and after a couple hours of running the heater in the back bedroom, the thermostat was up to 73 degrees, and it was almost unbearably hot in the bedroom. Our house is around 1000 sq ft. with a full basement.

    I also have a battery powered carbon monoxide detector. It hasn't gone off due to the kerosene heater yet.
     
  12. Bryan King

    Bryan King Supporter Supporter

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    Living in the rural mountains of KY we have a lot of power outages year around , but a lot more in the winter. I've got wood stove, Kerosene heaters & lamps, propane cookstove, and battery powered lanterns,radios and a small stock of food. It's not prepping here it's everyday life.
     
  13. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Of course we have detectors, but remember, no disasters occur during ordinary cooking. Think Thanksgiving and Christmas. The stove AND oven run for hours on end, no issues. The products of combustion of propane and natural gas are water vapor and carbon dioxide. So, unless something is really wrong, there is nothing dangerous happening.

    Here too. Normal life. :)
     
  14. Gumbi

    Gumbi Guide Bushclass I

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    Definitely this! On turkey day last year, our carbon monoxide detector went off when we had our oven going for hours. It wasn't too cold outside, so we ventilated the house pretty good.
     
  15. lopie

    lopie Scout

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    safe additional heat sources could be "thermal banks". Plenty of discussion around this site about sleeping with a water bottle filled with hot water.

    I'm sure all of us have slept outside in near freezing over-night temperatures with only a sleeping bag and tent, so a well insulated house should be a luxury in comparison. Put a tarp over the window with a staple gun and fill the tarp/window space with towels. Do this in your kid's room so the wife doesn't get mad there are small holes all around the window :16:
     
  16. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    There shouldn’t ever be a CO event from the kitchen stove. Ours did that same thing, turned out the regulator was defective (5 month old range) and it was over fueling the oven. We trashed it (got GE to buy it back) and bought a GOOD range.
    Best have your range checked.
     
  17. lopie

    lopie Scout

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    my comment wasn't for you, but people who might not be knowledgeable. I hear ya about cooking for hours, but an outage for days plus ignorance can be disastrous. I hope someone not knowledgeable about the dangers of CO poisoning will be smart about it all.


    I'm not sure that's correct. I'm pretty sure it's not just dioxide, but also monoxide.
     
  18. whtshdwwz

    whtshdwwz Supporter Supporter

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    As a kid we lost power for 3 weeks. My mother hung quilts over the openings between rooms and she draped blankets over the dining room table to make a "fort" for us 3 kids and her to sleep in...we did just fine cooking off a Coleman stove and the canned goods we put up every year from the garden...we were dispatched to rabbit hunt and ice fish to supplement our meals...at night we played every board game going....simpler times...even now I am razzed as to why I have "survival gear in my trunk and basement"....sometime later I will rant about spending 3 days in my car due to another snow storm...somehow I lived with no smart phone or a rescue chopper....oh the Joy's of youth.
     
  19. Gumbi

    Gumbi Guide Bushclass I

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    Good to know! Thanks!
     
  20. lopie

    lopie Scout

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    it's funny how being a prepper gets us "razzed", but everyone was a prepper for thousands of years.
     
  21. whtshdwwz

    whtshdwwz Supporter Supporter

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    lopie....any reference to Phillip Jay Frye is a good one...nothing better than binge watching Futurama...except for maybe playing Space Invaders with 2 liters of Mountain Dew and an all Rush mix tape.
     
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  22. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    That is why I was commenting. There will be no CO unless something is wrong. Not enough oxygen can be a problem as well as over fueling. Burning propane or natural gas produces only two products, IF things are done right. Can’t be too careful. ;)

    A search will show lots of things including the science of this. Can’t know too much. :D

    From a ‘net reference:

    Normal natural gas combustion: In a practical sense in a home or office building if we are considering a small natural gas appliance such as a water heater, and provided that the equipment and its flue vent connector and chimney area all working correctly and that there is adequate combustion air, once the equipment has warmed up and draft is established, the system is producing CO2 and H2O (in the form of water vapor) and not much else that will be detected by the building occupants.

    Imperfect (and unsafe) natural gas combustion, short on Oxygen from too little combustion air or from a chimney problem, will produce CO as well as nitrogen oxides (NOx), organic particulate material, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Incomplete combustion of natural gas may also release un-burned methane CH4 itself.

    The reason for the initial versus stabilized- burn CO level spec is that until the appliance heats up combustion is incomplete and higher levels of CO are produced.

    The percentage makeup in flue gas from a gas fired water heater will probably not be given as a general overall standard in many references and by most onsite HVAC technicians or inspectors except in theoretical combustion instances because of the wide variability in equipment, vents, and chimneys.
     
  23. AdamD1776

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    The key here is "In a practical sense". As an engineering student I had to do combustion analysis on a commercial water heater. One set of data we had to collect was the carbon-monoxide (CO) content of the exhaust gas. Sparing specifics, the CO content was much lower than any other exhaust product, but not zero. So over the course of an extended period of time, in a small, enclosed space (such as sealing off a single room to conserve heat), it isn't inconceivable that CO could build up if the area isn't vented enough. Another thing is that incomplete mixing of the fuel and air (which is what actually happens, to varying degrees) leads to some CO production (as well as some partially burned fuel). Not saying you are wrong, just saying that there are a lot of assumptions made in the "Normal natural gas combustion" that may not hold up in the situation described. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
     
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  24. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    You are saying what I am saying. CO won’t be an issue IF the fuel is used properly. Period. That means detectors, ventilation and knowing what you are doing. Yes, people die all the time from CO, but that only means that they didn’t do something right.

    Sorry for the derail of the thread.
     
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  25. AdamD1776

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    Yeah, I believe we are on the same page. In reality, there is no way to produce no CO in combustion, but there are definitely ways to greatly reduce the risks (as you said; detectors, ventilation, etc.). Just wanted to make sure someone didn't read that as "There's no risk, let's fire up the generator in the closed tent while we sleep!"
     
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  26. lopie

    lopie Scout

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    ^ this.

    the problem with giving advice on the internet is that it is impossible to know your audience. Not everyone is going to know how to do it right.

    That's why I always advise against these things and encourage insulation instead of a heat source. If you know what you're doing, then you don't need my advice. If you need my advice, then always always play it safe.

    Like I discourage people new to hiking from carrying any kind of fire starter. Starting a fire in the woods on an over-night emergency to keep warm might just burn down the forest with you in it.
     
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  27. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    If a room gets cold enough, wall board cracks and pipes burst. :eek:
     
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  28. SouthernCowboy75

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    Maybe it's because I live in Florida (even though most of our power outages have been during summer "hurricane" months with intense heat), but power outages don't bother me as much, in 2004 we lost power for 8 days and several times since, then Irma smacked our asses and we lost power for almost 3 weeks, but it was some of the most "peaceful" times our family has had (home and property damage aside). We have 3 generators at all times and walk outside with a shotgun anytime we hear a generator stop (never had a looter issue though, as we have 3 rottweilers and a pitbull that have free run of property), but during Irma, we only used generators at night to run ac (aside from 1 generator being on 24/7 for freezers and fridge). We ate from the BBQ pit, played board games and cards and actually had family conversations with no cell phones or internet. I would recommend though, to anyone on a budget to grab the $99 generator at a local Harbor Freight tool store, as it will run basics (one at a time though)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  29. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker Traveller Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That sir, is genius! But..... how exactly did you refill the inner bag? (I also like the good stuff!)

    I ddon' really worry about losing power. .. wood stoves, two propane tank heaters and a kerosene heater, lots of candles and lamps.....
     
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  30. Glock Holiday

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    I bought a nice kerosene heater and 2 5 gallon drum for like 50 bucks at a garage sale. I probably need to buy a new wick.
    We have a propane range so I bought some plug in/battery back up carbon monoxide detectors during cyber Monday.
    I may save my cardboard to insulate the walls :33:
    I am waiting to build a rocket stove for when the power goes out, but I probably need to practice first.
    One prep that is cheap is the 100 pack of tea candles at Walmart for 4 bucks. You can cook with them or have a little light. I watched a video where a guy cooked with 5 on a cast iron and grilled a burger. During major events, you don’t want light to be seen from the outside. You can also warm up with one.
     
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  31. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    Heat sink tip.

    Whether on a gas range, or a wood stove, or on the flat top of a kerosene heater.

    If you have water available. (Most municipalities are gravity fed)
    Heat it. Don't take it past a boil. Because it serves no purpose at a rolling boil. But get it close to a boil.

    Water is 240 times more dense than air. Big pot full of hot water will continue to throw off heat long after the stove or K1 heater is turned off.

    It also allows you to move that pot of hot water to another room. We can food, so those big canning pots work great for this.

    And it allows you to shut down your heaters ocassionally to vent/clear the air.
     
  32. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I think all of the plastic bags in the boxes have removable ‘bungs’. The valve assembly snaps in and out. Some easier than others, but, that’s how I fill them. Remove the valve assembly, wash and dry the bag and refill with kerosene. Put the valve back in and put the bag in the box and tape it up. Mark it so you don’t try to drink it, thinking it is a fine German white wine. :p

    [​IMG]

    :4:
     
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  33. lopie

    lopie Scout

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    Is the water still flowing in this scenario? If so, it's common place for us to let the sinks drip water all night so the pipes don't freeze. Is this not common for everyone in freeze zones? Obviously, at what point you run the sinks depends on the internal temperature of the house, but even tho we keep the house at 65*F, when it gets near zero, we let the water drip.

    If we're talking an EMP and the water is completely offline for good, then the eventual busted pipes are the least of our worries.

    If somewhere in between, just turn off the supply and drain what you can.

    I wouldn't advise people who aren't knowledgeable about all this stuff to risk trying to keep the house warm enough just because of the pipes. Lives > Money
     

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