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Blizzard - What if Power Failure

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Blizzard - What if Power Failure

Old 02-05-2010, 08:46 PM
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Default Blizzard - What if Power Failure

The Mid-Atlantic Blizzard, Second Round, thread made me wonder what you can do if the power goes out. There is a lot of wind, a lot of wet, heavy snow, and the lights have flickered a couple of times. You are going to be faced with 1-2+ feet of snow, so picking up and leaving probably isn't practical. This type of weather is a rare happening and you normally don't see a power loss from storms, so you aren't sitting around with a generator or aux heat and HD probably would sell out of kerosene heaters instantly.

Many people have gas heat, which requires electricity to run. so you don't have heat.

I imagine the electricity would be gone for 6-12 hours, but it could be 2 or 3 days or more.

A few first thoughts are:

1. Go in and out through the garage door to keep cold air out of the house. Close all blinds and drapes.

2. Break out the flashlights (and candles as a last resort). Go to HD and but a lot of batteries.

3. The gas stove is available for cooking (but not heat).

4. Keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible, although you can use a cooler in the garage or on the deck if necessary.

5. Wear heavy clothing and stay in the basement as much as possible.

6. If the house gets too cold (near freezing), let the cold water drip to keep it moving in the pipes.

What else?
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Frank007 View Post
The Mid-Atlantic Blizzard, Second Round, thread made me wonder what you can do if the power goes out. There is a lot of wind, a lot of wet, heavy snow, and the lights have flickered a couple of times. You are going to be faced with 1-2+ feet of snow, so picking up and leaving probably isn't practical. This type of weather is a rare happening and you normally don't see a power loss from storms, so you aren't sitting around with a generator or aux heat and HD probably would sell out of kerosene heaters instantly.

Many people have gas heat, which requires electricity to run. so you don't have heat.

I imagine the electricity would be gone for 6-12 hours, but it could be 2 or 3 days or more.

A few first thoughts are:

1. Go in and out through the garage door to keep cold air out of the house. Close all blinds and drapes.

2. Break out the flashlights (and candles as a last resort). Go to HD and but a lot of batteries.

3. The gas stove is available for cooking (but not heat).

4. Keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible, although you can use a cooler in the garage or on the deck if necessary.

5. Wear heavy clothing and stay in the basement as much as possible.

6. If the house gets too cold (near freezing), let the cold water drip to keep it moving in the pipes.

What else?
This is helpful... for the TS
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:31 PM
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Invest in a suplimentel wood stove that way you have heat cooking and a bit of light
this dosent have to be verry big

a vermont castings Resoloute heated my home in NH as the only sorce of heat keept it around 60/70 degrees depending on how hard i was running it

figure out a way yo direct link your genorator to the breaker box so you can controll what area of the house gets power

YOU could also drain your water pipes so that they dont burst if it gets really cold
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:59 AM
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Gas furances will produce heat without hydro. All the hydro is used for is to turn the fan on to circulate the heat thoughout the house.

Candles are actually better than flashlights. Flashlights only give off light, whereas candles will give you light and heat.

Ok with the heavy clothing thing, but why stay in the basement? Cold will settle to the lowest point (basement) and the heat will rise to the upper layers. So why wouldn't you hang out upstairs where it is the warmest for the longest?
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:26 AM
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7. Pack beer cooler with snow!

8. "Sexy Time" with Admiral to produce heat.
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Just1more View Post
8. "Sexy Time" with Admiral to produce heat.
Many babies are conceived on the snowest and coldest days.
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:43 AM
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we still have it in Severna Park MD. Friends in Northern VA lost it last night (several places).

garage is full of firewood garage becomes the fridge. Stove is gas, so things could be worse if we lose it.

I shoveled last night around 11:00, and it is one of the heaviest snows I have ever sen. We will be losing trees and limbs in the area. No way around it.

I am going to re shovel the boat again, but I think I will let the driveway sit for a while. Maybe some will melt
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:44 AM
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# 9 .... I live in the country. My water is supplied by well pump, which is electric. Therefore if I want water I best hope my holding tank has lots of water in it with full pressure or I better have water on hand.
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Garett View Post
Gas furances will produce heat without hydro. All the hydro is used for is to turn the fan on to circulate the heat thoughout the house.

Candles are actually better than flashlights. Flashlights only give off light, whereas candles will give you light and heat.

Ok with the heavy clothing thing, but why stay in the basement? Cold will settle to the lowest point (basement) and the heat will rise to the upper layers. So why wouldn't you hang out upstairs where it is the warmest for the longest?
Gas furnaces will not "fire" without hydro (electricity). The new type of gas furnace requires the little pressurizing fan to run in order for the burners to light. Plus most of them are now pilotless and with out hydro the sparker will not work. And even if you don't have the new style, with the old style the thermostat transformer requires power to close the circuits for the auto gas valve to open. Plus even if on the outside chance you could get it to light, how in the world would you get the heat out of the furnace your air mover fan needs juice. End results would be over temp on the furnace and the overtemp protection fusses would trip and then when you did get power back, your furnace would be broken.

From the land of the hurricane--------------

Aux. generator and plenty fuel. Do not wait until the threat gets close to prepare. You do not want to be caught out in the stores or fuel stations with the crazies.
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cjd View Post

I shoveled last night around 11:00, and it is one of the heaviest snows I have ever sen. We will be losing trees and limbs in the area. No way around it.
I've already lost about 8 pine limbs. I'm glad a did some branch trimming in October!
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:54 AM
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Ok, that's good to know .
My comment was based off of my last home: the electric motor went for a funk one winter night and all I did was run the furnace and let the hot are rise through the plenums. That next day I replace the motor.
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:59 AM
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Default I love how they call it an epic snow storm on TV?????? EPIC is a scarry word

I have the CC boats honda generator ready to go if needed. Its sitting in the garage with gas can full. The biggest problem was getting the lab out this morning to squat. and the diesel truck is plugged in but will start with out that if needed. I just like a warm truck instead of a clackity clackity truck in the morning.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:31 AM
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Hurricane lessons....

Propane fired whole house genny will run for days.........
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Frank007 View Post
3. The gas stove is available for cooking (but not heat).
Why exactly couldn't you use a gas stove for heat?
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:20 AM
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We just lost power. I am working off an air card and battery power. We have 3 pc's, so hopefully it will not be off for long.

Denver liked the snow but my baby hates it.




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Old 02-06-2010, 05:27 AM
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We're out in the stix and have been through it many times. A few occasions we were without power for 3-5 days. Years ago we got a propane cast iron stove and a generator and between those we can keep the house warm (enough) and the refrigerators (beer) cold, plus provide light and even satellite TV.

Extra thing I do is fill up a bathtub and a big cooking pot with water. Bathtub is used for flushing toilets, etc and pot is for pets, drinking, and cooking with microwave.

Last edited by kone; 02-06-2010 at 05:29 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by kingair View Post
We just lost power. I am working off an air card and battery power. We have 3 pc's, so hopefully it will not be off for long.
You gotta keep that Storm Cam up now that you got us hooked
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:57 AM
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The most simple piece of gear is a small genny, enough to power the heating system. That takes care of the heat. I wouldn't go out and buy a wood or propane stove only for this one purpose. Refrigeration, moot point when it is winter. cooking, gas grill in the garage with some extra propane cylinders. If you really want to live large a gas grill with a side burner for boiling water. for water (rare to lose town water but not well), tub idea is common or melted snow in that pot and burner set up you probably already have for steaming lobster, clams or frying turkey. Can also use for drinking after boiled. For lights, those cheap battery operated lanterns that run for a full day on 2 double A's if always on. The amount of heat from a candle is about enough to heat a doll house and they can result in a fire, although some well placed large candles in holders (the kind in the jar work well) that stay on in the evening are a good option. If you want heat, a lantern fueled with white gas works best, not propane. Personal hygene, shower or sponge baths if on a well using the water heated up using the gas stove.

If you have no means to do any of the above when a major blizzard has been forecast for days, then, Darwinism comes into play.

One other thing, if you currently have power but rear losing it, keep the thermostat set higher than usual. That will provide you with some extra time inside before it gets below freezing inside. It takes guite some time for a house to get that cold, especially if you have some good sun after the storm.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:07 AM
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i have 2 23000 btu kerosene portables, 3 oil lamps, and small genset. + enough ammo for the zombie wars
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by kone View Post
You gotta keep that Storm Cam up now that you got us hooked
I need to go to the office and pick up one of the Imarsat systems.
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