Hurricane Ike

This is the first time I can ever remember really feeling the effects of a hurricane (other than the usual thunderstorms and rain). We had winds. High winds. Straight line winds. 75 to 95mph winds. Sustained for 8 hours. We had the hurricane without the rain. Power lines, phone lines, cable lines you name it and they are down. Clean-up has started. But there are somethings we cannot clean up .. power lines and trees in power lines. At 2pm today we will have had no power for 48 hours. What does that mean? Here’s the list:

  1. No Tv
  2. No internet
  3. No phones
  4. Cellphones won’t work if towers are gone or have no power
  5. After 4 hours the food in your fridge is getting to the point of no return – after 6 hours pitch it
  6. After 48 hours you need to start using or losing the food in your freezer. If you have a freezer chest you can get by with 72 hours
  7. No hot water
  8. Low water pressure so drinking tap water is a no-no
  9. After 2 days people don’t have food and start to panic about where their next meal is going to come from because the non-cook food is all gone or they don’t have a manual can opener (morons)
  10. People get stupid about buying gasoline … I’ve never seen so many morons in one spot at one time in all my life
  11. Neighbors will help each other (there is some hope)
  12. Stores will gouge people for the essentials

There’s a long list and I really want to rant about it. But it will do no good. People in my part of the country are spoiled, unprepared, weak minded, insecure, selfish morons.Even my own family members were not prepared for a disaster. I was surprised to find out I was the only family member with a generator. And gas to run it. It’s main purpose is to run my sump pump and charge the backup battery for the pump. The secondary purpose is to run my fridge and freezer. I have enough gas on hand to run it for 7 days. After that I’ll be out looking for gas. It’s small and portable. It serves it’s purpose well. I was the only person on my block with one. Our fridge is at 42 and the freezer is up to 28. I run it 3 hours then off for 3. We don’t have to deal with water issues fortunately so the generator is used to charge cellphones, batteries and to power the TV (with an off-air antenna) to catch up on the news. We are not running it constantly.

My wife never understood why I kept gallon jugs of water in the freezer. She now understands that they help keep the freezer frozen and if you put one in the fridge it keeps the fridge cold as well. Once thawed they provide cold drinking water … it’s called thinking ahead.

Those little LED tap lights Wal-Mart sells are great for lighting the house as well. The run for hours and hours on three AAA batteries. And they are safer than candles. And the shake and light flashlights work well, but don’t really hold a charge for very long.

What’s been nice is we have not had to leave the house (other than reporting to work). Kids are off from school so they can stay home and run the generator as needed while wife and I are gone. I’m taking this event and turning it into a teaching session for my girls. They now know how to mix 2-cycle gas. The can start up/shut down the generator. They can change out propane tanks on the grill. They know NOT to open the fridge or freezer. They know it takes 6 hours for a gallon of ice to thaw and know to swap them out. My wife and girls now know you can indeed cook forzen pizza on a grill. 🙂  I guess I’ve rather enjoyed doing without. If need be we can always pull out the 4 weeks of MREs I have stashed an eat those as well. 🙂

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Hurricane Ike

  1. We haven’t been able to afford a generator (for some reason, all of them out here are huge and multiple thousands of dollars…. are you using a small one?) But I have what I like to refer to as my Bomb Shelter. technically, it’s the pantry in my basement. But since I am a squirrel by nature I have enough food to see us through until 2018. yeesh.

    I have the drinking water, but I never thought about freezing it like that. New idea on me! I learned something! Of course, it may be because when we lose power it’s -45 degrees outside and keeping things cool is the last thing I think about. 😉

  2. LOL … the generator I have is a 1200W 8.5A. It’s rather small. It’s a 2-cycle motor and requires a gas/oil mix to run. I originally bought it to run my sump pump, but I am able to run the fridge as well. I am looking at is this one http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=96898 to replace it ….

    yeah yeah yeah .. some people say Harbor Freight stuff sucks. But the small generator I bought from them runs like a champ. I won’t wait til an emergency to test it next time. 🙂

    You have to figure out what your electric load is and buy accordingly. The new one I’m looking at will run the fridge, sump pump, TV and a couple other smaller devices. 3000W and 25A …. 4 gallons of gas gives 15 hours of run time at 50% load. This “power loss” exercise has shown me I need to figure longer run times (perhaps 4 hours) to cool the fridge/freezer and still shutdown for 3 hours between times. I could get 24 hours of run time on 4 gallons … this one can run a small electric water heater (3000W or less) as well.

    The re-org of the garage is going to include a wall of non-perishables and canned goods. I want to make sure we are stocked up.

    I’m developing a “plan” and will perform quarterly FCP (Family Continuity Plan) and shut off the electric to the house and run through the drill for 48 hours. We need to prepare because things in this country are about to get bad. Sorry the pessimist in me is coming out 🙂

  3. No, I’m there. I’m a major pessimist, and I’m watching the economy fall in on itself. The government stepping in is only making it worse too. On a direct front, we’re so far north that I’m literally about an hour from the Canadian border. If you believe the hype about the almanac, I’m in for a very bad winter.

    Our electric load is slightly less than the average person towards the western part of the US, because we rely on propane to heat the house and such. But it’s still there. Since we lose power in the winter, I’m more concerned with having the electricity to power the boiler pump, and the sump pump… I can keep everything rock solid cold without a hitch. 😉 Hmmm now you have me shopping for generators!

  4. huh … Harbor Freight took down the 3500W generator … they must have sold out. Still, go to their site http://www.harborfreight.com and put in generator as a key word. I’m certain they have one that will meet your needs.

    I think we are in for some hard times and we need to be a little more self-sufficient. Like my grandparents used to be. Canning, gardening, freezing. All these things are “lost” on our generation because of the convenience factor. “If it’s not easy for me to use/do/consume/replace I don’t want it.

    I will reuse and repair things until there are no parts left. Ask Wife. She gets bothered sometimes by the fact that we have older things than friends or relatives, but they last longer .. because I maintain and fix them. Her parents have had 3 clothes driers in the last 25 year .. we have had one in the last 19 years of marriage.

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