Storms came through here Friday morning; multi-directional winds hit speeds of 60 MPH according to the weather service. Quite a number of trees and branches twisted to the ground. Electric power dropped off at 11:30 AM over many broad areas.
Initially the power-outage was not a problem at the house; the amount of rain we received was not enough to tax the sump pit, and the fridge was able to keep the goodies cold a long time without power. However, the weather forecast called for more storms overnight with periods of heavy rain and the electric company refused to give an estimate for when their repairs would be complete. At 7:30 PM, 8-hours into this power-outage, I decided I better plan for the worst and rig the portable generator to power the fridge, the sump pump, the coffeepot, and some lights. This particular generator will run for about 8 hours on a tank of gas, but I figured I would only need to run it for about 90-minutes every few hours in order to re-cool the fridge. If there would be a sustained downpour the generator would need to run for as long as the sump pump needed the juice.
After running the generator from 8:00 – 9:30 PM, the utility company was kind enough to restore normal power. This was only a 10-hour power-outage during warm weather, but it was still a good dress rehearsal. Any area of this great country can suffer outages that can last for days, even weeks. Overall, I was satisfied with my preparedness but I did add a few items and ideas to the contingency list. More fuel for the generator would be a good idea, but storing it in the garage is a bad idea; I will probably be building a small storage shed soon. The generator is very noisy so I will be toying with some sound deadening to keep the neighbors from anguish. Running a group of extension cords from the generator to the pumps and appliances inside of the house is problematic; leaving a window or door ajar would not be a good idea during the winter so I may be contacting an electrician to install a junction and a transfer-switch outside of the house.
Along with the battery-powered lanterns, TV, police radio, weather radio, AM-radio, and spare batteries, I always keep a good supply of is cyalume glow-sticks. The ones I use will glow for 12-hours, and although the light they emit is not very bright, they are great for lighting small bathrooms, stairwells, and hallways. They are infinitely safer than candles.
Thanks for helping me weather this,
James A. Zachary Jr.
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