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View Full Version : Wind Storm Power Outage and Downed Trees


pdempsey1097
12-03-2011, 3:34 PM
So, I live in the Sierra foothills, East of the SF Bay Area.
We had VERY strong winds a couple of days ago.
No power for 1 1/2 days - we went without power for 4 1/2 days a few months ago following a strong snow storm, and learned a few lessons, even though we were fairly well prepared.

Also, our local muni water system had trees take out a flume, interrupting water supplies - so their storage tanks are it until a repair is made.

Overall, I think we did very well. Thought it was a decent "test" for our preps.
We've got propane water heater and stove, so we had hot water and could cook. We've also got a propabe BBQ with 2 full canisters. We are reliant on muni water at this time - BIG weakness. I do have 30 gallons of drinking water stored, but that wouldn't last long in a SHTF situation. After the last time I bought a couple of "goodies", including a couple of oil lamps - these were GREAT for this go around, and I'll be buying more oil for them (I already have extra wicks).

Also, we have about 15 - 1/2 gallon jugs of frozen water in the garage freezer to keep the reefer and freezer cold. Plenty of groceries and frozen food on hand, as well as MRE's and canned goods.

We heat the house with oak, cut on our own property, about 95% of the time, and have 3-4 cords of wood seasoned and ready.
Had to cut another 1/2 cord yesterady since we lost 1 tree to the storm.
I had plenty of gas, 2 cycle, and bar oil for the chainsaws on hand. I also have extra chains and files for sharpening.

I also used my recently acquied solar/battery powered radio for news (last storm we relied on car radios). This unit also charges my cell phone.

Bottom line, our biggest exposure is water - and we don't have the cash for a well. So - I'll be acquiring a couple of 55 gallon drums. I've found them for $10-$30 each form local suppliers.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with lessons learned from last time.
I think I need to shut off the power for a few days each month just to practice.

Thank you for all of the knowledge I've gained from reading this forum regularly. Any further suggetsions are welcome.

anthonyca
12-03-2011, 3:40 PM
Nice write up, thank you. Most people forget water. I know people with dehydrated food and a couple water bottles. What did those containers have in them?

pdempsey1097
12-03-2011, 3:45 PM
The containers I've seen advertised (Craigslist) had "sorbitol" - which, I think, is a sweetener for soda.

I also have a couple of "virign" 7 gallon jugs from Wally World.

Ripon83
12-03-2011, 4:08 PM
There is a gentlemen from Concord, CA not far from the Sierras (well I'm in the middle) that offers water drums for $10/$15 ea I think....don't want to speak for him but he's got a high rating here and next time I go his way I plan to pick up a few. Inbox me if you need his info its in my - inbox.

I watched the news about Twain Hart last night. Chinese restaurant busy as can be with generator going big time, another restaurant crying about being out of business (kind of blaming PG&E) since he had no power and all I could think of....is how can you blame them for you not having a generator?

thenodnarb
12-03-2011, 4:12 PM
Whats your elevation? or how deep is the water table and what is your soil like? You can often dig your own well for a lot cheaper than you might think.

Ripon83
12-03-2011, 4:17 PM
He could but I'm guessing its against the law. Hell its against the law on my land in Nevada and we're talking "B" "F" Egypt.....


Whats your elevation? or how deep is the water table and what is your soil like? You can often dig your own well for a lot cheaper than you might think.

pdempsey1097
12-03-2011, 4:17 PM
I'm at 2700 elevation. My neighbor tried a well and went down 400 feet to get water - not fun. Soil where I'm at is a lot of decomposed granite with topsoil over it.

Kid Stanislaus
12-03-2011, 4:18 PM
Here in Oakdale some bozo took out a power pole with his SUV and I was out of juice for about 5 hours. However, I'm a tough old geezer and I was able to hang on until power was restored!!

pdempsey1097
12-03-2011, 4:19 PM
I've seen the guy in Concord's ads, and he's one of my potential sources next time I head that way. There's also a guy in Modesto that has them. Thanks!

WDE91
12-03-2011, 4:31 PM
have you considered food grade barrels and filling those with water?

thenodnarb
12-03-2011, 5:00 PM
He could but I'm guessing its against the law. Hell its against the law on my land in Nevada and we're talking "B" "F" Egypt.....

That sucks, but if you're in BFE, no one is going to know unless you tell them. On my land in Oregon, I can drill my own well. The county just wants to know where on your land, so it satisfies safe distances from septic systems. But then again, if I didn't drill a well, there would be no water since the county doesn't provide service to my area. Oregon is a pretty awesome state :D

KevinB
12-03-2011, 5:12 PM
My neighbors have been without power for 3 days. My solar unit got a pretty good charge on the batteries today but I will have to run the generator to top them off and run the high load stuff.

Fuel could become a issue in about 6 months if I have to run it over 4 hours a day.

Lots of folks have gen sets that are hard wired up here. Nothing worse than being out of power long term. Most don't maintain them on a regular basis and they fail when needed most.

It is a loss of regular power, not the end of the world.

cavemanlrrp
12-03-2011, 6:00 PM
Atwater Feed, 6 miles N. of Merced, has used food grade 55s for $8. Usually white and some times blue. Last I bought were used for vinegar.

Best
caveman

pdempsey1097
12-03-2011, 6:05 PM
Atwater feed - Great Tip - Thanks Cavemaniirp!!

DiscoBayJoe
12-03-2011, 6:19 PM
My parents live near Mariposa (down 49 from you) and had some of the most rediculous winds. They had JUST finished a big arbor on the side of their house, which is now crushed to twigs by a tree branch that was 24" in diameter and 50 ft long. Wierd part is that tree is like 70ft from the house, so it covered some distance before hitting the house! here's what it looked like a week ago as they were ready for putting on the roof:

http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/383994_10150481185056823_563416822_10511442_179190 3581_n.jpg

They never expected that tree could jump that much to knock it out. I don't have new photos of it, but it needs to be rebuilt.


They have two massive "fire water" containers that are not potable, but could be filtered. They also have a small generator for their well so they could go as long as they have fuel - however, I think their weak link is fresh fuel. They are old enough that I don't think they could figure out how to syphon it out of their truck.

sgvxdave
12-03-2011, 6:47 PM
...

cavemanlrrp
12-03-2011, 8:01 PM
Atwater feed - Great Tip - Thanks Cavemaniirp!!

Glad to help.

Give them a call first, sometimes they are out.

Best
caveman

pdempsey1097
12-03-2011, 8:18 PM
Holy cow - that is a beefy structure!
That limb must've been heavy and moving pretty good.
Scary to think about.

The town of Twain Harte had seevral buildings literally "cut in half" by falling cedar trees.

Got Stuff?
12-03-2011, 8:26 PM
Oil lamps and a good stash of oil is amazingly handy to have in all parts of the house. In a pinch, you can also use diesel fuel but it's a bit more stinky.

thenodnarb
12-03-2011, 10:25 PM
Oil lamps and a good stash of oil is amazingly handy to have in all parts of the house. In a pinch, you can also use diesel fuel but it's a bit more stinky.

Wheres the best place to find oil lamps locally? I've seen them online for as little as $6, but I want to get some TOMORROW, so where should I look? Craigslist is full of antiques($$$)

Thanks.