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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Member # 1659
 - posted November 03, 2012 06:09
First off Thank You MMKK for starting the Role call thread.


Preparedness what to plan for.

Do you want to spend billions: on stand by troops, stored food, and spare equipment just because.

Power companies have a two fold job, supply power and maintain equipment. The maintenance crew does not generate revenue. So how big should the repair group be. It costs money having those guys sit around doing nothing, rates would have to go up.

Fire, Police, Garbage, and Water are you getting your local value or did you vote down the last tax rate hike.

You are paying for a certain level of coverage? Are you asking for more than you paid for?

This was an act of nature, we were not attacked, this is something we as citizens should have prepared for. I am not a preparer however I am ready for normal events and calamities. The National Guard, and FEMA are on the way.

I was involved in the mess caused by Camille back in the sixties, it takes time to get gear, troops, then move them to where they are needed. Then the work begins.

Go ahead call one of those rapid response clean up teams advertising on TV find out thier rates, are you willing to pay their rate?

What might happen Here at 44N, we get Tornadoes, we have a shelter.

We have power outages, we have a generator that is Bi-fuel Gasoline and Propane, I can hook the generator up to run from the home heating fuel tank (500 gallon Propane pig) from its own gas tank or from the gas tank of the Motor-home. We have lived for twenty five days with the only power being the generator. One note I changed out the fast rate heaters with lower wattage ones so it would not work the generator so hard.

Flooding should not ever be a problem as we are at the high point of the County, no basement or basement pumps to worry about Mister Gravity works very well thank you.

Snow Storms we have been snowed in, the snow blower that mounts on the tractor, while slow will clear the road. The other tractor has a snow plow it will work in snow up to ten inches deep.

Food we have a pantry, and chest freezer.
Member # 780
 - posted November 03, 2012 15:34
In re: Power companies and repair crews - that's a big problem around here.

A friend told me that many of the utilities, particularly the incompetent CL&P, have been scaling back their repair crews over the years. As a result, folks who are fixing our lines (not here!!! [Frown] ) are from all across the country, including Georgia & Alabama. I've yet to actually witness said trucks, but I've heard that 17 giant military planes (similar to, but not C-130s) were sent from CA to NY with 70 trucks, cherry pickers amongst them.

I've also heard about buried lines being brought up as an option, though it's quite expensive to do. And...troubleshooting/repairing it can be quite the task. Still, it'd be a) far more resilient to falling trees; b) nicer to look at; c) there is no c?

Right now, the simplest improvement I'd like is to have town water. That would make things marginally easier to deal with in a power failure.
Member # 269
 - posted November 04, 2012 11:49
A neat trick that they figured out here not too long ago (after a big storm that left lots of homes without power for a week or so) is stiff financial penalties for outages longer than 24h together with other regulations to make power outages rare even in the face of storms that push over a significant fraction of trees in the woods.

Funnily enough by making power outages more expensive, suddenly buried power lines became the less expensive option for lots of power lines in Sweden. It's still not doable everywhere, farms don't quite have the density for it, but the vast majority of homes shouldn't be dependant on overhead lines (well, apart from the truly high voltage ones, but there the tree clearings are wide enough so that a tree can't fall over the lines anyway).
Member # 780
 - posted November 04, 2012 20:38
24 hours?!?!?!

It's been ...
[finds glow in the dark abacus†]
147 hours and the power is still out. [Frown]

(† Okay, so I cheated... http://sn.im/25i6s4o [Wink] ]

Mind you, that's a pretty damned good legislative trick. [Big Grin]
Damn you clever Swedes...

Alas, that would never fly over here. Almost 50% of the cost of burying the wires would be spent on lobbying legislators to kill such legislation. Mind you, it would *CREATE JOBS* and better our lives, but it might deny some power company executives from buying new yachts.
Member # 269
 - posted November 05, 2012 05:14
Eh, it wouldn't really cut into yacht money either, since the costs just get shifted to the customers anyhow. That's the downside of it.

But seen from a whole system point of view, it is very, very expensive to have downtime on life and business due to power outages.
Member # 1659
 - posted November 05, 2012 05:29
The problem in this country is that: No one wants a long term fix, just get it up and running. Politicians will not force the power companies to do the right thing, cash under the table.

Not to far from here In the Huron National Forest the power is buried, "ICE STORMS" lots of ice storms.

Who has a bandaid?


Generator talking points:

Do you need one?

Here is the route I took and why.

I recommend a transfer switch, less chance of ruining your generator or KILLING A LINEMAN.

How large?

110/220 do you want to run the whole or only half, if you are on a well the decision is already made go 220.

Size: electric range, electric hot water, well. 5500 minimum to run all of this. On the water heater I swapped out the 4500 watt heaters with 3000 watt heaters, just heats the water slower.

What fuel?

Bi-fuel Propane & Gasoline, I was without power for 25 days once, hauling fuel daily is not fun.

I have a tee on the line from the propane pig (500 gallon) I can also tap into the fuel tank on the motor-home forty gallons in that sucker.

Portable or permanent?

I prefer a portable unit as it is not sitting out in the open where metal scrappers can see it.

Auto start or manual?

To me this is a toss up, I call the power company and then decide.

Shutdown of unit, turn off the gas and wait for the engine to stop, if you are using gasoline this prevents carburetor gumming.

I recommend a transfer switch, less chance of ruining your generator or KILLING A LINEMAN.
Member # 170
 - posted November 05, 2012 07:28
I think transfer switches are required by laws in most places when you connect the backup generator to your home's wiring.
Member # 1659
 - posted November 05, 2012 09:37
Then starts the Lawyering, The NEC is not a legal document. It is an Insurance co-operative document related to covering a structure. Some jurisdictions have attempted to make it law, and some have run into resistance.

Watertown Daily Times

New York Times


Now the power company may refuse to reconnect if they feel there is danger to their crews, and now with many home owners going solar/wind and backward meters it becomes a lawyers nightmare

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