Lights Out

Lights Out

This is a discussion on Lights Out within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; The other day, I was hoping for a White Christmas. Boy did I get my wish....and then some. I've virtually been a prisoner in my ...

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Thread: Lights Out

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Patti's Avatar
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    Lights Out

    The other day, I was hoping for a White Christmas. Boy did I get my wish....and then some. I've virtually been a prisoner in my own home since last Wednesday. I was finally able to get out of the subdivision today and made a bee-line for the grocery store. The shelves were not fully stocked, but were in pretty good condition.

    I finally got all of the snow and ice off of my drive today. I went across the street to help the young guy shovel his drive. He didn't have a scraper, so I let him borrow mine. Snow shovels don't work too well when you have 3 inches of ice below the snow.

    All was well with the world until 4:30 this afternoon when the lights went out. I just got through reading the thread entitled "Fictional SHTF Story". I had started making a list of emergency items this weekend.

    Talk about deja vu. When the lights went out, I ran to my car to see if it would start. I was afraid we had been hit by an EMP device. I guess I'm a little spooked by the terrorist attack on board the Delta flight. And, after reading "Lights Out", my mind was racing.

    My first thought was: I AM NOT PREPARED!

    Since my car started and my cell phone still worked, I figured we were having a normal black-out.

    Anyway, one of the items I added to my emergency list was a back-up battery system for the sump pump. In 3 hours time, I had to dip out 4 five-gallon buckets of water out of the sump pump.

    Next thing I added to my list was a couple of kerosene space heaters. I have a fireplace and that helps heat the living room, but not the rest of the house. I don't want pipes to freeze if this happens again.

    Added to my list are extra batteries, more flashlights, more candles, and matches.

    I'm also going to check into getting a back-up generator. My next door neighbor has one and it kicked in like a champ.

    The young couple across the street are first time home-owners. He came over to return my scraper and said they were loading up to go to a friends house. They have a little baby. I should have exchanged cell phone numbers with him (hind-sight).

    This weekend has really made me start thinking about what it would be like if we really do have a SHTF scenario.

    I'm going to make it my New Year's resolution to get better prepared.

    I've started looking at my neighbors a lot differently since I read "Lights Out". I've got 3 military guys that live on my street (2 Air Force and one Marine). My next door neighbor is a young assistant county prosecutor. Two cops live in my neighborhood. I'm wondering if other folks are preparing for when the SHTF???

    Our subdivision has a home owners association. I'm going to the next meeting and bring up the subject of security and preparations.

    People might think I'm totally nuts, but I think it's worth the risk.

    Don't you?

    What are your thoughts?
    Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. Winston Churchill


  2. #2
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    Array Rock and Glock's Avatar
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    Approach the topic carefully and discreetly you'll be OK.......Or Not........Just don't start frothing at the mouth and mumbling about mutant zombie bikers and EMP's and the like.

    On second thought, I'd just approach each of the aforementioned individually under the guise of...."the storms last week got me thinking about......and what are your thoughts?" Build consensus slowly and case by case with each potential family or group.

  3. #3
    Member Array CCRIDER's Avatar
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    I understand completely what you are saying. After having just read twi books about possible major malfunctions with our society, I thought how stupid is it of me to carry a pistol every were I go but not have enought food, water, heat, cooking source, etc etc, in my home.

    I am on the way to correcting those issues, and have gone as far as putting together a bag to help me get home. or to atleast get thru a day or night away from home. I work on the road and weather could catch me at anytime. Not neccasarily SHTF but Snow/Ice storm, tornados, floods, happens all the time here, so why not be as prepared to defend against the elements as well as the bad guy.

    Good luck, it is fun actually putting all this together , finding the right stuff..etc,
    CCRIDER
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  4. #4
    Member Array IronMike's Avatar
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    Dont forget a coffee percolater that works on a gas stove or even on a campfire,you will be amazed how calming a cup-o-joe can be!
    It is pardonable to be defeated but never surprised.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Rob P.'s Avatar
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    First, you need to slow down and think about what you need to be prepared. Your list had a ton of repetitive things on it.

    Hint: You don't need heaters and backup batteries if you get a generator. And if your genset won't output enough power to run your house and your heater, then a soapstone stove or insert for the fireplace will provide heat for the whole house if you use a small fan to circulate air and your house isn't 4500 sq ft and uninsulated.

    So slow down, make a list, check it twice and then buy what you need to make your home run without public services. This includes normally used food staples like fresh water, canned goods, frozen meats, dry goods (pasta / flour/ yeast), etc. Your fireplace can also act as an oven so get some cast iron cookware (skillet w/ lid & dutch oven).

    Survival in an emergency is being prepared. Being prepared isn't going off the deep end and making purchase decisions unwisely. Being prepared means you have a reasonable PLAN. (Which means you need to make one first, then pare it down to reasonable levels, then act on it.) And, what is required in your area isn't universal for everyone so your list may not work elsewhere and vice versa.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array RebelRabbi's Avatar
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    I am a country boy who grew up in the country. My Dad was born in 1926, raised in the Great Depression and he was a WWII vet. I can farm with a mule, make a toothbrush from a birch twig, build a shelter with nothing but an axe etc. We have been without power for extended periods in the past , ice storms and hurricanes happen here. People will pull together in the short haul but if we ever go past a week - 10 days, food, fuel, water etc will get scarce. IMHO your best bet at that point is to get away from populated areas. People in the cities have no way to get food/water on thier own and few have the skills to survive if game was right in front of them. They do however know how to steal, rob and pull a trigger. Learn survival skills and you won't have to rely solely on what you can squirrel up, you can move and live off the and. When the Zombies come they will look for a target rich environment, be somewhere else.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Patti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RebelRabbi View Post
    I can farm with a mule, make a toothbrush from a birch twig, build a shelter with nothing but an axe etc.

    Will you marry me?

    Just kidding.

    Actually, I appreciate everybody's good advice. Especially the percolator! I'm addicted to coffee.

    I used to live out in the country. I had a running stream, stocked fishing pond, cattle, chickens, tractor, etc. I'm thinking about moving back out to the country side (father away from the city).

    I like the idea of a list, which is what I've already started to do.

    The only problem with bugging out is you need to have somewhere to go. Somewhere you'd be welcome. Otherwise, you would be considered an invader. I don't want to get me a$$ shot off. I live next to a wildlife preserve that has LOTS of game and fishing ponds.

    I have a lot of things to do. Fortunately, I'm good on guns and ammo. Well, almost. I don't have an AR or AK. I've got every gauge shotgun (mostly Bennelli's). I have a 22 for small game and a 270 for big game. I've got auto-loaders and wheel guns, ranging from 22's to 45's.

    I'm a woman on a mission and I feel that time is running short.
    Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    You know, another thing to think about is a mistake a lot of people make when they buy a new phone that requires AC power, e.g. cordless and station phones etc., they throw away the good old fashoned phone that requires no AC power and only needs to plug into the phone jack to function. Always a good idea to have one of those around and you can still buy them as a spare. Of course, that won't help much if the phone company is down etc. but they're usually heavily redundant in their services. There's a lot of people that believe that when their power goes out, the phones must go out as well. Not true, phone lines run as a totally seprate utility and are at -48V DC. There are tons of people out there that lose their 911 when the power goes out because they don't think to back up their modern phones with an old faithful.
    Vietnam Vets, WELCOME HOME

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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patti View Post
    Will you marry me?

    Just kidding.

    Actually, I appreciate everybody's good advice. Especially the percolator! I'm addicted to coffee.

    I used to live out in the country. I had a running stream, stocked fishing pond, cattle, chickens, tractor, etc. I'm thinking about moving back out to the country side (father away from the city).

    I like the idea of a list, which is what I've already started to do.

    The only problem with bugging out is you need to have somewhere to go. Somewhere you'd be welcome. Otherwise, you would be considered an invader. I don't want to get me a$$ shot off. I live next to a wildlife preserve that has LOTS of game and fishing ponds.

    I have a lot of things to do. Fortunately, I'm good on guns and ammo. Well, almost. I don't have an AR or AK. I've got every gauge shotgun (mostly Bennelli's). I have a 22 for small game and a 270 for big game. I've got auto-loaders and wheel guns, ranging from 22's to 45's.

    I'm a woman on a mission and I feel that time is running short.
    The more places the better, in case one is ruled out for some reason at the time the SHTF. If you choose one place or person and that person or place no longer exists or is inaccessible you'll need a plan B.
    For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the son of man be. Mathew 24:27

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  10. #10
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    You need to have long term storage food handy because store shelves empty out quickly.
    I like efoodsdirect.

    You should also get a cheapy camping type propane gas cook top.

    If you are going to store water - store gallons of distilled because it stores and stays fresh forever.

    For a short term alternate heat source the radiant propane heaters work very well in combination with just donning some extra clothing.

    If you have plenty of food and water and can stay decently warm & dry then having the power go out is kinda fun.

    Buy a lot of plumbers candles they are cheap and burn for a long time.
    You can make nice safe candle lanterns from metal coffee cans ahead of time so you don't burn the ol' house down.

    One or two candles in a room at night provides enough light just to wait out a a few days of a bad weather power outage.

    That way you can save the kerosene lanterns for when you need more light.

    A back-up generator makes everything in general LOTS easier.

    If you are prepared then you are usually much better off staying home than bugging out during a snow storm.

    You do not want to chance being stuck in a vehicle - out on some remote road in freezing temps in a blinding snow storm.

    Getting to someplace else should be a last resort and you should not get into your vehicle without having prepared to be stranded.

  11. #11
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    Patti. Thank You. I also have some work to do.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    I live in the country and black outs can happen any time, no power means no flush toilet that said.....
    I installed a 10 KW gen in the shop that back-feeds the house with all the safety disconnects in place to keep from blasting some line worker, a nice catalytic kerosene heater, extra food in the basement pantry, my big 4X4 and a bobcat in the shop to move the big snow, and plenty of extra fuel for everything.... so when the area goes black I can still fire up the Ham gear, watch satellite TV, get on line, take a hot shower and yes flush the toilet, and when i had three girls in the house the last was real important...
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Patti's Avatar
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    Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. Winston Churchill

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    Here in the Detroit area we had a blackout for 2.5 days back in 2003. I was amazed at how well I learned to manage with just plain olf-fashioned common sense. It was summer and warm, but no electricity or running water for 2.5 days was manageable.
    As soon as the power strated to flicker I started filling water jugs and the kiddie pool for drinking water for the dog. The electric igniter on the stove didn't work but I was able to light it with a butane lighter, candles and laterns provided enough light and the BBQ grille was out stove.
    I wished I'd had a battery powered radio for emergency broadcasts, but aside from the radio we managed quite well. The neighborhood pulled together and we all got through the mess with no problems.
    I've learned to always keep my gas tank at least half full and have lighters and candles handy.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

  15. #15
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    Array Hopyard's Avatar
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    Short term survival food

    Quote Originally Posted by Patti View Post
    Just as a matter of course we always have about 25 lbs of rice on hand; usually we have about 10 lbs of oatmeal; canned fish, canned soups, macaroni and cheese, some candy. The missing ingredient is water.

    We have two 40 gallon hot water heaters. There's plenty of water to be gotten there. We also as a matter of course keep about 24 bottles of drinking water and some bottles of cola.

    In short, food and drink and toilet wise we are good for about a week, maybe 10 days.

    Cooking is no problem, we have a propane grill with a cook top and usually a spare tank of propane.

    Staying warm is the big problem (because once in a rare while this part of Texas can get cold). We need a couple of vent-less propane heaters. If the natural gas is available we could possibly heat the house from the kitchen--and maybe with the fireplace. If there's no natural gas and no electricity, propane heaters or kerosene heaters will be the only possible substitute.

    A generator sounds like a good idea. Maybe, some solar panels if they can produce enough to keep a fridge going---half solar, half generator maybe. I'm thinking about putting up some solar panels anyway-- I hear they are going to be selling do it yourself units at Lowes.

    In the summer it will be game over. No AC, no survival. Its pretty simple. A generator would need to be able to run at least an 11K btu unit for some relief in part of the house.

    In a crunch, I'm perfectly willing to eat what doesn't die in the freezer or refrigerator during the first 30 hours of a power failure, and throw the rest into my neighbor's yard (just kidding :)), and if the emergency lasts more than 10 days then I'm quite willing to eat my neighbor---though I'll have to tear his house down to get the wood to burn so I can cook him.

    Anyone see cauldrons for sale on e-bay?

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