Power outage apocalypse fire drill today

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by Shoobee, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    Today around noon here in sunny California (The Golden State) we had a power outage in my neighborhood because a transformer blew up.

    Smoke and the electrical smell of ozone was all over the air as the breeze carried it along.

    It was a good drill for a likely apocalypse scenario.

    When the power first went out, I noticed it because my tv (tuned to CNN) had blacked out, and my big screen for my computer had blacked as well, although my laptop and screen were still running off the battery. Even though You Tube was still playing Smokey Robinson's song Baby Baby Dont Cry (dedicated to our newest mod, Winds Of Change), I noticed that I had lost internet access through AT&T.

    The next thing I did was confirm that all my power in the rest of my home was also out, not just the livingroom. It was all out.

    So I took a walk around the neighborhood (peripheral search) to see if the neighbors' power was also out. It was.

    Then I widened my search pattern to ascertain how widespread the power outage was (peripheral search patrol from infantry 201 -- tactics on the defense). The whole neighborhood as far as the eye could see (for miles and miles) was also out. Fire engines were screaming and flying down the lanes and streets in all directions, obviously a major problem.

    Checked my cell phone ... it still works ... so the State must be fine and this must only be local.

    A fire engine stopped, and the brave young men in their orange suits got out to canvass our neighborhood and tell everyone about the outage and the exploded transformer. They promised a restoration within hours as quickly as possible.

    Knowledge is power. No pun intended. Good to know.

    Walked back to my home, and ran into a neighbor who's dog had run off and helped him find it.

    Told several neighbors along the way what the fire dept had told me. They were glad to hear it. Told the neighbor with the lost dog too.

    Got back to my home, moved the milk and meat from the fridge to the freezer where I routinely keep 4 jugs of frozen ice, 1 gal each. This should keep the milk and meat until the power comes back on.

    I keep my garage door opened all day long, and don't close it until midnight, when thieves become a bigger problem than earthquakes in the land that never sleeps beneath us all. Several neighbors' cars were stuck in their garages because the huge 2 car garage doors would not open without electricity. I had told them it is not a good idea to keep them closed in the daytime. Oh well. Cassandra syndrome. From the Trojan War.

    Spent the next 4 hours reading.

    I did not particularly miss electricity. I have flashlights and all kinds of camping gear all ready to go.

    I miss water more when they turn that off in the neighborhood to fix something, because without water you cannot flush. I have a porta pottie with plastic bags, and a peeing bottle too, but those are more of a pain to set up and use. A flush toilot (first imported into the USA by the now famous Thomas Crapper whose name has stuck with it ever since) is much nicer.

    If this was it, the apocalypse, time to bug out, I would just have loaded up my Jeep Cherokee Sport and headed out, for Nevada, Utah, and ultimately Colorado. God's country.

    Are you ready also?

    Do you keep 4 jugs of frozen ice in your freezer at all times?

    Do you have camping gear ready to go at all times?

    Including a porta pottie?

    Do you keep your gas tank at least 3/4ths full at all times?

    Siphoning gear?

    Water in jugs?

    Water filter?

    72 hour kit?

    Plan?

    Staying informed?

    :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  2. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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    internet modem and router on backup battery?

    Generator with spare gasoline?

    I don't understand the garage door issue, don't they all come with release levers?
     

  3. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    Im not that addicted to the internet to where I have pursued alternative communications connections, the best of which would simply be a satellite phone with an adaptor.

    I am also not wild about generators because these only tell your neighbors where you are and what you've got. They don't accomplish much else, other than lots of noise and the waste of gasoline which could be put to better use, like bugging out.

    Our garage doors are huge and take two strong men to open them manually. It can be done, but not by women or by single individuals. I know how to do it. But after telling them they are setting up a technology trap keeping their garage doors closed all the time, I was not about to get hot and sweaty helping them open it. Cassandra Syndrome. From the Trojan War.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  4. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    If the garage door springs are ok and set-up correctly any person should be able to open the doors.
     
  5. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    Ours are not. Its an old community and most things do not work anymore. There are really old rusty springs on the doors, but they hardly work. The electric motors do most of the work.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  6. Tell_Sackett

    Tell_Sackett New Member

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    Maybe it is just me but I don't see how a couple hour long power outage can be compared to an apocalypse. Although I have always found it hilarious watching all the people in the valley freaking out when the power is out.:D You would link a no electricity for while was a large earthquake or something the way that some people act.
     
  7. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    Well my first thought was that the fuse on my power strip was out.

    Then I though it was the circuit breaker for the livingroom.

    Then I wondered if PG&E got my payment on time.

    Then I thought is was just our building.

    Then I wondered if it might be the beginning of state wide Enron-esque power outages again.

    The fire trucks were actually my first clue that is was only local, plus the smell of smoke and ozone in the neighborhood.

    If only local, no big deal.

    If statewide it could be the beginning of another summer long problem like back in 2001.

    If it was something more major, then you need to procede with your plan.

    Most people do not have any plan.

    And that is dangerous for us who are prepared -- all the zombies who are unprepared -- 37.7 million zombies.
     
  8. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

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    I'd really like to see an electric garage door opener open a garage door with no springs. It would rip the top panel of the door to shreds. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    Oh they each have one big coil spring, it is just really old and rusted and not very good.

    Give it a rest.
     
  10. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    Got it covered - all of it. I also keep at least one portable generator on hand, fueled and with several gallons of fuel with it and plug it into a transfer switch (or two male/male custom extension cords into outlets feeding the two sides of my breaker box), kill the main house breaker, and keep on going. Even a small genny will power the fridge and freezer and some lights.
     
  11. EagleSix

    EagleSix New Member

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    The houses are old, the garage door is old, the springs are old......it needs to go on the prep list for repairing and upgrading.

    Most houses have a hollow door leading from the garage to the house, which is easy to breech. If this door has been replaced with a solid steel door and dead locks, the money may have been better spent fixing the over head door.

    If the springs are old, they can break at any time day or night, while going up or down, or while they are at rest. If they break after midnight, when the door is down, your car is stuck in the garage come daylight. If they break during the day when the door is up, come night you can't get it down without risking door damage, and then can't get it back up to make an escape later.

    If I had a garage, kept my BOV in that garage, I would keep the door closed except for those times I was working and present in the garage, day or night. The overhead door would not only be on my list of preparing, it would be on the top of the list to keep properly functioning and in good working order. I would have a steel core dead bolt door leading from the garage to the home.

    .
     
  12. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Wow. When our power goes out I just call the power company to assess the extent of it (always have a wired phone connected to the land line, wireless phones won't work and the phone power is independant of the main power system) and switch over a few things for the duration. Pretty easy stuff. After the 1989 earthquake we were without power for a couple of weeks. No big deal. You adapt. Or at least we did here in the hills, not sure how well you flatlanders made out.

    And what is with the garage door thing? I never saw a garage door that could be opened by one of those electric openers with no springs to assist. I would just fix them and be done with it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  13. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    They were not very smart in building these units without separate garage access doors. So the garages are a big technology trap.
     
  14. EagleSix

    EagleSix New Member

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    By your standard.......this leads me to question how smart the people are that live in them?!?!? And not much technology in a garage or garage doors. So, why not just fix them?

    Not meaning to beat you up over this, but you brought it up in your OP, and weren't very kind to your neighbors about day/night use of the overhead garage door.

    .
     
  15. Tell_Sackett

    Tell_Sackett New Member

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    There is also the problem that you close your door right before bed and the power goes out when you are asleep. You are then in the same boat as your neighbors.
     
  16. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Shoobee, I was in your neck of the woods today (Lawrence and Tasman). Power was out. I made it home OK. Thanks for being on six.
     
  17. Mason609

    Mason609 New Member

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    So, my area had a higher than normal tide, and some idiot city worker left the flood gates opened. My neighborhood flooded, as did my basement (2 or so feet outside, and 3-ish in my basement).

    I had no power, gas, hot water or heat since Sunday night. You want to talk disaster??
     
  18. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    I'm still have nightmares from loosing my TV remote last month. It was awful. :)

    Shoobee, I do like the way you approached that. That's really not a bad idea to turn a power outage into a drill of sorts. I'm also guessing that quite a few of us would run into some sort of technology trap?
     
  19. Mason609

    Mason609 New Member

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    I'd really only be pi$$ed I couldn't play my video games.

    I only come on here while at work. Only watch tv at night (nothing now, since the shows I like are done for the season).
     
  20. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    Since back in June 2012 we have had several water outages here, but no prolonged power outages again since then.

    During the water outages, I just use my bottled tapwater -- I have about 50 gallons.

    It takes about 2 gallons to take a sponge bath while standing in the tub, for full scale washing and including a shampoo. Only takes 1/2 gallon for a minor wiping job though. I have done either from time to time.

    They teach you in infantry field sanitation class to wipe down with a rag and water every day, then put on talc powder at your armpits, crotch and feet.

    Our water pipe infrastructure must be breaking down where I live, even though it is only about 20 years old here. They must have constructed it with cheap original materials. The cable lines for tv/internet are degrading as well. These units must all be really cheaply built, even though they look good and cost $2500 per month in most cases for rent.

    After reading "One Second After," I bought an old fashioned percolating coffee maker for camping, and use it on the stove each morning at home to brew my own coffee now -- sure tastes good that way. No more instant.

    Also added a new Ruger Mini 14 Ranch (carbine) to my gun safe, with a scope and clamp-on bipod, and an ammo can full of cartridges for it.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014