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#802831 - Mon Jun 18 2012 04:23 AM How well prepared are you for when the power cuts?
sue943 Offline

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Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 36486
Loc: Jersey Channel Islands        
There I am at approximately 11pm last night when I am plunged into darkness.

I keep some tealights and candles in the lounge at the ready, and a cigarette lighter. Upstairs I keep a torch. I lit some candles then went upstairs (the stairs have battery operated motion sensor lights) to fetch my torch. Now as I type this I am wondering why I didn't fetch one of the two battery operated lights from the stairs, you can have them switched on rather than motion activated.

My power was out for about three hours. Our power comes from France via two undersea cables and both went down. They fired up our local powerstation, first the oil fired generators provided power whilst the steam generators warmed up. The power was returned to areas sequentially and I live in one of the far corners of the island so was one of the last to get it back.

I am guessing that Guernsey must have gone down too as they get their power from France via Jersey, there is a cable between the two islands. They have talked about getting their own direct link, perhaps they might actually do it now.

So how are you prepared for power cuts? Do you have things in set places so you can immediately put your hand on them, or do you have a mad scramble trying to find candles and lighers?
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#802833 - Mon Jun 18 2012 04:38 AM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: sue943]
Copago Offline
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Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
We get lots of blackouts here and it can be off for hours at a time. Out here if there is a problem with a pole it can take the company a looooong time to find it so we have to be prepared.

We have our own generator but will leave it a while before turning it on - pretty much it's only in summer if we need the air conditioner on that we'll use it. We have torches and a few LED lights around the place for night time.

I don't mind having blackouts - it's so peaceful. You don't realise how noisy all the appliances run by power are until they all switch off!


Edited by Copago (Mon Jun 18 2012 05:49 AM)

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#802836 - Mon Jun 18 2012 04:51 AM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Copago]
TabbyTom Offline
Moderator

Registered: Wed Oct 17 2001
Posts: 8304
Loc: Hastings Sussex England UK    
I don't get many power cuts here, and the power is usually restored in an hour or so.

I have a torch in the kitchen that I can put my hands on easily enough, and a few candles in a cupboard, but the loss of power isn't very serious for an hour or two.
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#802877 - Mon Jun 18 2012 08:46 AM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: TabbyTom]
satguru Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Feb 17 2000
Posts: 6912
Loc: Kingsbury London UK           
Unfortunately if you have a smart meter you will need to be prepared regularly and permanently:

"An important element of a smart grid is a ‘smart meter’ which will allow display of energy usage data in real time and remote or automated control of energy usage by suppliers and consumers [our emphasis].

"Meters will allow supply to be controlled remotely,"


That's why they are smart, they will decide who has power and when.

Power rationing plans by UN

If anyone offers you a smart meter, say no! Power cuts should be an exception, not a rule.
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UN IPCC

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#802991 - Mon Jun 18 2012 04:22 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: satguru]
ren33 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11950
Loc: Fanling
  Hong Kong      
We get them here, usually in a typhoon(and there is one around now; we are on standby 3). Candles are all around and a torch. No big deal, it is usually over quickly. We once had floods and a powercut and my son swam down the main street of the village with money in a plastic bag, bought batteries for his Gameboy and swam back.
People in Asia treat power cuts as part of life.
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#802992 - Mon Jun 18 2012 04:43 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: ren33]
flopsymopsy Offline
Moderator

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 3439
Loc: Northampton England UK      
We don't get them often. But ever since the hurricane in Southern England in 1987, when all the power went out, I have kept a torch upstairs and another one downstairs, with batteries ready to go. Which didn't help last week when I was going to bed and a bulb blew when I was halfway up the stairs!
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#803001 - Mon Jun 18 2012 05:39 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: flopsymopsy]
postcards2go Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Nov 20 2008
Posts: 940
Loc: New York City
We never get them when there are storms... Always during lovely weather, but I do have flashlights and plenty of batteries, both upstairs and down, as well as a couple of battery-operated fans for summer outages.

'Always prepared'. I should have been a Boy Scout cool
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#803034 - Mon Jun 18 2012 07:44 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: postcards2go]
Jakeroo Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sat Aug 30 2008
Posts: 2063
Loc: Alberta Canada
Speaking of "being prepared", I was a Girl Guide Leader many moons ago and my husband is a firefighter. While we do NOT have a generator (but that's something I'm bugging the hubby about LOL) you can be assured there are multiple emergency paraphenalia in our house.

The hubby is a freakazoid about it all, so there is no worry that the batteries aren't charged, that waterproof matches and candles aren't readily at hand and that there isn't plenty of bottled water and toilet paper (yay! my worst nightmare lol) on hand.

We own a radio that is powered by a "crank" mechanism and doesn't need to be plugged in (folks who live in hurricane areas would be familiar with this contraption). It honestly works, I recommend that everyone gets one. Besides that, it builds good wrist/forearm muscles to charge it LOL

Our winters can be horrible here so there is a reason that we have both a wood-burning and a gas fireplace in the house. The wood-burning one can be used for cooking. Yes you do need an electrical charge to make the gas fireplace work, but that can be "jimmied".

We also have solar and passive solar heating for the house. Again, not important if it's not winter lol as people don't die here because it's too hot and they don't have a/c!

For only two people in the house, you would be surprised at the amount of food stored away here (preserved/canned/pickled/frozen). Along with emergency flash blankets and emergency packaged water/food (which supposedly lasts forever, but quite frankly I would prefer not to find out if that's true!).

We also have enough propane to live in the "rv" for about 6 months before all the tanks run out and the toilet doesn't require city-provided water to make it flush (although, you'd certainly have to empty the lines before the 6 months was up LOL!).

Temporary power outages are no problem. When we had our F5 tornado, power/water/phones were out for 4 days in my neighbourhood. 150 more yards and I would not be here today. If anyone's idea of "inconvenience" is not being able to connect to the internet, then I don't have any suggestions/sympathy for them LOL.

Of course, LONG term survival is an entirely different kettle of fish.


Edited by Jakeroo (Tue Jun 19 2012 06:06 AM)
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#803052 - Mon Jun 18 2012 09:09 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Jakeroo]
mehaul Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6124
Loc: Florida USA
Living in Florida, world Capital for Lightning and often the turn sign for hurricanes, presents many opportunities to go native. I keep two automobile 12v batteries (Each good for 500 amp-hours) charged by a plugged in charger when the weather's clement. I also have a 800W DC to AC inverter to power those things that rely on AC power (Small TV Radio, couple of mechanics drop lights with those funny curly fluorescents in them and exstension cords to route the power to where I want it.) So far, ice has kept my mid sized Fridge cold during outages. My next purchase for this system will be one of those dorm room refrigerators. They only consume about a hundred Watts a day and coul;d plug into the inverter. Last year I had to top off the cells with new battery acid and charged them (with the pressure caps off!) to max. Now if a hurricane is headed our way, I can have both charged to max cacpacity in a day. If the outage continues but there are cars around, I can recharge them off a running car's generator/alternator, so that way of extending their availability is nearly endless as long as gas supplies last. AND I don't have to worry about Carbon Monoxide poisoning from a gas generator (Jakeroo) nor need to listen to the 120 dbs they produce when running.

System cost:
$100 - 2 batteries each at $50
$50 - DC to AC 800W Inverter (1 kiloWatters can be had at ~$100: good for a full size frigerator)
$25 - DC Battery charger
$25 - Car Battery Jumper cables
And if you have a car, add the 500 Watt-hours its battery would supply.

I cap the battery terminals in rubber cane caps when not in use and to isolate them from inadvertent touching or humidity drain.


Edited by mehaul (Mon Jun 18 2012 09:22 PM)
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#803106 - Tue Jun 19 2012 06:05 AM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: mehaul]
Jakeroo Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sat Aug 30 2008
Posts: 2063
Loc: Alberta Canada
AND I don't have to worry about Carbon Monoxide poisoning from a gas generator (Jakeroo) nor need to listen to the 120 dbs they produce when running.

You mean people in Florida actually put generators INDOORS?? lol
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#803114 - Tue Jun 19 2012 07:24 AM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Jakeroo]
Christinap Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1700
Loc: Essex UK
We used to get a lot of power cuts here, average two a month for anything up to 6 hours a time. After a lot of nagging and phoning and complaining they eventually spent a week going all over the village and eventually identified the faulty network cable that kept going down. That was six months ago and (touch wood) we've been OK since. However, because of that, I have an emergency fluorescent lantern in the bedroom, high power torches in every room, and a small camping calor gas stove and spare gas in the garage with easy access. Don't use candles because of the danger of one being knocked over by the dog. We have numerous portable lamps that are all rechargeable and MOH makes sure they are kept charged and we have plenty of batteries. Have a kettle and pans to use on the emergency stove and two gas fires for when the heating won't work. Also have one of those power pack things that you can use to jump start a car, but this one has a three pin socket on it and will power a table lamp or a radio for up to 12 hours.

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#803195 - Tue Jun 19 2012 03:17 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Christinap]
Jabberwok Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jun 24 2008
Posts: 420
Loc: Sussex England UK             
I am married to a Medievalist who has a sideline making and playing lutes.
I have a son who is a scout, and a father whose job in the army was logistics, specifically in the aftermath of disasters.
So I have many candles and lanterns, a lot of useful wood that could burn well, a firemaking, survivalist and torches specialist who has a selection of wind-up bits and bobs, and about 2 months supply of food and drink (although the vodka in the freezer might get a little warm)

But as I live in a town in Sussex the chances of my survivalist skills being needed is rather small. We do have power cuts and I set Boy loose with the matches. By the time he's lit all the candles in the house, the power is usually back on.

Nerdlet is another matter. Being a Geek, she sits and rocks over her defunct technology whimpering as the lights on her gadgets fade one by one.
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#803201 - Tue Jun 19 2012 04:10 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Jabberwok]
Christinap Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1700
Loc: Essex UK
All of which makes we wonder. If the electricity went, for ever, would we be content to go back to no TV, computer etc. and how long would it take someone to come up with an alternative source of power to get those things going again.

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#803994 - Fri Jun 22 2012 08:18 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Christinap]
Jakeroo Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sat Aug 30 2008
Posts: 2063
Loc: Alberta Canada
Didn't have running water (or an indoor "facility") until age 7. Tv came along about age 10 (but that's only because we moved off the farm and were living in Toronto at the time). I'm sure I'd survive without "gadgets". I have about 50 or so (real) books I haven't read yet and if I live longer than that, I guess I'll read some of them more than once lol. If we had to do without things like fridges and washing machines, I guess we'd find a piece of land with a well and build an ice house and a root cellar, buy a lot of seeds and get some horses and ammunition. In the city? Might be highly problematic, not to mention violent.


Edited by Jakeroo (Fri Jun 22 2012 08:26 PM)
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Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense
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#804266 - Sun Jun 24 2012 02:09 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Jakeroo]
satguru Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Feb 17 2000
Posts: 6912
Loc: Kingsbury London UK           
The second cause of UK blackouts is the 80% EU CO2 reduction target, which will mean closing coal power stations and replacing them with who knows what. As besides nuclear (hardly cheap or safe) no other widely available source of constant power exists which hasn't been outlawed we are expected to have them regularly in only a few years time.

EU orders power restrictions

All totally avoidable of course.
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"The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."

UN IPCC

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#804417 - Mon Jun 25 2012 12:35 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: satguru]
Jabberwok Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jun 24 2008
Posts: 420
Loc: Sussex England UK             
Oh Lordy, I remember living in West Yorkshire in the late 60s with the coal fired power stations dotted in between the mines. The acid rain dissolved a lot of things, the rain was often pale green and damaged the laundry and bottle blondes wore headscarves for a reason.
Then there were the peasouper fogs that burned your eyes and made you cough. The purification processes may have improved, but I really don't miss them.
I think I'd rather reduce my personal usage of electricity.

Although the slag heaps were fun to play on, you could surf on the unstable surface and attempt to avoid being engulfed by it.


Edited by Jabberwok (Mon Jun 25 2012 12:37 PM)
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'The United Kingdom. Slightly smaller than Oregon'
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#804463 - Mon Jun 25 2012 05:02 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Jabberwok]
Christinap Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1700
Loc: Essex UK
My other half is in his element. We had a notice saying the power is going off all day on July 12th - they need to replace some rotten poles and put up new lines as well. He is planning how much gas we need, where to put the little emergency gas stove, getting flasks ready to fill with coffee, happy as a little sandboy he is, bless him.

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#804473 - Mon Jun 25 2012 06:37 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Christinap]
Lones78 Offline
Prolific

Registered: Mon Apr 27 2009
Posts: 1419
Loc: Forrestfield Western Australia
If I get forewarning of the power going out in our area during the day and I'm not at work - I go shopping! The power is always on at the shops smile
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#805654 - Sun Jul 01 2012 11:30 AM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Lones78]
Tizzabelle Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sun Jan 17 2010
Posts: 2500
Loc: Sydney NSW Australia         
Got a great torch with a fresh battery in it. smile The longest power cut I remember was 3 days. I live alone so I had enough hot water in the tank to last three days. No tv, radio etc was a bit bleak. I didn't have the internet at the time so I didn't miss it. I really, really, really missed having a proper cup of tea though. I have an electric stove so I couldn't use that. The electric kettle was useless. So I tried to boil water on the barbecue (gas). It doesn't taste the same!

Speaking of tea, I looked in my pantry today to check something and I noticed I did have a few boxes of tea. I tend to buy a few boxes when it's on sale and stash it away. This morning I counted the boxes. I have 1,500 teabags. With my torch and my teabags, I'm prepared for anything! laugh
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#805753 - Sun Jul 01 2012 03:55 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Tizzabelle]
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
I will send my other half around to yours, Tizzabelle, if there's ever a tea shortage! The man would give up everything in his life except for tea - we have a fair stock of them but you win by a long way! laugh

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#805764 - Sun Jul 01 2012 04:19 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Copago]
Tizzabelle Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sun Jan 17 2010
Posts: 2500
Loc: Sydney NSW Australia         
I only live 5 mins walk from a shop too...

Edited to add that I was telling a friend of mine who lives in the same suburb about my teabags. She started laughing. Not at me though. She and her husband have 3kg of instant coffee. They bought some big tins when relatives were staying from overseas. It was planned that the rels would take the tins with them. They forgot. So my friend and her hubby now drink one solitary cup of instant coffee a day each now have 3kg of instant coffee. We're thinking of opening up Ye Olde Tea/Coffee Shoppee to deplete the reserves wink


Edited by Tizzabelle (Sun Jul 01 2012 04:26 PM)
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Editor Animals, Brain Teasers and Geography.
A platypus lays eggs and produces milk - it can make its own custard wink

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#823732 - Fri Sep 14 2012 07:12 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Tizzabelle]
Jazmee27 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue Mar 09 2010
Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
Fortunately, I don’t need the light as I’m legally blind (I find it comforting, so if the power goes out, I might be uncomfortable or upset, but that’s about it. I’m far more concerned for my perishable items in such an instance (if I need to, Mom’s right down the street, so I could go to her place for food/heating/whatever).

I also have phone numbers stored in my phone for the electric company (my cell, that is). I also have them written down in my Braille notetaker. And, since I have a landline, it’ll still work if the power does go out (the one exception was sometime last year, and I’m still unclear what happened. I didn’t even lose power—though my mother did—but I couldn’t make or receive calls. So I called the company, but I still don’t know whether it was my call that resolved the matter or not (I live in government housing, and from what I understand there was some problem with the phone pole).

But, that said, we don't have outages often, and the ones we do don't last long enough to be an inconvenience
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#824495 - Mon Sep 17 2012 10:13 PM Re: How well prepared are you for when the power cuts? [Re: Jazmee27]
Popoki_Iti Offline
Participant

Registered: Sun Sep 16 2012
Posts: 9
Loc: Victoria
BC Canada       
When the winter winds and rains start, we get a few power outs. Quite often the lights flicker, giving a brown-out, which serves as a warning to get prepared.
We have a flashlight in the living room, and I have one in my purse. I also have a headlamp in my bedroom, and wear it hanging around my neck to read. We have other bigger battery powered lamps - and this thread has made me think about checking where they actually are!!!
If it is a big storm, and a widespread power outage, we have to get to the office to cancel patients if there is no power there. Getting there past downed trees can be interesting.....

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