My preparations were put to the test last week

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TxChinaman
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My preparations were put to the test last week

#1 Post by TxChinaman » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:17 pm

My emergency preparation was truly put to the test during the severe winter storm that caused millions of Texans to go without electricity for several days. I did well in some areas, but in others I found much room for improvement. I'm assigning myself letter grades:

Emergency Power : A

I invested in a 2000 watt Honda gasoline powered inverter generator about 5 years ago. It came in handy for keeping my home refrigerator running a few times in the past when I lost power for a day or so because of downed trees or a blown transformer. The winter storm was the first time I ran it for longer periods, and I must say it performed like a champ for almost 3 days straight without a single hiccup. I also invested in steel NATO style Jerry cans for long term storage of stabilized gasoline in my garage. Because you have to have enough fuel on hand to run the generator, otherwise it's useless. And I had heavy duty extension cords on storage reels for quick deployment to the 3 rooms I planned on serving. I diagrammed the 3 extension cord runs in advance, plus I documented the watts required for each appliance and device that would be powered by the generator to avoid a possible overload. I had the cords set up and the generator fueled and started in about 15 minutes. It was so nice to have my refrigerator running the entire time, the use of a microwave, a few lamps, TV, and the ability to charge devices. I only used 8 gallons of gasoline in 3 days running on the generator's Eco mode. Demand never came to the 2000 watt maximum because I was careful to unplug the refrigerator whenever I used the microwave. The water heater and kitchen cook top are both natural gas, so I had hot showers and the ability to cook meals. I also have 2 charging bricks battery packs that came in handy for topping off devices like cellphone, E reader and flashlights.

Food : A

I've been stocking much more food in the pantry and in the fridge during Covid so that I make fewer trips to grocery stores where there are lots of people in close proximity. I never ran low on food, and ate normally during the week or so I was stuck at home. I know a few neighbors who ran low on food because they are people who dine out a lot and do not habitually keep much in the house. In addition to the normal food, I keep a few weeks worth of dehydrated meal entrees for dire emergencies.

Water : C+

I keep some bottled water at home, but my plan has always been to use water from the swimming pool for toilet flushing if water supply is cut. I could have melted snow and then boiled the water to drink if necessary. I should go ahead and get some large water storage containers and keep a larger supply of fresh drinking water ready to go.

Heat : C-

An electric powered space heater has been on my "to do" list for a while, but I kept putting it off in favor of other items. I have a portable AC unit to provide comfort in a designated room during a blackout in the hot months, but I always figured I could deal with moderate cold by wearing cold weather gear indoors and sleeping under extra blankets. I realized this strategy has its drawbacks when temperature indoors got down to the 50's. Not only was it getting uncomfortable, but cold temperature for extended periods had a negative effect on both morale and the ability to think straight. Unfortunately, I did not reorder firewood this season, so I burned most of what I had the first 2 nights for warmth. Normally keep a 1/4 cord minimum at all times. A 1500 watt oil filled radiant heater and a smaller ceramic heater with fan have been ordered and are on the way.

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#2 Post by featureless » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:22 pm

Good stuff. I love learning from others experience. Glad you came out ok.

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#3 Post by CDFingers » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:32 pm

Very impressive. Nicely thought out and a very good evaluation.

Our plan is to die when the beer runs out. Might rethink it, though. :love:

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#4 Post by K9s » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:40 pm

Happy to hear from you!

I think these sort of emergencies always point out gaps in planning. There are always gaps and improvements. Count yourself lucky to have been prepared for ice, not just a hurricane or summer event. I went through similar winter events in ATL a few years ago and discovered the same issues with water and heat. When it gets that cold inside, the plan doesn't go how you thought it would go. Have a backup plan in case your generator is stolen or damaged (e.g. solar, cheap ice chests, propane/wood/charcoal). Consider water purification methods that don't involve fire, too.

I have found that water is the glaring problem in most of our plans. It is hard to store a lot and rotate it to keep it fresh without significant effort. When store-brand bottled water and bathtub water storage (e.g. Aquatank, Aquapod, WaterBOB) are cheap again, stock up (Aquapod and WaterBOB price is back down to $30ish now). I was good about storing and rotating water after the emergencies, but slacked off after a couple of years without issues. I need to get back in the groove before hurricane season.

Having gone through a few ice storm events in a row (this could happen again to you next winter and more than once in a season), I found that disposable hand warmers and candles for heat were incredibly helpful when the heat is out (and they are easy to store and relatively cheap to buy in bulk). If you find other backup options for next winter, please share them. This seems to be happening more often to more and more of us.
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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#5 Post by sikacz » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:59 pm

Good job.
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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#6 Post by Bisbee » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:11 pm

Great review of your Prep plan.

I never truly considered that a typical 1500w radiant heater basically hogs up the running capacity of a 2000w gas generator. A wood burning stove is indeed the off-grid heating king... if your region’s Air Board allows them.
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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#7 Post by TxChinaman » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:18 pm

K9s wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:40 pm Happy to hear from you!

I think these sort of emergencies always point out gaps in planning. There are always gaps and improvements. Count yourself lucky to have been prepared for ice, not just a hurricane or summer event. I went through similar winter events in ATL a few years ago and discovered the same issues with water and heat. When it gets that cold inside, the plan doesn't go how you thought it would go. Have a backup plan in case your generator is stolen or damaged (e.g. solar, cheap ice chests, propane/wood/charcoal). Consider water purification methods that don't involve fire, too.

I have found that water is the glaring problem in most of our plans. It is hard to store a lot and rotate it to keep it fresh without significant effort. When store-brand bottled water and bathtub water storage (e.g. Aquatank, WaterBOB) are cheap again, stock up (WaterBOB price is back down to $30ish now). I was good about storing and rotating water after the emergencies, but slacked off after a couple of years without issues. I need to get back in the groove before hurricane season.

Having gone through a few ice storm events in a row (this could happen again to you next winter and more than once in a season), I found that disposable hand warmers and candles for heat were incredibly helpful when the heat is out (and they are easy to store and relatively cheap to buy in bulk). If you find other backup options for next winter, please share them. This seems to be happening more often to more and more of us.

During the power loss a lady on my neighborhood FB community expressed concern that the food in her refrigerator and freezer was going to spoil. I told her to put the items that she wished to keep cool in her unheated garage, out of reach from critters. For items that need to stay frozen, put them outdoors on the patio where single digit temperatures should keep stuff nice and frozen. :-)

Another family was freaked out because their water had to be turned off due to a burst pipe and toilets no longer flushed. I told them to fill buckets with snow, let it melt, and dump the water in the toilet for flushes. And that's exactly what they did.

Definitely need to get the big water storage tanks set up at my house.

Because I live in a tornado prone area, I keep a "tornado kit" handy:

Steel ammo box containing radio, batteries, extra flashlights. Bike helmet with a chin strap, goggles, flashlights, plastic tarp, bottled water, and a whistle on a lanyard tied to helmet. Doppler radar is now precise enough to track the movement of funnel clouds, and if my house is in the path I will put on the helmet and goggles to protect from falling and flying debris, get the rest of the kit, then immediately shelter in an interior closet. My dog will be on a harness tied to my belt. I will make sure my cell phone and extra power pack is with me to track things in real time. Wallet with cash, cards, and ID in my pocket so I can pay for a hotel room if my house is too damaged for habitation. The whistle is for signalling to rescuers if I am buried under wreckage.

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#8 Post by highdesert » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:49 pm

:clap2:

Thanks for sharing that experience TXCH ! You should be teaching prepper classes, you've got it down.
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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#9 Post by K9s » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:24 pm

Great job, TXC!
It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#10 Post by Mason » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:39 pm

If you put rain barrels around your house to collect water off your roof you always have water for the garden or to filter/ boil in emergencies. We have 300 gallons and I’m going to add another hundred later this year.
'Sorry stupid people but there are some definite disadvantages to being stupid."

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#11 Post by sig230 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:52 pm

Mason wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:39 pm If you put rain barrels around your house to collect water off your roof you always have water for the garden or to filter/ boil in emergencies. We have 300 gallons and I’m going to add another hundred later this year.
Only if it rains.
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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#12 Post by DispositionMatrix » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:39 pm

TxChinaman wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:17 pm My emergency preparation was truly put to the test during the severe winter storm that caused millions of Texans to go without electricity for several days. I did well in some areas, but in others I found much room for improvement. I'm assigning myself letter grades:

Emergency Power : A

I invested in a 2000 watt Honda gasoline powered inverter generator about 5 years ago. It came in handy for keeping my home refrigerator running a few times in the past when I lost power for a day or so because of downed trees or a blown transformer. The winter storm was the first time I ran it for longer periods, and I must say it performed like a champ for almost 3 days straight without a single hiccup. I also invested in steel NATO style Jerry cans for long term storage of stabilized gasoline in my garage. Because you have to have enough fuel on hand to run the generator, otherwise it's useless. And I had heavy duty extension cords on storage reels for quick deployment to the 3 rooms I planned on serving. I diagrammed the 3 extension cord runs in advance, plus I documented the watts required for each appliance and device that would be powered by the generator to avoid a possible overload. I had the cords set up and the generator fueled and started in about 15 minutes. It was so nice to have my refrigerator running the entire time, the use of a microwave, a few lamps, TV, and the ability to charge devices. I only used 8 gallons of gasoline in 3 days running on the generator's Eco mode. Demand never came to the 2000 watt maximum because I was careful to unplug the refrigerator whenever I used the microwave. The water heater and kitchen cook top are both natural gas, so I had hot showers and the ability to cook meals. I also have 2 charging bricks battery packs that came in handy for topping off devices like cellphone, E reader and flashlights.

Food : A

I've been stocking much more food in the pantry and in the fridge during Covid so that I make fewer trips to grocery stores where there are lots of people in close proximity. I never ran low on food, and ate normally during the week or so I was stuck at home. I know a few neighbors who ran low on food because they are people who dine out a lot and do not habitually keep much in the house. In addition to the normal food, I keep a few weeks worth of dehydrated meal entrees for dire emergencies.

Water : C+

I keep some bottled water at home, but my plan has always been to use water from the swimming pool for toilet flushing if water supply is cut. I could have melted snow and then boiled the water to drink if necessary. I should go ahead and get some large water storage containers and keep a larger supply of fresh drinking water ready to go.
Heat : C-

An electric powered space heater has been on my "to do" list for a while, but I kept putting it off in favor of other items. I have a portable AC unit to provide comfort in a designated room during a blackout in the hot months, but I always figured I could deal with moderate cold by wearing cold weather gear indoors and sleeping under extra blankets. I realized this strategy has its drawbacks when temperature indoors got down to the 50's. Not only was it getting uncomfortable, but cold temperature for extended periods had a negative effect on both morale and the ability to think straight. Unfortunately, I did not reorder firewood this season, so I burned most of what I had the first 2 nights for warmth. Normally keep a 1/4 cord minimum at all times. A 1500 watt oil filled radiant heater and a smaller ceramic heater with fan have been ordered and are on the way.
You could have done worse.

When we had our house built, we did so under the assumption no one would be coming to save us.

We keep 45 gallons of petrol and 160 lbs of propane on hand for the 13KW generator. I circulate the gas through the yard equipment and the propane through the grill, which I use all year. The generator, which is permanently housed in its own steel shed, is patched to a Reliance Controls load center with wattmeters on each bus. It will run the central heat, well pump, refrigerators and freezers, and everything else we normally need.

During construction, we went with a dual-flue chimney, with one flue going down into the basement. That connects to a wood stove that can heat the whole house. Upstairs we have a 70,000 BTU fireplace insert. It's really a cast iron wood stove inserted into a granite fireplace.

54 cases of 35-count bottled water (1 pallet) live in the basement and are used during yard work and restocked as needed. Up here "yard work" includes snow removal. We have 55-gallon rain barrels for water collection from the rear gutters, but during the winter they have to be blocked off so they don't freeze and rupture. If I had more room, I wouldn't mind storing some of that water in a tank in the basement, where it would not freeze.

Last but not least, we h̶a̶v̶e̶ had many thousands of rounds of the ammo necessary to run all the firearms that were designed within the past 80 years.

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#13 Post by featureless » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:53 pm

This is the most personal post I've ever seen out of you, Dispo. I like it!

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#14 Post by Mason » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:28 pm

sig230 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:52 pm
Mason wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:39 pm If you put rain barrels around your house to collect water off your roof you always have water for the garden or to filter/ boil in emergencies. We have 300 gallons and I’m going to add another hundred later this year.
Only if it rains.
The thing most likely to take out my water is a hurricane.
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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#15 Post by Northern » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:42 pm

DispositionMatrix wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:39 pm
TxChinaman wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:17 pm My emergency preparation was truly put to the test during the severe winter storm that caused millions of Texans to go without electricity for several days. I did well in some areas, but in others I found much room for improvement. I'm assigning myself letter grades:

Emergency Power : A

I invested in a 2000 watt Honda gasoline powered inverter generator about 5 years ago. It came in handy for keeping my home refrigerator running a few times in the past when I lost power for a day or so because of downed trees or a blown transformer. The winter storm was the first time I ran it for longer periods, and I must say it performed like a champ for almost 3 days straight without a single hiccup. I also invested in steel NATO style Jerry cans for long term storage of stabilized gasoline in my garage. Because you have to have enough fuel on hand to run the generator, otherwise it's useless. And I had heavy duty extension cords on storage reels for quick deployment to the 3 rooms I planned on serving. I diagrammed the 3 extension cord runs in advance, plus I documented the watts required for each appliance and device that would be powered by the generator to avoid a possible overload. I had the cords set up and the generator fueled and started in about 15 minutes. It was so nice to have my refrigerator running the entire time, the use of a microwave, a few lamps, TV, and the ability to charge devices. I only used 8 gallons of gasoline in 3 days running on the generator's Eco mode. Demand never came to the 2000 watt maximum because I was careful to unplug the refrigerator whenever I used the microwave. The water heater and kitchen cook top are both natural gas, so I had hot showers and the ability to cook meals. I also have 2 charging bricks battery packs that came in handy for topping off devices like cellphone, E reader and flashlights.

Food : A

I've been stocking much more food in the pantry and in the fridge during Covid so that I make fewer trips to grocery stores where there are lots of people in close proximity. I never ran low on food, and ate normally during the week or so I was stuck at home. I know a few neighbors who ran low on food because they are people who dine out a lot and do not habitually keep much in the house. In addition to the normal food, I keep a few weeks worth of dehydrated meal entrees for dire emergencies.

Water : C+

I keep some bottled water at home, but my plan has always been to use water from the swimming pool for toilet flushing if water supply is cut. I could have melted snow and then boiled the water to drink if necessary. I should go ahead and get some large water storage containers and keep a larger supply of fresh drinking water ready to go.
Heat : C-

An electric powered space heater has been on my "to do" list for a while, but I kept putting it off in favor of other items. I have a portable AC unit to provide comfort in a designated room during a blackout in the hot months, but I always figured I could deal with moderate cold by wearing cold weather gear indoors and sleeping under extra blankets. I realized this strategy has its drawbacks when temperature indoors got down to the 50's. Not only was it getting uncomfortable, but cold temperature for extended periods had a negative effect on both morale and the ability to think straight. Unfortunately, I did not reorder firewood this season, so I burned most of what I had the first 2 nights for warmth. Normally keep a 1/4 cord minimum at all times. A 1500 watt oil filled radiant heater and a smaller ceramic heater with fan have been ordered and are on the way.
You could have done worse.

When we had our house built, we did so under the assumption no one would be coming to save us.

We keep 45 gallons of petrol and 160 lbs of propane on hand for the 13KW generator. I circulate the gas through the yard equipment and the propane through the grill, which I use all year. The generator, which is permanently housed in its own steel shed, is patched to a Reliance Controls load center with wattmeters on each bus. It will run the central heat, well pump, refrigerators and freezers, and everything else we normally need.

During construction, we went with a dual-flue chimney, with one flue going down into the basement. That connects to a wood stove that can heat the whole house. Upstairs we have a 70,000 BTU fireplace insert. It's really a cast iron wood stove inserted into a granite fireplace.

54 cases of 35-count bottled water (1 pallet) live in the basement and are used during yard work and restocked as needed. Up here "yard work" includes snow removal. We have 55-gallon rain barrels for water collection from the rear gutters, but during the winter they have to be blocked off so they don't freeze and rupture. If I had more room, I wouldn't mind storing some of that water in a tank in the basement, where it would not freeze.

Last but not least, we h̶a̶v̶e̶ had many thousands of rounds of the ammo necessary to run all the firearms that were designed within the past 80 years.
Great post!

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#16 Post by YankeeTarheel » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:55 pm

The Honda 2000w Inverter generator has been the Gold Standard for portables for decades. I have one I bought in 2001, that we used in 2011 during the Halloween "Frankenblizzard" and again the following year in SuperStorm Sandy. It ran for 4 days the first time, 5 days the 2nd time, and it's still a reliable backup. A far less expensive alternative is the Pulsar--surprisingly good. But will it last as long as a Honda, which you can't kill?
I don't know. I have one of those, a 5500watt Honda as well. But the Honda 2K is still a solid performer, 20 years later.
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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#17 Post by TxChinaman » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:11 am

YankeeTarheel wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:55 pm The Honda 2000w Inverter generator has been the Gold Standard for portables for decades. I have one I bought in 2001, that we used in 2011 during the Halloween "Frankenblizzard" and again the following year in SuperStorm Sandy. It ran for 4 days the first time, 5 days the 2nd time, and it's still a reliable backup. A far less expensive alternative is the Pulsar--surprisingly good. But will it last as long as a Honda, which you can't kill?
I don't know. I have one of those, a 5500watt Honda as well. But the Honda 2K is still a solid performer, 20 years later.
When I was researching generators, it quickly became evident the Honda 2000w was the long time favorite of the people who really depend on their generators to power their RVs. I figured those folks know what they're doing, so I decided to pay the $1000 or so for the Honda rather than try to save a little money by going with a cheaper brand. I resisted the urge to go bigger, even though it would allow me to power more appliances and such. I saw that with the bigger generators there is a size and weight penalty that makes them harder to pick up and move around. The Honda 2000 is not too different from a heavy suitcase which could be put in the back of my car if I ever needed to bug out with it. I also like that there are a lot of online videos for operation, maintenance, and repair of the Honda because of its widespread popularity. I am about to order an aftermarket extension tube that fits into the Honda's oil fill port. I changed the oil on Saturday and made a big mess (again). At full 2000 watt demand, the Honda will supposedly run for 4 hours on its 1 gallon tank. I was running on Eco mode which made it very fuel efficient, but I did have to go out in the bitter cold and top off the tank a few times. I am considering an external fuel kit that will allow me to hook a 5 gallon external tank to the Honda for extended run time without having to refuel.

I have a cousin in NJ who mentioned that she also has a gas powered generator the family purchased a year or so before Sandy hit. Their power went out for several days as a result of the hurricane, but their generator was never used. It was in their garage the entire time, still in the unopened box (where it still sits today). She had no idea how to set it up, and her husband happened to be overseas at the time. And I am certain they didn't have enough gasoline stored at the house to run it long anyway. I told her they should unpack it this year, fill it with oil, gas it up, and get it running so the engine is broken in. There's a learning curve for every piece if equipment, and the middle of a crisis is not a great time to educate yourself.

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#18 Post by Crow » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:25 am

What a great post! I'm glad you're ok, TXCh... My brother's house in Houston was basically destroyed by broken pipes in the attic and he and his wife froze for a few days until they could find another family who had a fireplace to shelter with. They aren't exactly the prepper type, though they may rethink that now.
As for my emergency plans, I live in Central California so we're always prepping for fast moving fire. I've got fire insurance on the house (NOT an easy thing to find these days around here) and my neighbors and I keep the weeds down. Fire evacuation prep includes my WolfPup 20 foot trailer being stocked at all times with a couple of those tubs of emergency freeze dried food (1 month worth for my whole family + dog) as well as a full tank of water and full propane can. All our camping gear is stowed inside, as well as first aid and basic clothing needs and shoes for everyone. Each night during fire season I back my truck up to the trailer so it's ready to hitch and bail out at a moment's notice. In the truck is a GO bag with medical supplies, survival items (such as fire-starting gear, rain gear, slingshot/ammo, and morale upkeep like playing cards and a bible) as well as a canvas bag of tools.
The only things I'll need to grab on my way out are my rifle, my 1911, and the reserve can of ammo for both. The rest of the guns stay in a fireproof safe.
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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#19 Post by sig230 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:35 am

Before the last hurricane season I order a whole home generator system from Generac. It took about 6 months to finally get shipped and installed and then a few weeks to get the natural gas line extended from the lot next door to my house but just before Christmas all was finally up and running. Amazingly the day after it was finally put online I had two short power outages and it kicked in just as advertised.

Fast forward to this last storm and the generator proved itself. For the whole week mine was the only home in our little subdivision with power. Several other homes also were on the natural gas system and so at least had stoves for cooking and hot water.

My front porch became the neighborhood phone recharge station. I put a couple power strips on the front porch so folk could plug in their phones and for awhile it looked like a Geek Squader's basement; phones all lined up getting charged.

I also have a Coleman two burner camp stove as well as a small high output butane stove and a few spare propane tanks and bottles of butane that got distributed when folk found they simply couldn't buy any locally.

Every one in the neighborhood pitched in; those who had gas stoves heating food for those who did not and a continual stream of folk bringing their phones to get recharged. What is impressive though is that it's a neighborhood where folk feel secure enough to plug in their phone on somebody's front porch and just walk away confident it will likely still be there when they return.
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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#20 Post by TxChinaman » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:07 pm

Crow wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:25 am What a great post! I'm glad you're ok, TXCh... My brother's house in Houston was basically destroyed by broken pipes in the attic and he and his wife froze for a few days until they could find another family who had a fireplace to shelter with. They aren't exactly the prepper type, though they may rethink that now.
As for my emergency plans, I live in Central California so we're always prepping for fast moving fire. I've got fire insurance on the house (NOT an easy thing to find these days around here) and my neighbors and I keep the weeds down. Fire evacuation prep includes my WolfPup 20 foot trailer being stocked at all times with a couple of those tubs of emergency freeze dried food (1 month worth for my whole family + dog) as well as a full tank of water and full propane can. All our camping gear is stowed inside, as well as first aid and basic clothing needs and shoes for everyone. Each night during fire season I back my truck up to the trailer so it's ready to hitch and bail out at a moment's notice. In the truck is a GO bag with medical supplies, survival items (such as fire-starting gear, rain gear, slingshot/ammo, and morale upkeep like playing cards and a bible) as well as a canvas bag of tools.
The only things I'll need to grab on my way out are my rifle, my 1911, and the reserve can of ammo for both. The rest of the guns stay in a fireproof safe.
-Crow
Very impressive set up. With wildfires you have to be ready to bug out with very little advance warning. Short of a localized chemical spill or a dirty bomb, there are few scenarios that would require me to leave my home, so I am set up for shelter in place. That being said, I do keep a survival kit in my car that includes hand tools, water, first aid kit, blankets, and additional items needed if I was stranded away home. And as I mentioned in another thread, I keep an old road atlas I can use for navigation if I am unable to get online while on the road. One critical item I added years ago is a small tire inflation compressor that runs off the car cigarette lighter. I sometimes forget about checking inflation status of the little spare tire, so it has save me a couple of times.

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#21 Post by Crow » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:17 pm

TxChinaman wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:07 pm Very impressive set up. With wildfires you have to be ready to bug out with very little advance warning. Short of a localized chemical spill or a dirty bomb, there are few scenarios that would require me to leave my home, so I am set up for shelter in place. That being said, I do keep a survival kit in my car that includes hand tools, water, first aid kit, blankets, and additional items needed if I was stranded away home. And as I mentioned in another thread, I keep an old road atlas I can use for navigation if I am unable to get online while on the road. One critical item I added years ago is a small tire inflation compressor that runs off the car cigarette lighter. I sometimes forget about checking inflation status of the little spare tire, so it has save me a couple of times.
That compressor is a good idea, as is the atlas. I need to grab one of those. I do have a truck-door full of old maps with fishing locations marked on them...
-Crow
Progressive still stuck with a single stage press.

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#22 Post by TxChinaman » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:48 pm

Crow wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:17 pm
TxChinaman wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:07 pm Very impressive set up. With wildfires you have to be ready to bug out with very little advance warning. Short of a localized chemical spill or a dirty bomb, there are few scenarios that would require me to leave my home, so I am set up for shelter in place. That being said, I do keep a survival kit in my car that includes hand tools, water, first aid kit, blankets, and additional items needed if I was stranded away home. And as I mentioned in another thread, I keep an old road atlas I can use for navigation if I am unable to get online while on the road. One critical item I added years ago is a small tire inflation compressor that runs off the car cigarette lighter. I sometimes forget about checking inflation status of the little spare tire, so it has save me a couple of times.
That compressor is a good idea, as is the atlas. I need to grab one of those. I do have a truck-door full of old maps with fishing locations marked on them...
-Crow
Please verify that the cord of the compressor is long enough to reach from your vehicle's power source all the way to the most distant wheel of your truck and also your trailer. I mention this because the cord on mine allows me to reach both back tires on my mid size crossover SUV, but I can see there is very little extra length built-in. It would suck to discover you're a few feet short while trying to top off a low trailer tire during a wildfire bug out. I have found that this kind of small compressor is great for roadside emergencies, but they are not really built to withstand the rigors of regular use. I've gone through a few of them over the years. The worst was a Black & Decker model designed with the internal fuse permanently soldered into the circuit board - I had to bypass it and add my own external fuse when it blew. I now top off my tires at a gas station with a free air hose and limit my use of my portable unit.

I know nothing about trailers, so I'm curious if you carry a spare tire onboard for the trailer, and how easy is it to change a tire yourself. Does it require a special jack and wheel chocks?

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#23 Post by YankeeTarheel » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:37 pm

TxChinaman wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:11 am
YankeeTarheel wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:55 pm The Honda 2000w Inverter generator has been the Gold Standard for portables for decades. I have one I bought in 2001, that we used in 2011 during the Halloween "Frankenblizzard" and again the following year in SuperStorm Sandy. It ran for 4 days the first time, 5 days the 2nd time, and it's still a reliable backup. A far less expensive alternative is the Pulsar--surprisingly good. But will it last as long as a Honda, which you can't kill?
I don't know. I have one of those, a 5500watt Honda as well. But the Honda 2K is still a solid performer, 20 years later.
When I was researching generators, it quickly became evident the Honda 2000w was the long time favorite of the people who really depend on their generators to power their RVs. I figured those folks know what they're doing, so I decided to pay the $1000 or so for the Honda rather than try to save a little money by going with a cheaper brand. I resisted the urge to go bigger, even though it would allow me to power more appliances and such. I saw that with the bigger generators there is a size and weight penalty that makes them harder to pick up and move around. The Honda 2000 is not too different from a heavy suitcase which could be put in the back of my car if I ever needed to bug out with it. I also like that there are a lot of online videos for operation, maintenance, and repair of the Honda because of its widespread popularity. I am about to order an aftermarket extension tube that fits into the Honda's oil fill port. I changed the oil on Saturday and made a big mess (again). At full 2000 watt demand, the Honda will supposedly run for 4 hours on its 1 gallon tank. I was running on Eco mode which made it very fuel efficient, but I did have to go out in the bitter cold and top off the tank a few times. I am considering an external fuel kit that will allow me to hook a 5 gallon external tank to the Honda for extended run time without having to refuel.

I have a cousin in NJ who mentioned that she also has a gas powered generator the family purchased a year or so before Sandy hit. Their power went out for several days as a result of the hurricane, but their generator was never used. It was in their garage the entire time, still in the unopened box (where it still sits today). She had no idea how to set it up, and her husband happened to be overseas at the time. And I am certain they didn't have enough gasoline stored at the house to run it long anyway. I told her they should unpack it this year, fill it with oil, gas it up, and get it running so the engine is broken in. There's a learning curve for every piece if equipment, and the middle of a crisis is not a great time to educate yourself.
If you get a second one you can pair them and it runs like 3600 watt generator, handling higher amperage, not just more outlets. I'm actually able to pair my Honda and Pulsar that way. But newer Hondas are now 2200 watts, not 2k so you ONLY want to pair with the same wattage, and both must be inverters.
""If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." -- LBJ

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#24 Post by wings » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:43 pm

Great thread. :yahoo: Especially the detailed discussion of backup generator prep. But more to the point, the observation that people really do come together in crises.

It's been over a decade since I dealt with extended power outages - Ike, followed by an ice storm the following winter. Both lasted a week. Apartment living is less amenable to prepping than it could be, but I've spent enough time backpacking to make the experience an annoyance rather than a crisis. I'm in the camp of "have generator, heater and gas available but haven't broken everything out to field test it yet." Mostly because my threshold of inconvenience is somewhere past 48 hours.

Water is never high enough on anyone's priority list. I highly recommend keeping a water purification method on hand under all circumstances. Filtration systems can work decently, but they're slow in my experience. Iodine tablets aren't palatable, but they're effective, they keep, and you don't have to worry about power or fuel.

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Re: My preparations were put to the test last week

#25 Post by Crow » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:56 pm

TxChinaman wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:48 pm
I know nothing about trailers, so I'm curious if you carry a spare tire onboard for the trailer, and how easy is it to change a tire yourself. Does it require a special jack and wheel chocks?
No special jack- just a bottle jack. My trailer has a spare tire on the back just like a Jeep or something, and it's basically the same procedure to change a tire as on a vehicle. I carry tire chocks with the trailer at all times. I also forgot to mention that I keep a large water purification system on board as well. Really the only thing I'm missing is solar panels, and I'm working on buying a couple small, portable ones that will keep my battery charged in a pinch.
-Crow
Progressive still stuck with a single stage press.

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