Once again we find out

Who can take charge of their destiny, and who cannot.

Summer storms have been exceptionally violent and windy this year. My area had HUGE straight line winds. Chicago has had some severe thunderstorm (maybe tornadoes, the Weather Service hasn’t decided for sure yet).

But the point I am trying to make here is that when these storms happen some folks lose power. The power company employees work long and hard to restore as man folks as possible, as quickly as possible. They actually do a great job, most of the time.

But many of their customers cannot handle a day or two without power. Cannot deal with even one night without electric lights, nor have any idea how to keep their food in their assorted cold boxes from spoiling if their electrical supply should fail for even 10 hours. Rural, cities, it really doesn’t seem to matter any more. (perhaps it is all the city folk moving out here, I dunno) But folks can’t seem to muster any willingness to take their fate into their own hands.

If your life is somewhat dependent on electricity (and lets face it, ours way of life does depend on a steady supply of electrons to our homes) then you should be able to acknowledge the fact that it will be interrupted occasionally, and have plans in place to deal with that interruption. Inverter/batteries, genset, whatever…But have a plan of some kind. Planning on taking your stuff to your neighbor is NOT a good plan.

A decent 5kw generator can be had for less than $800.00 for Ahura-Mazda’s sake! And that same genset will run not only your fridge and deep freeze (which in our home generally contains MORE than $800 bux worth of assorted dead cow flesh and/or ice cream). One use of the genset for a few hours can more than pay for the loss….And provide you with lights/cell phones/tv (and, for our lady readers, even run your blow dryer/curling iron)…..And might run your AC too. (if not, buy a gennie big enough to do so). And will run yer heater in the winter when that big ice storm hits every 7 years or so.

Many of the rural folks need a generator in order to have water…… Not so much for showers, although they get ripe after day 3 or four, but in order for them to be able to flush toilets….’cause no one can conserve, or use the big outdoors for a potty for a day or so….

But do most people, city or rural think about things like this? Nope….They just bitch about the fact that they have no electricity.

It really isn’t that hard to have a genset and 10 gallons of gas for emergencies like storms or ice in the winter. Of course, this assumes that they would not be too lazy to rotate out their fuel every 6 moths or so….or make sure that they had oil and such…or even bother to have the thing serviced after each use…

In the cities, you can accept that most apartment dwellers are screwed. No place to put a genset or store fuel. But homeowners have no excuse except laziness or stupidity.

And god help most folks if there is a CME anytime soon that does serious damage to the grid…In the latest round of outages in my area, people were getting hotel rooms JUST TO SHOWER, ’cause they had no well pump. And others couldn’t live in their house ’cause the bathroom “just got too smelly”.

Me? We have a diesel genset. Should run for thousands of hours with little maintenance. I stock in excess of 250 gallons of fuel at all times. It burns less than 1 gallon an hour even at full (10kw) load…General load (without AC) is more like 3000 watts, so it burns less than 1 quart an hour much of the time that it is running. With AC on in the house I burn a little over 1/2 gallon an hour. I do have to choose between AC and electric dryer, but other than that, we can run for somewhere around 600 hours at normal load without getting fuel delivered. We have more options than most people do…By choice.

But seriously, if you don’t have a genset, then think about getting one. If you think you don’t need one, then find out! Pull your main breaker in your home for 24 short hours. See what works for you and what doesn’t. See if you can deal with just those 24 hours.

If not, then think carefully about your needs. And make sure that you have a backup to the power company.
Become the master of your own fate, don’t depend on someone else. ‘Cause if something serious hapens to the juice supply, yer gonna have more time to react.

2 thoughts on “Once again we find out

  1. It is random power outage season. I run my business out of my house. I have an office and lab in my basement. Losing power becomes a loss of income.

    I have my 7kW generator loaned out to someone who currently is behind a mound of dirt with a lot of water on the other side. Their basement will (we all hope) remain dry.

    I'll lose a little income. Better than losing a basement.

  2. I'm very glad we are prepared. I don't understand how some people continue to just believe everything is going to be alright. Well I will be safe and secure if something does happen. I might not have as much gas stored as you but have quite a bit.

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