Thursday, July 28, 2011

4 days & 3 nights Prep Plan tested

We were hit by an awful storm on Monday night (April 4th 2011) We were off the grid for 4 days. Power was restored by Duke Energy at roughly 11:30am Thursday April 7th  Well it was a great way to shake out our preps and dust the cobwebs out of the corners of our plans..How did we fare? Take a look:

It was storming really bad. The power went out at midnight.
The first night we kept thinking the power would come back "any minute"
flashlights are always by the ready in our house.
We have gas hot water so we had hot water the whole time.

We are blessed with natural light, so during the day no generator .Prepped emergency heaters - these are Mr. Heater indoor propane heaters Spent day getting what we need if no power came back tonight... this does not mean I had to buy anything! I gathered stuff around the house...

Extension cords
Coleman 2 lb propane tanks
Camp stove (outdoor cooking only)
gas for Generator (already stored just needed to stage for easy filling)
Move generator to deck
check inventory of fridge & freezers (by my list not opening doors!)
paper plates/bowels/plastic spoons forks
pulled out extra blankets and footie pj's for kids...

Basically our day went the same as always...
Just no microwave and we stayed out of the freezer/fridge
Stocked cooler with Ice should last 3 days.

Started generator at 7pm ran it until 8am next day
Cable box
2 floor lamps

We did a "sound check" The Prepper drove around neighborhood to see if he could hear our generator. He said it wasn't near as loud as he thought... can't hear in the front yard at all....I don't care. In a ZOMBIE Apocalypse, it would still be a dinner bell....

With the Generator, we're able to open fridges/freezers.
Cooled everything back down although it hadn't warmed up that much.
Able to snack and cook from them...Added external temperature monitor (electric probe usually used for cooking has magnet stuck to fridge put the wire into fridge...)
Charged all cell phones, batteries, laptops, radios ipods etc.

Needed emergency Heat at 10pm:
Used one Mr. Buddy Portable Indoor Propane Heater
Can be seen here: Mr. Heater - America's Most Popular Portable Heaters

We watched TV in style, relaxed and talked and played games it was fun. Kids went to bed early...
Tomorrow is trash pickup
All recycles to the curb, cans to the curb
too much disposable waste... started making lists of stuff that could be reused if the whole world went sideways and there never was trash pickup again.

Generator off at 8am
Emergency heat off at 7am
day as usual, didn't leave house Hubby went to work

Kids did ok, twins missed the afternoon show its been 2 days and they realize somethings different but not sure what... (they are only 2)  Older kids grumpy no electronics Made sure all chores were caught up during the daylight hours.
Generator on at 6pm tonight because Hubby had a split shift and had to be back at work at 6:30pm

Added to the generator load:
wireless router
cable modem
Now we can surf the web, watch TV, and hang out...
This being out of power isn't too bad.

Needed emergency heat at 8pm-4am
able to get into fridge/freezer while generator is on. The warmest the fridge got was 43 when power was off.... keeping the doors closed really makes a difference.

Want more solar.Also want a battery bank, the generator makes power whether you use it or not... I cringe at the though of the wasted energy we didn't capture via a battery bank. We were using a small generator - not a whole house one. Now I want a whole house one too. The Prepper has designed a way to muffle the generator sound.... don't want to be a target.... or a zombie snack.

Kept generator running until 11:30 am when power came back
Needed emergency heat again for 3 hours
We planned to take generator offline at noon and bring it
back on line at 7pm, fortunately the good folks at Duke Energy
got us back up on the grid.

What did I learn?

Glad we had a generator
Glad we had stocked Emergency Heaters
Glad we have fuel stocked for heaters and Coleman stove and generator
Need a new grill
need charcoal stocked

I learned I'm addicted to power but I like the sound of quiet
Need a battery bank
Need more solar lights
Need solar panels
Need a list of quick no cook meals / low cook (Have food - but lost my train of thought)

I learned I was right about being able to survive a short term without power
I learned folks don't care what the situation is the worlds keeps on trudging around you when its a localized issue...wonder if the whole world goes sideways when will folks notice?

I also learned we need a big tote labeled "Generator Kit" it will have all the extension cords in it wrapped neatly and labeled for where in the house they go to along with a diagram showing cord map.

So that's how we was a good basic shake out of the prep plan.
How would you fare?


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