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The outer edge of civilization
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Went through this for 10 days a while back during the big ice storm. Our little Vermont Castings wood stove in the basement kept our home at 60 degrees or higher. I haven't been able to get the generator started this year so I need to work on that. We've got plenty of wood, candles, water, and food so we'll be OK, even if I can't get the generator running. Do need to pick up more batteries though. JR
Don't forget to get a couple of the rechargeable cell phone battery packs. I've got 4-5 of 'em and they'll charge our phones and tablets so we've got a way to contact the outside world.
 

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Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler
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Don't forget to get a couple of the rechargeable cell phone battery packs. I've got 4-5 of 'em and they'll charge our phones and tablets so we've got a way to contact the outside world.
I have three now.
 
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The outer edge of civilization
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I managed to come up with all but one as a freebie online. The last one Mom gave me for my birthday, not knowing I've got a bunch. But that's okay. It gives us another charge just in case :)
 

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Since I have milwaukee cordless power tools that use the M18 batteries I got the little adapter deal that hooks to the battery so that you can power or charge USB devices from the 18v battery. I also have an LED milwaukee lite that has USB capability and a milwaukee battery powered radio. I have yet to run down a battery charging a phone or using the radio, the lights go thru batteries much faster with the brightest lights only lasting about 3-4 hours depending on light level but the lantern style lights will go 24-48 hours depending on light level.
As for power generation I have generators from 3.5kw all the way up to a 75kw Katolight PTO generator. The small units are gasoline or propane, the big units are diesel run either by the tractor PTO or off the trackloader PTO. I am working on a 60kw portable Caterpillar unit that once up and running will likely make the PTO units for sale, or at least the 75kw one.
In all the years I have been at this house only twice have I resorted to hooking up a generator to power the house. In short outages I have used a little generator to keep the fridge running and power the microwave,tv,computer by cords. The longest outage I can remember in my area has been 18 to 20 hours although there has been quite a few lasting for a few hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #145
I only have a 3500/4KW peak gas generator. It has been a reliable and trustworthy asset - only needed to run it for 3 to 4 hours per day during a 4.5 day outage and just a few hours during each of the other four - one day outages. Never lost any fridge/frozen foods, was able to run two refrigerators, a TV, a fan, a cfl 15 watt (100 watt equivalent) lamp, and charge the phones. Several neighbors said they would get a generator but they never did. One hinted about borrowing it and I told them they had plenty of time and resources to get their own.
From my perspective, it really boils down to: what are you willing to give up to get what you want.
 

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Winter Storm and Utilities Are Out - Will you survive

We put it to the test, yesterday. We had 50 MPH winds, blowing snow sideways past our windows in the afternoon. The power suddenly went out (NO ELECTRICITY, NO WELL WATER). I got a fire going in the wood stove, got the hand crank radio out, and lit a couple oil candles. The power did not come back on until just before midnight. We were tucked warmly in bed, until the fireworks woke us up.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
 

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The outer edge of civilization
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Winter Storm and Utilities Are Out - Will you survive

We put it to the test, yesterday. We had 50 MPH winds, blowing snow sideways past our windows in the afternoon. The power suddenly went out (NO ELECTRICITY, NO WELL WATER). I got a fire going in the wood stove, got the hand crank radio out, and lit a couple oil candles. The power did not come back on until just before midnight. We were tucked warmly in bed, until the fireworks woke us up.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Somehow I think I would have had the wood stove going just on principle. Those are the conditions that make my Spidey senses tingle with the "the power might just go out" alert.

Glad you were able to be comfortable.
 

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Somehow I think I would have had the wood stove going just on principle. Those are the conditions that make my Spidey senses tingle with the "the power might just go out" alert.

Glad you were able to be comfortable.
Thank you.

The house was already warm from the propane central heat. There was no need to make a fire if the power was just a momentary hit (happens enough), and would be back on soon. I usually wait a half hour, just to make sure the power is going to be out for a while. I had all the kindling, and dry wood ready, though, when the storm started.

I didn't bother with the generator, either, because the wife called the power company on her cell phone, and they said the power should be back on by 8:00PM. They were a couple hours behind their estimate, but it was still within the safety zone for the refrigerator and freezers temperatures.

We have had more power outages this last year than I have ever had to deal with in this area. The winds have been brutal in 2016.

When we lived in the mountains, we had power outages for a week or more at a time, so this is an old, familiar drill, for me. ;)
 

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The outer edge of civilization
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You're welcome.

I see your point with the propane heat and what I call "power blips". The power goes down for 2-5 minutes, usually because of a squirrel trying to stretch from one wire to another or some twit hits a poll and the city has to take the power off line for a couple of minutes while fixing the problem.
 

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........ I would like to install a wood stove as backup but spousal unit is reluctant because they are messy in her opinion......
She needs to be made aware that "Survival" is NOT a "neatness contest." A bit of mess is a VERY small price to pay for keeping warm when the temperature drops to 0 degrees F, and you have no central heat. I've been there, multiple times. I will never own a house without a wood stove capable of heating the whole house.
 
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I used to have periodic outtages lasting a few hours, whenever Bubba got drunk and plowed his truck into a wooden power pole.
Now the poles have been replaced with massive steel and concrete poles, carrying more lines for the growing population. Bubba's truck just smashes on it like a bug on a windshield. o_O
 

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power goes out here occasionally in the winter. No biggie we heat with wood anyway. We have 2 generators for just in case, but I wouldn't even bother with them for a day or two we have lanterns and candles. Besides in our culture the wife has bought 2 of everything we ever buy to store away as well as all the neighbors. I cannot see myself getting too worried about it.
 

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The outer edge of civilization
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She needs to be made aware that "Survival" is NOT a "neatness contest." A bit of mess is a VERY small price to pay for keeping warm when the temperature drops to 0 degrees F, and you have no central heat. I've been there, multiple times. I will never own a house without a wood stove capable of heating the whole house.
I'm with you. I love my little insert; it's saved us a fortune in terms of buying oil for the furnace, or using space heaters for heat.

Yes there's a mess that goes along with it. It's a minor irritation compared to being cold in my opinion.
 

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This scenario is just food for thought now that its getting colder.
You have gas central heat but it needs electricity for the fan and ignition circuit. Electric range and electric dryer both won't work. You have a two story house with unfinished basement.
What would you do?

Note: I posted this in the Survival Gear thread because I believe you will need some stuff to get through.
I have a 24x24" sheet of 1 1/4" plywood, and enough firebricks to cover it, two courses high. I have 20, 10 lb granite blocks, a small leather tarp to move hot blocks with, and a good sized fire pit in front of the house. We stayed warm, and cozy, during the power outages. Only thing I had to do, was fill my five, 10 gallon water tanks, and take them in the house. I stapled plastic garbage bags over all the living room windows, and tarped off the rest of the house. We cooked, and heated water for coffee (instant), on the hot, granite blocks. We made soup on them, and fried some steaks right on the blocks. and slept in sleeping bags.

We fared far better than everyone else around here.
 
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