Power outtage this evening

Power outtage this evening

This is a discussion on Power outtage this evening within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; A power disruption occurred this evening in my neck of the woods. The family was prepared, but there were a few lessons learned and areas ...

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    Power outtage this evening

    A power disruption occurred this evening in my neck of the woods. The family was prepared, but there were a few lessons learned and areas to improve.

    The emergency radio was in the garage for some reason. Don't know why, but the radio was not in the emergency closet with the rest of our supplies, so I had to hunt for it, which took awhile.

    Not enough batteries for a sustained outtage I'm thinking. We had 10 pack (maybe it is an 8 pack, can't remember) of AA batteries. We decided to standardize on this size at the begining of the summer. All of the flashlights and radios take this size, except for a pair of D cell Maglites. Anyway, if the outtage were a sustained event lasting several days, there would not be enough of these in the closet. I am going to add 3 - 4 more packs.

    It gets dark earlier inside than outside. We are so used to turning on lights that it is easy to forget more light is needed to prepare food, clean dishes, etc., even if the evening has not quite rolled in yet.

    Everything else was fine. We cooked dinner on the camp stove; it was a nice full meal. Listened to music on the radio, and lit the candles. Might need to add some chocolate to the emergency supplies. We really wanted some this evening, probably for the comfort food factor. Add chocolate to the weekend shopping list.

    Overall, a very good experience, and a good test of our system. We have GHB in each vehicle, but the home was not prepared prior to this year. We have made a substantial commitment this year to create an emergency supply closet. We have stocked the closet little by little over the year with extra food, water, batteries, candles, and other necessities we might need to get by for a month or two.


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    Great thinking and ideas. I think we all can take a lesson from you. Well done.

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    GHB, does your wife know you have this?
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

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    A good reminder to test your plan and assumptions.

    The large business I work for has a disaster recovery test every year in which we evaluate our preparations. We literally activate a plan whereby our computer resources are up and running from a backup locations in less than 24 hours. We then try to execute business as usual from this remote site for several days. New additions to our world and changes that have been made get exercised. It is usually very successful but when problems are found they are documented and an action/resolution plan developed.

    My favorite is what I call the September Plan (named after the 9/11 events). The DR Master walks in and says "everyone on a team that is in the building - is dead", now execute your DR Plans. This really tests how good your cross training and documentation really is when another group has to perform the tasks or the night shift has to do the day shift work.

    All of this goes to support and encourage the idea of plan/build your BOB/GHB/Emergency closet BUT if you don't test and practice - Murphy will come to visit. Your test doesn't have to be huge and elaborate. Freeze your BOB/GHB/Emergency closet (no changes until after the test), pick a day and pull the main breaker for 8 hours. Have a scribe to record what worked and what was missing/failed. Vary the scope of the test from time to time (duration, weather conditions, etc.).

    More than a century ago, Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors only the prepared mind.” By this he meant that sudden flashes of insight don’t just happen— they are the products of preparation.
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    one thing I suggest is to use lanterns for general lighting. THey use less battery power than a flashlight, and do a better job of lighting up a room. 6v lantern batteries are cheap too.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    one thing I suggest is to use lanterns for general lighting. THey use less battery power than a flashlight, and do a better job of lighting up a room. 6v lantern batteries are cheap too.
    Doesn't anyone else keep oil lamps around anymore? The batteries never go bad so they are always handy. Nice ones are even decorative so may be left out for easy access. Power outages are not uncommon out here on the plains.

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    I have a few oil lamps. I like them a lot... I'll use them out on my patio too sometimes just because I can. I'm not real big on using them indoors due to the added danger and smell, but I know the real good quality ones are not smelly or dangerous.... but they also cost a bunch.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    We also have several oil lamps and keep a couple quarts of lamp oil on hand. We have been lucky in that in the last 5 or 6 years, our longest power outage has been about 3 hours.

    We keep our flashlights for short term and mobile use when walking around. Using them to find the oil lamps and filling them if needed.
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    I'll second the oil lamps...
    We also keep our camping gear in several bins which are easy to retrieve.
    We have flashlights that can be immediately found in several rooms. A power outage in the middle of the night would provide little warning...can you operate when waking up in the dark and finding out that it will stay dark? I'm just sayin'...

    Thanks for sharing; it never hurts to rethink our plans.
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    We have a double mantle Coleman camp lantern that really puts out a lot of light on a little gas. The only down side is that it needs good ventilation and it puts out a LOT of heat. It is, however easy to use and always ready to go. Yes, I have a couple packs of spare mantles stored right near the lantern.

    Of course we also have flashlights, spare food and a bunch of other stuff and I always have a light in my pocket so we can get to all the other stuff.

    I agree with exercising the DRP. For any of you that flip off the main breaker, have you had loss of food if you don't have a generator?
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    one thing I suggest is to use lanterns for general lighting. THey use less battery power than a flashlight, and do a better job of lighting up a room. 6v lantern batteries are cheap too.
    Thanks Sixto, I like that idea a lot. I would nix the other suggestions for oil lamps. That would not be appropriate for our family, or anyone with small kids. I had it drilled into my head by my grandparents what happens when an oil lamp gets knocked over. Big fire. Some folks will find those appropriate for their needs. I'll go with the battery lantern suggestion. Thanks for the idea!

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    Quote Originally Posted by babarock View Post
    A good reminder to test your plan and assumptions.

    The large business I work for has a disaster recovery test every year in which we evaluate our preparations. We literally activate a plan whereby our computer resources are up and running from a backup locations in less than 24 hours. We then try to execute business as usual from this remote site for several days. New additions to our world and changes that have been made get exercised. It is usually very successful but when problems are found they are documented and an action/resolution plan developed.

    My favorite is what I call the September Plan (named after the 9/11 events). The DR Master walks in and says "everyone on a team that is in the building - is dead", now execute your DR Plans. This really tests how good your cross training and documentation really is when another group has to perform the tasks or the night shift has to do the day shift work.

    All of this goes to support and encourage the idea of plan/build your BOB/GHB/Emergency closet BUT if you don't test and practice - Murphy will come to visit. Your test doesn't have to be huge and elaborate. Freeze your BOB/GHB/Emergency closet (no changes until after the test), pick a day and pull the main breaker for 8 hours. Have a scribe to record what worked and what was missing/failed. Vary the scope of the test from time to time (duration, weather conditions, etc.).

    More than a century ago, Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors only the prepared mind.” By this he meant that sudden flashes of insight don’t just happen— they are the products of preparation.
    Sungard, right? Been there done that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by INccwchris View Post
    GHB, does your wife know you have this?
    She has her own in her vehicle, setup for her requirements. The basics are covered, shelter, water, fire, food, shoes, and seasonally appropriate clothes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    Sungard, right? Been there done that.
    Don't work for Sunguard nor do we use them (nothing against them). To many businesses don't prepare or test, heck I know several small businesses that don't even backup or test that their backups work . It's always fun when they try to restore a backup and the tapes/disks are blank

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