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#253126 - 11/10/12 02:38 AM Lessons from Hurricane Sandy
yee Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 169
My decision to prepare for 1 week unsupported was correct. In the course of three storms, I was out of power for 8 days, 7 days and 5 days.

My decision to use civilian Sceptre cans instead of MFC was correct. Its advantage is that each and every one has its own spout. The military can shares an admittedly superior spout.
I am also using a a pair of siphons as backup. I suspect I do not need the MFC advantage of being able to be run over with a truck and get shot at.

Supplies of gasoline were adequate. At the expected use of 7.5 gallons/16 hours each day, I had adequate supplies for the planned 7 days. None of the gas was more than 2 months old due to my rotation schedule. Of course, I used the forecast to dump 3-4 jerries into my cars and then promptly fill up the cans to bring the oldest gas to 1 month age. I may need to increase on-site gas supplies to account for my driving needs to get to work. Decision pending since it may be too much work to rotate the additional gas supplies (risk/benefit).

My maintenance schedule of my generator is in question. A generator test was performed the day before the storm. The battery was topped off 2 days before the storm. The oil and filter were fresh. When I lost power, the generator fired up immediately but failed after 3 days of useage. The engine was fine. It is likely an electronics failure afterwards: capacitor, diode failure or rectifier. Examination of brushes (which were never maintained) look OK. Parts are now on order.
My solution is to repair the current generator (a consumer grade Coleman) and purchase a backup generator, likely a Honda. It is nearly impossible to fix a generator during an emergency without parts. It is not an option to purchase the same exact generator so that one serves as the parts for another since Coleman is now out of the business. I will need to change my maintenance schedule to do generator tests while keeping the generator under load.

In a sense, the generator failure was a good thing. It gave me good data on my families' supplies useage in the absence of electricity. I only budgeted 1 gal/person/day as FEMA recomments. It turns out my family uses closer to 20 gallons/ day. I now have to figure out a way to store at least 2-55 gallon barrels of water. My prior solution is a dozen 5 gallon paint cans (food grade) in the garage. Melting a 5 gallon block of ice may be a pain but is likely doable with a hammer. Any ideas how to melt a 55 gallon barrel of ice? Any better ideas on how to store such a massive quantity of water? I would prefer to avoid storage in the basement in case of barrel failure; I don't want to clean up a 55 gallon flood (mold).

Conway Yee

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#253130 - 11/10/12 03:22 AM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: ]
yee Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 169
Interesting thought. I never thought of purchasing a backup dynamo. I was considering purchasing backup diodes capacitors and AVR. My Coleman is also a Briggs Engine. Where can I buy dynamos?

Conway Yee

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#253132 - 11/10/12 04:27 AM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
LesSnyder Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1679
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
Conway... a lot of people report using the 275 gallon totes... many are food grade... used ones typically have transported syrup mixes for the soft drink industry...some are stainless caged.. you could store outside, covered with a black cover to retard algae growth... filter if necessary... many are used with a rainwater collection system

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#253139 - 11/10/12 04:12 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: LesSnyder]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
I doubt a 55 gallon insulated barrel stored in an unheated garage would actually freeze solid in most places. it would not be real hard to put a small strip heater against the outside of the barrel under the insulation to keep it from freezing at all.
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#253140 - 11/10/12 04:27 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Try to get the water barrels up off the floor, its something about air conducting cold worse than solid - a pallet does the trick. If you see freezing, I might consider a roll of fiberglass insulation from Home Depot. Just like a blanketed water heater can keep the heat in, a blanketed water barrel might keep some of the cold out.

The pallet works out here in the PNW, I store water in an unheated attached room in 15 30 and 55 gallon drums. YMMV for Duluth and wherever you all may live.

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#253146 - 11/10/12 06:08 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Also Conway, I am interested in your perspective on heating your home after Sandy - I can see the sense in a backup generator(one is none etc), but could you make your home more comfortable / survivable by sinking the money spent on a second generator into adding insulation and windows?

we have gone 9 days without heat in our home in below freezing conditions, but we kept our gas for hot water and our gas fire place for heat. Our house was built in the 60s but is moderately well insulated, and our experience has been that we don't need the generator to stay here.

In times of low or no gasoline to run a generator, this seems like a good thing. Your thoughts?

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#253148 - 11/10/12 06:53 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: Lono]
yee Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 169
I am pretty well set up without a generator. House is fairly well insulated. I actually PREFER colder weather for sleeping. Plenty of sleeping bags and comforters already available for all. For the three nights without power, the kids had a blast: everyone sleeping in same room with sleeping bags, etc.

Hot water is for consumption is available via 3 20 lb propane tanks that can be hooked up to two separate multi-burner portable stoves (two burner, three burner).

My plans include revamping the basement so that the pre-existing (but not currently functional) wood stove can be used.

The 2nd generator is primarily to allow my wife to continue working (internet home based job) during the outage and to reduce marital strife.

I will be purchasing the 275 gallon totes noted above. It will be the perfect cost-effective solution to my water storage problems, particularly I have a well shielded place to store it.

A 2nd portable generator has the advantage for me that WHEN I sell the house, I can take it along.

Conway Yee

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#253192 - 11/12/12 12:12 AM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: ]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1416
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
If I lose power I can always head to the folks place nearby or I might pick up one of Hondas super quiet 1,500-2,000 watt genis. I was very surprised recently at a street fair with how darn quiet those tiny Hondas are.


I agree. The Honda Eu1000i and the bigger Eu2000i are very quiet. Both are rated at around 60dB under load and at around 53dB at 1/4 throttle.

Also the Yahama EF1000iS and EF2000iS models are just as quiet and reliable as the Honda's.

I know people who have both brands and I would not have a problem purchasing either brand if I ever wanted a small generator.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#253194 - 11/12/12 01:46 AM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
Carl_Theile Offline
?
Stranger

Registered: 11/05/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Outside, anywhere
It turns out my family uses closer to 20 gallons/ day. I now have to figure out a way to store at least 2-55 gallon barrels of water. My prior solution is a dozen 5 gallon paint cans (food grade) in the garage.

I took a lesson from my water heater- it maintains somewhere between 20 and 60 gallons of circulated water- always fresh. So to store [fresh] water, one needs a container of sufficient size and a mechanism to circulate that water. I have a poly tank with a city water pressure input and a garden watering valve output, with timer, that waters my garden daily- or, 500 gallons of circulated water. Said tank is insulated against freezing.

All I need do is stop input/output to preserve the water for emergency use.
-carl
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#253203 - 11/12/12 06:14 AM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 3056
Loc: Big Sky Country
I have long been planning on buying several of the big blue 55 gallon water barrels for long term storage but recently I decided to try a different approach. I've ordered some of these 5 gallon containers instead. Here's my thinking; these are $7 each, so 11 x 5 gals = 55 gallons for $77 (plus shipping...more on that in a minute). The bare 55 gallon drum is about $76 each. But the bare drum doesn't have a bung wrench, spigot or any means of filling the barrel. The deluxe kit is around $88. Now, three of the 5 gallons containers ship together for a total of $6- that's not bad! IIRC the drum costs $12 to ship.

Now overall the cost is about a wash. The real advantage of the smaller containers is the ease of filling, dispensing, rotating and more importantly moving. Five gallons of water weighs around 40 lbs vs 440 lbs for a fify-five gallon drum.

The reviews are good but obviously I'll see how durable and well constructed they are once they arrive next week. If they seem well made and sturdy my plan is to buy three each time I get paid until I have perhaps 150-ish gallons of water stored.
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#253228 - 11/12/12 07:24 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
spuds Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/12
Posts: 822
Loc: SoCal Mtns
Phaedrus,you might want to diversify and get some of both,best of both worlds.

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#253229 - 11/12/12 07:28 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: Teslinhiker]
spuds Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/12
Posts: 822
Loc: SoCal Mtns
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
If I lose power I can always head to the folks place nearby or I might pick up one of Hondas super quiet 1,500-2,000 watt genis. I was very surprised recently at a street fair with how darn quiet those tiny Hondas are.


I agree. The Honda Eu1000i and the bigger Eu2000i are very quiet. Both are rated at around 60dB under load and at around 53dB at 1/4 throttle.

Also the Yahama EF1000iS and EF2000iS models are just as quiet and reliable as the Honda's.

I know people who have both brands and I would not have a problem purchasing either brand if I ever wanted a small generator.
Agree 100% with entire post,I hate noisy genny's,and these have the added benefit of being VERY fuel efficient.

The Honda might be a little easier to do maintenance on,some youtubes on that if you search.

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#253235 - 11/12/12 09:59 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3697
Loc: USA
The Honda EU2000i that my CERT owns is an fuel-sipping, quiet-running anvil of reliability. I would have bought one for myself, except that I need about twice the output and my budget was about 30% of its cost.

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#253245 - 11/12/12 11:41 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: chaosmagnet]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1416
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
The Honda EU2000i that my CERT owns is an fuel-sipping, quiet-running anvil of reliability. I would have bought one for myself, except that I need about twice the output and my budget was about 30% of its cost.


One thing I like about the Honda EU1000i/2000i and Yahama EF2000iS generators is they have Parallel Cable technology that enables you to connect 2 generators together that effectively doubles the power output. This of course this means that you have to purchase or borrow another generator in order for this work. However I can see in applications where only having to run one generator is needed but the ability to bring another one online quickly and double the wattage output could appeal to some people.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#253269 - 11/13/12 05:38 AM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: Teslinhiker]
spuds Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/12
Posts: 822
Loc: SoCal Mtns
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
The Honda EU2000i that my CERT owns is an fuel-sipping, quiet-running anvil of reliability. I would have bought one for myself, except that I need about twice the output and my budget was about 30% of its cost.


One thing I like about the Honda EU1000i/2000i and Yahama EF2000iS generators is they have Parallel Cable technology that enables you to connect 2 generators together that effectively doubles the power output.

Another feather in the cap for the inverter generators.Thanks for pointing that out to the new genny purchasers looking to buy. You really do get what you pay for with the Japanese inverter gennies,quality throughout.Super clean power waves,cleaner than a lot of utilities power,thats something for sure.

That said,if you only have a hundred bucks for a harbor freight that gets you through a couple events it sure beats nothing by a long shot.

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#253276 - 11/13/12 02:07 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
LesSnyder Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1679
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
I don't know how you can build this for the price...and it's a four cycle

http://www.tractorsupply.com/sportsman-trade-2000-watt-portable-gasoline-generator-4458506

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#253360 - 11/14/12 05:34 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: LesSnyder]
airballrad Offline
Gear Junkie
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 247
Loc: Gulf Coast Florida, USA
You can sell anything cheaply if you make it cheaply. This thing loudly proclaims 2000 SURGE WATTS! and then in small print notes that its capacity is 1500 running watts. Coupled with the fact that it is being sold for 50% off list price, I suspect it doesn't really live up to expectations, and TSC is trying to get rid of them. Reading some reviews it appears the build quality is poor, some of the components are prone to being defective, and the voltage output is not regulated which can cause damage to electronics.

If you have equipment critical enough that you need to keep it running when the power is out, it's important enough to buy a reliable generator for it.

Originally Posted By: LesSnyder
I don't know how you can build this for the price...and it's a four cycle

http://www.tractorsupply.com/sportsman-trade-2000-watt-portable-gasoline-generator-4458506

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#253372 - 11/14/12 09:42 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: airballrad]
spuds Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/12
Posts: 822
Loc: SoCal Mtns
Originally Posted By: airballrad
You can sell anything cheaply if you make it cheaply. This thing loudly proclaims 2000 SURGE WATTS! and then in small print notes that its capacity is 1500 running watts.


Thats pretty much industry standard (for low powered anyhow) in my experience.You will find Honda is same.

LOL,loudly proclaimed Im sure,bet its a noisy puppy.

Heck,its a Yugo after all,dont think (hope?) anybody thinks differently for a hundred bucks,bet that electric wave tracing is horrible!

Do lights care,incandescents not much,cfl maybe.Your computer maybe or older sears 12volt automotive battery charger maybe?

Your digital anything....not happening.Your rechargeable power pack things,like a drill,phone or expensive electronics or whatever.....,I wouldnt.

Sure its limited to the max,its 100 bucks.

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#253408 - 11/15/12 09:06 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
picard120 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 763
can I use a generator if I live in a condo? I can put the generator on the balcony.

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#253421 - 11/15/12 10:20 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: ]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
The place I am buying I can PROBABLY get away with using a tiny Honda. But only for two reasons. 1.) I am an end unit and 2.) I am on the ground floor.

If you're on the ground floor, better buy a good chain for that gennie! A big, scary, half-starved guard dog wouldn't hurt either.

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#253433 - 11/16/12 03:39 AM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
picard120 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 763
what's the point of prepping if I can't use generator on the balcony? I would be vulnerable to long power outage.

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#253435 - 11/16/12 06:43 AM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: picard120]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 3108
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: picard120
what's the point of prepping if I can't use generator on the balcony? I would be vulnerable to long power outage.


That's a conversation between you and your condo board.

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#253442 - 11/16/12 10:58 AM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: picard120]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: picard120
what's the point of prepping if I can't use generator on the balcony? I would be vulnerable to long power outage.


There was a prepper on youtube a little while ago (one of the NG Doomsday Perppers) who said he's giving prepping completely because he's no longer legally able to own a gun. I thought to myself, "Wow! That's extreme." There is so much more to preoping than guns and ammo. I'd argue the same about a generator. There are lots of work arounds to consider. I'd hate to throw in the towel becuase you can't have one (agreeably important) piece of equipment.

That said, we don't have one and our condo rules forbid it too, so I'm in a similar boat. We've decided thwt it's a hole in our preps but we're not letting it be an all or nothing hole and are trying to work around it.
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#253446 - 11/16/12 01:44 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: picard120]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 831
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Originally Posted By: picard120
what's the point of prepping if I can't use generator on the balcony? I would be vulnerable to long power outage.


True; but in my experience having lived in apartments with balcony and in houses, I found the need for power in an apartment much less than in a house. First, apartments (at least the ones I lived in) seem to retain heat better---the thermal mass of the building around the apartment I think. Second, in an apartment I didn't need to worry about pumping out a basement, but I do in my house--the sump pump (a 3/4 HP electrical device by itself, which draws 7 amps).

That pretty much leaves lighting and cooking (assume electrical stove, not gas). Lighting, in this day of efficient battery powered lights should not be a problem. As for cooking, you probably could use a small propane powered stove on the balcony without anyone complaining, or even noticing. (Don't use it inside).

That leaves a need to recharge things like your cell phone, etc., which does not draw much power. Possibly battery powered rechargers could be a solution.

If there is a critical (e.g. medical) device that you need powered, then I think a bug out plan is needed.

People lived, and still live, without electrical power. Think of the apartment as a "cave."

For me, the critical problem of the apartment is the elevator (if it has one). That can trap you, and least make access really difficult to impossible. But a generator on the balcony is not going to fix that.


Edited by bws48 (11/16/12 01:47 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling, I can't type.
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#253449 - 11/16/12 02:42 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7701
Loc: southern Cal
There are numerous solar options for repowering small things like cell phones. Totally silent and they will work very well if you have a southern exposure. The whole point about survival preparedness is learning to do without such amenities as electricity and firearms.

Trust me, you can get along just fine without significant electricity for months at a time - no problem at all.
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#253454 - 11/16/12 04:13 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: bws48]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: bws48
Think of the apartment as a "cave."


That was our theory when we lived in an apartment, and it's still a guiding principle for us now that we have a house. We can do without power by stocking up on work-arounds like batteries, solar chargers, alt. fuel for cooking, candles, lanterns, etc. Warmth is our biggest concern, but that can be tackled without power too, it's just more redumentary, like sweaters and blankets.

When we lived on the 24th floor during the 2003 East coast black out, we didn't have to worry about warmth but a lack of running water was an issue we were il-prepared for. Not to mention that 24 flights of stairs is a long walk, especially with a little kiddo.
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#253456 - 11/16/12 04:15 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
JPickett Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/03/12
Posts: 264
Loc: Missouri
A few deep cycle batteries hooked in series/parallel as needed to deliver your voltage/ampere needs would go a long way to meet your preparedness for loss of light and cooking. A 12 volt charger and solar cell might be all you need to keep the batteries charged. Further details could be had from a local electrician, which I am not.

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#253461 - 11/16/12 05:07 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: picard120]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Quote:
what's the point of prepping if I can't use generator on the balcony? I would be vulnerable to long power outage.


Firstly the generator, even the small one like a 1 or 2KA suitcase generator, is most likely going to run on liquid petroleum. It is very dangerous to store this fuel inside any property or on a balcony apartment.

I would go for bottled LPG or even industrial Propane bottles. These are reasonably safe if you follow the safety guidelines You can purchase lanterns which can be powered from butane or propane. You can purchase gas stoves, which will work indoors, but once again they will need Flame Failure Devices (FFDs) fitted for the safety aspect. Get a CO detector/alarm, they are cheap to purchase as well.

To improve cooking efficiency get some of the cooking pots/kettles etc with heat exchanger bases.

Your small electronics powering requirements could be resolved using a small Solar PV Panel i.e. 60W, a charge regulator and a battery. i.e. preferably a non spillable type such as sealed AGM SLA type.

If you desktop computer draws 200-300W then get a notebook that draws 12W. Reducing the load on lighting is now easy to do. i.e. a 100W incandescent light bulb can be replaced with an emergency 3-7W LED type. i.e. you would go from 1500 lumen to 250 for the 3W or 450 lumen for the 7W.

You could even get a biolite Stove for the balcony if folks really can't stand being withdrawn from the 'Matrix'. You will need a good quality survival knife to chop up the apartment furniture to fuel to the biolite stove to keep the iPhone charged, whilst you make a nice cup of tea to sooth the panic of not being able to keep up with the latest twitter or facebook feed. wink



Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (11/16/12 05:12 PM)

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#253462 - 11/16/12 05:28 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: bacpacjac]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Quote:
When we lived on the 24th floor during the 2003 East coast black out, we didn't have to worry about warmth but a lack of running water was an issue we were il-prepared for. Not to mention that 24 flights of stairs is a long walk, especially with a little kiddo.


Before that new fangled electricity was available, most of the Dundee skyline was no higher than 4 floors, this was due to a local building statute making anything higher than 4 floors high illegal to construct.

Interestingly many of the 100-150 year old 4 floor stone constructed buildings in the city known as tenements have survived, whilst the 15-25 floor abominations constructed in the 1970s are being blown up or pulled down.

Everyone cheered and clapped

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_XKP-07R0I



Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (11/16/12 05:29 PM)

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#253464 - 11/16/12 05:55 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Jolt Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 90
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor
Quote:
When we lived on the 24th floor during the 2003 East coast black out, we didn't have to worry about warmth but a lack of running water was an issue we were il-prepared for. Not to mention that 24 flights of stairs is a long walk, especially with a little kiddo.


Before that new fangled electricity was available, most of the Dundee skyline was no higher than 4 floors, this was due to a local building statute making anything higher than 4 floors high illegal to construct.

Interestingly many of the 100-150 year old 4 floor stone constructed buildings in the city known as tenements have survived, whilst the 15-25 floor abominations constructed in the 1970s are being blown up or pulled down.

Everyone cheered and clapped

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_XKP-07R0I



Interesting. Another consideration re: high-rises is egress in the event of a fire...if you are on a high floor and can't get down a stairwell you have a real problem since the fire dept's ladders won't reach high enough. I wonder if that might have been part of the reason for the statute you cite.
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#253474 - 11/16/12 09:57 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
picard120 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 763
how do you guys solar charger in a condo? there is not enough room to set up the solar panels.

how do the NY residents cope with power outage over 2 weeks? They don't have power generators or solar panels.


Edited by picard120 (11/16/12 09:58 PM)

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#253479 - 11/16/12 10:44 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: picard120]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3697
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: picard120
how do you guys solar charger in a condo? there is not enough room to set up the solar panels.


Using a small panel you can power small things.

Quote:
how do the NY residents cope with power outage over 2 weeks? They don't have power generators or solar panels.


The news is chock full of stories on how New Yorkers are coping.

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#253506 - 11/17/12 05:40 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: JPickett]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1416
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: JPickett
A few deep cycle batteries hooked in series/parallel as needed to deliver your voltage/ampere needs would go a long way to meet your preparedness for loss of light and cooking. A 12 volt charger and solar cell might be all you need to keep the batteries charged. Further details could be had from a local electrician, which I am not.


Knowing how batteries connected in series/parallel work is very important as incorrect selection and or wiring can causes catastrophic damage to both batteries and whatever equipment you connect to them.

2 - 12 volt batteries connected in series will give you 24 volts which will not work with any 12 volt equipment. Yes there are 24 to 12 volt reducers but decent one's are not cheap and really defeats the intended purpose for household backup battery preparedness.

2 - 6 volt batteries connected in series will give you 12 volts but the amp hour stays the same.

2 - 12 volt batteries connected in parallel will give you 12 volts but doubles the amp hour capacity. This is the best solution for most household battery backup preparedness.

2 - 6 volt batteries connected in parallel still only gives you 6 volts but doubles the amp hour capacity.
i
Yes there are ways to connect batteries in both parallel and series but is probably beyond the scope of this thread's intended focus.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#253514 - 11/18/12 02:52 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
JPickett Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/03/12
Posts: 264
Loc: Missouri
Teslinhiker,
Batteries in series/parallel connections was one of the first lessons in Batterystuff which you were kind enough to guide me to in another thread.
Thanks

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#253531 - 11/18/12 10:26 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: picard120]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: picard120

how do the NY residents cope with power outage over 2 weeks? They don't have power generators or solar panels.

My mom coped for 15 *years* without electricity when she was growing up.

My dad did have electricity growing up, which the family used to power the light bulb (singular) and radio (singular). Dad also grew up with running water (though the tap was in the front yard, not the house).

After one hurricane my family didn't get power restored for a month. It wasn't that big a deal - break out the camping gear and you're fine if you can handle the thought of living without iThings. Some forethought, such as buying food *before* you get hungry, is necessary.

My main concern is the that many in the NE may be learning the wrong lessons. This wasn't a "superstorm" - it was a weak storm that came in at high tide with a medium storm surge. A strong storm, or one with a high storm storm surge [1] (high or low tide) would be much worse. And two weeks to restore power is not slothful.

[1] The seabed off the NE coast may not allow a hurricane to generate storm surges that are possible in the Gulf Coast. 30' of surge may not be a realistic planning target.

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#253535 - 11/18/12 11:46 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2941
My parents in WV finally got power back on a couple days ago, no phone yet, we only know because it word of mouth reached someone who can post on Facebook smile
They do have a small generator to keep the fridge and freezer going.
Nearly any electronic device we have can be charged from 12v, no line power or inverters needed. We have enough other ways to cook.

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#253541 - 11/19/12 02:58 AM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: James_Van_Artsdalen]
AKSAR Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1228
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: James_Van_Artsdalen
My main concern is the that many in the NE may be learning the wrong lessons. This wasn't a "superstorm" - it was a weak storm that came in at high tide with a medium storm surge.
Calling Sandy a "weak storm" is very misleading. It is true that Sandy was only a Category 2 storm at its peak and Category 1 storm at landfall. However, those levels are based only on peak wind speed.

In terms of total storm energy there is a classification known as "Integreated Kinetic Intensity" (IKE) which is a better measure of the total power of the storm. IKE takes into account both the wind speed and the area that the storm covers. Measured that way Sandy was more powerful than Katrina.

See weather researcher Brian McNoldy's comments at Superstorm Sandy packed more total energy than Hurricane Katrina at landfall .
Some other comments on Sandy by McNoldy are at Hurricane Researcher Brian McNoldy on the Science Behind Sandy.

Finally note that how destructive a storm surge is depends a lot on the land elevations near the coast line. Much of the Gulf Coast tends to be relatively low elevation for a considerable distance inland. This means a storm surge can penetrate much further inland and do much more damage.


Edited by AKSAR (11/19/12 03:11 AM)
Edit Reason: fixed typo
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#253542 - 11/19/12 03:44 AM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: AKSAR]
AKSAR Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1228
Loc: Alaska
More on Storm Surge

For more information on how wind, storm area, topography etc influences storm surges, see the following from NOAA:

Introduction To Storm Surge PDF
Storm Surge Overview webpage
Storm Surge Frequently Asked Questions webpage FAQ
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#253626 - 11/21/12 11:40 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: JPickett]
ratbert42 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/31/06
Posts: 178
Loc: Florida
That's all I use. I have one deep cycle marine battery and a smaller (motorcycle-sized) 55 Ah SLA battery. We use the small battery all the time for camping trips and stuff. It will run phones, radios, and a 12v fan or two for at least a couple of days. The big one will run even longer. I have a tiny 2 amp charger and a small solar panel, but if I had to, I could charge either from a car with jumper cables. I can't run the fridge or A/C but it does enough to get by and sleep in the heat. If things get really bad, we'll likely be too busy doing relief work to need much power at home.

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#254246 - 12/03/12 03:48 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
Horus Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 53
Loc: MA
Conway--

Thanks for posting this. My name is John Galvin and I'm a contributing editor at Popular Mechanics where I cover disasters. I've worked with others on this forum for past stories, and I'm now writing something post Sandy.

I would be interested in hearing more about your generator issues. I have posted previously about my 2000w Honda and how I came to settle on that. I had a transfer switch installed so it plugs directly in my heating system--my main concern with 3 kids. Then I run extension cords as needed to power different things during the day (fridge/freezer, lights, etc).

It came in handy during Snowtober last year--we were w/o power for 4 days.

If you'd be willing to talk to me, let me know. You can send me a note at JohnGalvinMail at Gmail dot com.

JG.


Edited by Horus (12/03/12 03:49 PM)

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#255150 - 01/04/13 06:59 PM Re: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy [Re: yee]
Horus Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 53
Loc: MA
Hi Conway. Can I talk to you about your generator experiences during Sandy for upcoming Popular Mechanics story? You can email me at JohnGalvinMail at Gmail dot com.

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