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#82845 - 01/14/07 05:20 PM Re: Lessons from the Seattle Power Outage
chuckc Offline

Registered: 01/09/07
Posts: 1
Loc: NW Arkansas
Thanks for the tips. My parents took my kids garage sale-ing last spring and picked up 3 Coleman lanterns and a Coleman fuel stove for $1 a piece. I have used the lanterns when camping and now have an extra stove. The lanterns were propane. I use the stove on the patio often so I don't stink up the house with bacon. I have gotten pretty good at cooking with it. Of course, we have had no power outages here for a while, but I will be prepared when we do. I guess if everyone could find an unused Coleman stove for $1 it would make planning and preparing easier.......

#82846 - 01/14/07 05:55 PM Re: Lessons from the Seattle Power Outage
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2816
Loc: La-USA
1 thing that I now do for electrical lighting, I went to the hardware store and got "pigtails", it's 2 wires, screw type bulb socket that hooks onto a 6 volt battery. it uses 6 volt screw single post light bulbs. The battery will support 1 pigtail for 24 hours. It provides enough light to play cards or a board game. It's a safe "night light" for nervous children to go to sleep by.
This pigtail is one of a few backup lighting systems that I use for emergencies. My all time favorite still remains: the Hurricane Lamp, it offers light and heat. heat for the room and/or heat to cook over, & lamp oil is dirt cheap!
The best luck is what you make yourself!

#82847 - 01/14/07 06:04 PM Re: Lessons from the Seattle Power Outage
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Assuming that your Coleman stove is a liquid fuel model, it is a good idea to get a spare generator for it. The generator is usually the only thing that goes wrong with a Coleman, so I always have a spare on hand. A funnel with a built in filter is a good idea to. You can usually find both of those at a store that sells camping gear...

#82848 - 01/14/07 09:32 PM Re: Lessons from the Seattle Power Outage
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
Looks to me like your fiancee is a sticker. It was five days for she decided that enough was enough. <img src="/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> A lot of people (including me) would have been throwing wobblies by day 3. Cold food in a cold house sucks. Not to mention washing in cold water.......... <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
I don't do dumb & helpless.

#82849 - 01/14/07 10:15 PM Re: Lessons from the Seattle Power Outage
Comanche7 Offline

Registered: 07/04/02
Posts: 435
Loc: Florida
From the BTDT column regarding cold water showers. Presuming there is warm weather, take a garden hose and run it up to the roof or lay it out on dark asphalt in a zig zag (back and forth) or loops and place some dark material on it (folks in south Fla. used black visqueen and/or tar paper and weighted it down with lumber or sand bags). The longer the hose the better. Our experience is that the roof is somewhat hotter than the sidewalks or driveways due to the attic space heating up to about 120F on an average south Fla. day, YMMV.

Make sure that you have a shut off valve on the very end of the hose and be sure to let it run for a bit to clear it out before shutting off the valve at the long end, then turn off the spigot at the house.

During sunny hours the water in the hose will get rather warm and if you are quick and careful, you can get one or two warm showers out if it, most folks here just ran it into the house through their bathroom window since the power was out and there was no air conditioning.

It's not perfect, but it really makes a difference on ones outlook as compared to dancing in a cold shower.

Sidenote: Although it may take a little more in the way of "handyman skills" one could also use the thinwall black plastic irrigation pipe that most Home Depot / Lowes / garden supply places carry, several hundred feet of it can be had relatively inexpensively compared to garden hoses and the longer the hose, the more "solar hot water tank" you have. Depending upon how long the power is off, you may have many new friends once they hear that you have hot water. The regular solar water heater panel installations on most of the roofs around here were signifigantly damaged and there were more than a few variations of the above that could be observed.


#82850 - 01/14/07 10:37 PM Re: Lessons from the Seattle Power Outage
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
Nice report SwedishChef with some astute observations. Thanks!

I too neglected to do intelligence gathering before I headed out, and blissfully (as in ignorance is..) didn't turn on the news until I started guessing that the 520 bridge was closed... Doh!

Good point about TV (in general) having more resources to cover more localized news. The gotcha of course is that the TV news tends to focus more on the hype and less on information that might actually be useful to you. Scanning the FM stations, I happened upon a small station that was taking call ins from around the area and that proved to fairly helpful.

Regarding Internet: Our CableTV and Internet was out even when power was back on -- no guarantees.

Land lines can go out too. Folks with cell phones should consider a way to charge or power their phone by batteries. I have one of these Civilian Labs "Tankers" that power a USB port from 4AA batteries. This works for my PDA, cell phone, and iPod.

We found the Rayovac 8D fluorecent lantern to work well in "low" mode (only one tube lit), but as you point out, "D" cells are unobtainable during and directly after an emergency. While they are not as bright, the Osram Golden Dragon 2W LED lantern is nice because it has dual brightness and runs on AA batteries.


#82851 - 01/14/07 10:50 PM Re: Lessons from the Seattle Power Outage
Cyblade Offline

Registered: 02/16/06
Posts: 64
A case or 2 of HeaterMeals http://www.heatermeals.com/ can make the diffrence, they are kinda like microwave meals but it has a heater with it that is activated with water a packet is even provided. They arnt gourmet meals but warm food is warm food. Mre's with heater arnt cheap either but once again hot food can be a godsend if you cant microwave something and the stove is dead. I've got one of these http://www.acemart.com/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=IWAZA-3 runs off of little 2.00 butane canisters that you can find at resturant supply places along with the stove.

#82852 - 01/14/07 11:14 PM Re: Lessons from the Seattle Power Outage
samhain Offline

Registered: 11/30/05
Posts: 598
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Great write up.

I always appreciate reading about the "adventures" of others.

Ya'll always teach me a lot. Thanks for the lessons.

samhain autumnwood

#82853 - 01/15/07 12:21 AM Re: Lessons from the Seattle Power Outage
yeti Offline

Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 203
Loc: somewhere out there...
As someone who is ever one to "cheap out" when possible, this last christmas Target had LED lanterns (chinese) 5.5"H and about 1.75" D. They run off of 4 AAs and power 4 LEDs. These things were in 3-packs as christmas gifts. I believe they were about $20. Anyway, they're not like staring into the sun, but they're small, fairly good lighting ability, and take AAs. The company that makes them is

1451 Dolittle Drive
San Leandro, CA 94577

Also, they seem to have been put out under the Brunton name with an ever so slight change in the base...everything else identical.

As I said before, they are small and are easily left in strategic locations around the house and cars. I can't yet report how long a set of 4 AAs will last. The switch only does on/off...no dimmer or flashing.

Are other folks familiar enough with these that they can report battery life while left on?
...got YAK???

#82854 - 01/15/07 12:30 AM Re: Lessons from the Seattle Power Outage
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
IIRC, the Brunton one (also branded by Brookstone) uses a different, and much weaker LED than the Osram Golden Dragon version.


Edited by JohnN (01/15/07 12:31 AM)

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