Power outages in the Bay Area

Posted by: chaosmagnet

Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/09/19 11:57 AM

https://abc7news.com/weather/185000-without-power-in-north-bay-as-pg-e-begins-power-outages/5604876/

I own a small generator, enough to power both sump pumps simultaneously in a storm or the fridge and a bunch of other stuff when it isnít raining hard. As Mrs. Magnet and I contemplate moving, Iím putting a more robust backup power solution into my list of requirements.
Posted by: LesSnyder

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/09/19 01:20 PM

might be a good idea to have natural gas installed... I have two small generators, but don't really keep a quantity of food on hand that is worth the cost of fuel just for the refrigerator... for tropical storms, a pre chilled cooler and some frozen jugs of water work for me... the last couple of storms have had power restored within 4 days YMMV...

having two small generators... a 3500W 240v Honda and 2000W 120v inverter allows me flexibility... important circuits are on the same leg so the smaller inverter works what is required...
Posted by: teacher

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/09/19 07:32 PM

Are these the intentional ones?
Posted by: Russ

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/09/19 08:02 PM

From what I gather yes, the power was shut down intentionally in an effort to prevent an electrical fire due to ongoing weather conditions.

ĎThis Is A Last Resortí; Massive Bay Area Power Outage Underway
Quote:
It could take as many as five days to restore power after the danger has passed because every inch of power line must be checked to make sure it isnít damaged or in danger of sparking a blaze, PG&E said.
Posted by: adam2

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/09/19 11:01 PM

Originally Posted By: teacher
Are these the intentional ones?


In general yes, though of course there might be the odd "normal" breakdown that has coincidentally occurred at the same time.
Posted by: brandtb

A small taste of SHTF - 10/10/19 03:40 AM

California residents - 600,000 to 800,000 of them - are experiencing planned blackouts as power officials hope to prevent more fires.

https://poweroutage.us/area/state/california

It will be informative to hear after action reports of how well residents coped with these well publicized outages. How, for example, will your 80 year old grandma get between her 10th floor condo and the ground floor without the elevator? Will the traffic signals and street lights work? Cash will be required when the credit cards and ATMs don't work.

Edited to add - I placed this in Large Scale Emergencies before I looked at Urban Preparedness.
Posted by: adam2

Re: A small taste of SHTF - 10/10/19 11:39 AM

Are there any 10 storey buildings in the affected area ? I understood that only rural and semi-rural areas were affected.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: A small taste of SHTF - 10/10/19 01:27 PM

I can tell you right away that traffic lights work unpredictably, if at all during a power outage. We had to drive all of five miles when evacuating from the Thomas fire a couple of years ago, on a route with which we were quite familiar, and it was rough and extremely hazardous.

I just read a news report of numerous accidents related to malfunctioning traffic lights in NoCal; I can believe it
Posted by: clearwater

Re: A small taste of SHTF - 10/10/19 05:41 PM

Originally Posted By: adam2
Are there any 10 storey buildings in the affected area ? I understood that only rural and semi-rural areas were affected.


If you consider Cupertino and San Jose Semi-rural.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=sky+scrapers+in+san+jose&t=osx&iar=images&ia=images

Sleep apnea machines go down in the middle of the night.

"Quick, charge the Tesla"

Wonder what the people who want to ban Natural Gas are saying now? Put in a wood stove?
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/11/19 03:40 PM

Blowing really hard right now, but the power is still on
Posted by: nursemike

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/13/19 01:57 AM

Wonder if a few hundred thousand small gasoline-powered generators provide a lesser wildfire threat than downed power lines. It is hard form me to sort out the elements of the official decision-making process that influence governmental disaster responses. Science and history are significant factors, but there seems to be other, confounding vectors of influence, like financial liability, political power, public relations and sensationalism.
Posted by: Russ

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/13/19 02:04 AM

Was this a government decision or PG&E? A fire caused by a gas generator is not PG&Eís problem. I doubt PG&E cares if thereís a fire as long as itís not their fault.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/13/19 03:47 AM

I understand that the decisions are PG&E's. No direct gov't involvement.
Nursemike raises an extremely valid concern but after the Camp Fire last year, something had to be done.

According to an article in the LA Times, the response has been far from ideal.

Still, a power outage for whatever reason, should not that big a deal. Is it that hard to plan ahead? Apparently so....
Posted by: Ren

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/13/19 08:43 PM

Someone died because of the cuts?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article...-cut-power.html
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/13/19 11:18 PM

This is an extremely sad event but consider that:

more than 80 deaths resulted from the Campp Fire of 2018.

in the Thomas Fire of 2017, there was one fatality directly attribute to the fire. A few months later, 23 people died in the Montecito mudflow,a direct result of the Thomas fire. They are still searching the debris for two missing bodies.

That is more than 100 fire related fatalities caused by down power lines. Do the math.

The utility companies need to improve their procedures, especially they need to accelerate brush clearance in their right of ways.

We need to adapt to changing situations where the power will be turned off. i am currently locating a small canister stove and pot outside the house so that I can have my early morning - an absolute essential. Mrs.Hikermor won't allow an open gas flame in her kitchen. I don't agree, but she has a potential point (CO concerns).

The only thing that never changes is the need to change.
Posted by: LesSnyder

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/14/19 12:09 AM

hikermor... if you haven't already purchased a small heat source... I picked up one of the Gas One dual fuel (butane canister and propane 1# bottle with flex hose)after hurricane Irma... I didn't want to use the larger Coleman propane camp stove just for a cup of coffee and to cook some hot dogs...I had one of the units that had a burner on top of a vertical 1# bottle... pretty unstable to boil some water for hot dogs and coffee... the Asian style flat burner looks like a better mouse trap... regards


https://www.amazon.com/GS-3400P-Portable...1407&sr=8-5
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/14/19 12:41 AM

Originally Posted By: LesSnyder
hikermor... if you haven't already purchased a small heat source... I picked up one of the Gas One dual fuel (butane canister and propane 1# bottle with flex hose)after hurricane Irma... I didn't want to use the larger Coleman propane camp stove just for a cup of coffee and to cook some hot dogs...I had one of the units that had a burner on top of a vertical 1# bottle... pretty unstable to boil some water for hot dogs and coffee... the Asian style flat burner looks like a better mouse trap... regards


https://www.amazon.com/GS-3400P-Portable...1407&sr=8-5


I have that same one, works pretty well. I keep it around for emergencies but sometimes take it to the woods if I'm car camping.
Posted by: nursemike

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/14/19 12:45 AM

forbes article on rebuilding FL keys

There is a public policy/economics argument that we should establish incentives to relocate out of high risk locations, and disincentives to staying there, like periodic interruption of electrical service. The article suggests that this rational approach conflicts with American frontier ideology, and will cause lots of problems in the future.

We can engineer a survival stronghold that will resist wild fires-underground construction, self-sufficient PV or wind generators, food and water storage, air filtration systems. Is it sensible to use resources to do this rather than to use those resources to relocate to a less hostile environment.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/14/19 02:11 AM

My stoves of choice are backpacking models - either a MSR Pocket Rocket (basically a burner head which screws onto an isobutane canister) light, easy to operate, and hot or a trangia alcohol stove - also light and simple to operate, adequate heat.

I carried the trangia for years doing SAR and really appreciated its utility. Sometimes hot food was critical, both for the victim and for SAR personnel.

There are all kinds of light cook sets that work well with these stoves. For larger groups, especially when car camping, I scale up to a two burner propane stove running off the smaller cylinders.

There is alwys the option of a cheery campfire - chestnuts roasting, and all that.....
Posted by: Russ

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/14/19 03:44 PM

I have a similar GasOne stove (butane only) that has been mostly used on the kitchen counter during power outages. Pop a window for ventilation and boil water, heat some soup, cook an omelet... Good temperature control; it can boil water quickly and simmer too.
Posted by: teacher

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/23/19 03:21 AM

A great reason to buy a power bank to keep your electronics charged.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/23/19 03:45 PM

Power banks make a lot of sense in any situation. There were power outages from all sorts of causes besides the intentional shutoffs now being fiercely debated.

Get something large enough to keep your phone and small electronics running.
Posted by: teacher

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/23/19 07:06 PM

...and maybe a small solar panel
Posted by: Russ

Re: Power outages in the Bay Area - 10/26/19 03:50 AM

Define small. Thereís ďIím going backpacking and I might need to charge my cell-phoneĒ small; and then thereís ďIím at home and I need to charge cell phones and multiple sets of AA batteries, power banks and tablets at the same timeĒ small.

My small backpack-able panel is 21W and my panels for home range from 14 to 100 watts. The 100 watt unit has a 10 amp charge controller with dual 2 amp USB ports (for AA/AAA/18650 batteries) as well as an output for my GZ Yeti 400.

Small is relative.