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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Long term power outage

The grid came back reasonably quick here after the storm. I got lucky. The source of my power outage was caused by trees falling on a major feed line across the main street of the next town over. Those get fixed fairly quickly. That power line supplied a hospital. Had the lines come down on my little side road, our priority would have been quite low.

Power was out just long enough for me to think about how I’d deal with a long term outage. The first thing I did was turn off the power switch to the Internet cable modem and router. Unplugged my Roku device that allows me to stream Internet programming on my TV. No sense in sending power to things that can’t be used.

One of my major power draws is the well pump. Even though I have my own well, we are frugal water users. The only change I’d make is I’d be more aware to do dishes when the sun is shining instead of drawing down the batter bank.

Then there is the refrigerator. My plan involved eating all the refrigerated food first and then unplugging it. Most of my food storage is dry and canned foods, so we really could get by just fine without refrigeration.

The power saved would most likely allow enough energy to run my washing machine. By then, we’d be ready for some clean clothes.

We could have gone a very long time, in reasonable comfort, using only the solar electric system. If I really had to, I could have dragged out the generator a friend gave me and fired that up. That’s my last resort solution, as generators are noisy, smelly and burn my limited fuel supplies.

I had no idea how long the power outage was going to last. While it was less than a day, it’s nice to know my own power system would have done the job for a long long time. Nothing like a real world emergency to test a prepper’s plans.



  1. That's where I want to be a not being a big draw on power. I've helped my Mom on a solar set up, via you and I'm looking to do the same. A couple of 15 watt panels should charge the batteries and keep the DC fridge functioning. Generator backup as well. Sure I like being connected, (got a laptop) but I also like going unplugged as well.

  2. The power was out for weeks down here after Ike hit. Being in hot and humid weather, we slept in the RV and ran its generator so that we could have electricity. Only ran the generator when absolutely necessary to preserve the fuel. With no electricity in the area, gas stations couldn't pump fuel and the generator shuts off when the fuel tank on the RV gets down to quarter of a thank, and it was almost there. My big generator (220 volt) broke down and then couln't pump water from the well. Made out for a few weeks just fine.

  3. Although we never lost power with Irene, I was 'storm-stayed' on Sunday. I also found some 'holes' in my prepping. Gotta fix-em soon, as Katia is out in the Atlantic, plus, winter is not far off.

  4. My last power outage lasted eight days. Used the generator that is hard wired to my home, and you are correct. They are smelly, use precious stored fuel, and since I'm here in Florida, cannot power my a/c. But, better than nothing.

  5. When you are used to living the lifestyle, it sure makes things easier, doesn't it?

    Glad you got back so quickly after the blow!