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Author Topic: When the Lights Go Out  (Read 22891 times)

MadMax

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Re: When the Lights Go Out
« Reply #120 on: January 11, 2020, 07:06:14 AM »

Here’s What Happens When You Go Without Power for 7 Days: You don’t really realize how much you need electric power, until you are left without it!!  :-[

https://thegratedepresion.home.blog/2020/01/10/what-happens-when-you-go-without-power-for-7-days/

I don’t know if you’ve ever lived through a major power outage, but I have. I live in a hurricane zone, so I guess it’s no surprise that I would end up suffering through a hurricane sometime. The one I got wasn’t one of the big, sexy ones which brought in FEMA agents and lots of non-profit agencies to help us recover, but it was bad enough that it took a week for our power to get back on, so we could put our lives back together.

You don’t really realize how much you need electric power, until you are left without it. As a society, we are addicted to electricity. Pretty much everything we do uses electricity in one way or another, even activities which we think aren’t electrified.

When the power goes out, you really notice it; and the longer it is out, the more things it affects. Life gets harder rather quickly, as we wonder how we are going to do even the basic necessities for survival, let alone the day-to-day activities we are used to.

Looking at the way things are in California right now, this may be something we all need to get used to. The rolling blackouts they are having right now are due to a series of errors, some made by the power company and some by the government.

The government blames the utilities for not properly maintaining their lines, while the utility companies are blaming the government for forcing them to invest the money that should have gone into that maintenance, into expensive green energy projects.


When the Power Went Out

I first noticed that the power went out when my computer suddenly shut off. This wasn’t the first time that had happened to me, as power outages in the middle of a storm are fairly normal. I figured that the power would come on in a while and in the mean time, I could have a snack and watch the rain.

Later that Day

Thank God, the lights came back on. We have power once again. Things are starting to settle down. Where it was looking like we were going to have High Noon in the streets of our neighborhood just a few hours ago, things look civilized once again. People have put their guns away again. Some food trucks have shown up and I see smiles on faces once more.

So that was my experience. I’m glad it wasn’t any worse. But what about you? Have you lived through something similar? Have you had the lights go out? How did you handle it? How did your neighbors? What did you learn that you were doing wrong?


ilinda

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Re: When the Lights Go Out
« Reply #121 on: January 11, 2020, 05:48:35 PM »

Here’s What Happens When You Go Without Power for 7 Days: You don’t really realize how much you need electric power, until you are left without it!!  :-[

https://thegratedepresion.home.blog/2020/01/10/what-happens-when-you-go-without-power-for-7-days/

I don’t know if you’ve ever lived through a major power outage, but I have. I live in a hurricane zone, so I guess it’s no surprise that I would end up suffering through a hurricane sometime. The one I got wasn’t one of the big, sexy ones which brought in FEMA agents and lots of non-profit agencies to help us recover, but it was bad enough that it took a week for our power to get back on, so we could put our lives back together.

You don’t really realize how much you need electric power, until you are left without it. As a society, we are addicted to electricity. Pretty much everything we do uses electricity in one way or another, even activities which we think aren’t electrified.

When the power goes out, you really notice it; and the longer it is out, the more things it affects. Life gets harder rather quickly, as we wonder how we are going to do even the basic necessities for survival, let alone the day-to-day activities we are used to.

Looking at the way things are in California right now, this may be something we all need to get used to. The rolling blackouts they are having right now are due to a series of errors, some made by the power company and some by the government.

The government blames the utilities for not properly maintaining their lines, while the utility companies are blaming the government for forcing them to invest the money that should have gone into that maintenance, into expensive green energy projects.


When the Power Went Out

I first noticed that the power went out when my computer suddenly shut off. This wasn’t the first time that had happened to me, as power outages in the middle of a storm are fairly normal. I figured that the power would come on in a while and in the mean time, I could have a snack and watch the rain.

Later that Day

Thank God, the lights came back on. We have power once again. Things are starting to settle down. Where it was looking like we were going to have High Noon in the streets of our neighborhood just a few hours ago, things look civilized once again. People have put their guns away again. Some food trucks have shown up and I see smiles on faces once more.

So that was my experience. I’m glad it wasn’t any worse. But what about you? Have you lived through something similar? Have you had the lights go out? How did you handle it? How did your neighbors? What did you learn that you were doing wrong?

In 2009 we experienced an "inland hurricane", our first, and within the 88-110 mph straight-line winds of the hurricane were "funnel cloud spin-offs".  Long story short, hubby was out of town, and I was on the farm, indoors, and heard and felt the wind and rain escallating, then the power went off, and not too long after that, I heard up above what sounded like a freight train in the process of accelerating--think "choo choo".  It sounded a lot like a very loud automatic washing machine that was out of balance, and that's when I realized it sounds like they describe a tornado--close up.  The "choo choo" sound got louder so I grabbed the cat and ran outdoors, and literally tossed him under the porch, then I joined him, and held on to one of the porch posts, while being pelted with torrential rain.

When it was over, three utility poles on our farm were down, trees were downed everywhere including blocking our 1/2 mile driveway and thousands of roads over many square miles, resulting in the utility importing workers from many states to help re-electrify the area.  No doubt, everyone else who experienced this has/had their own story to tell.

The most important thing, though, was the two-full week power outage and phone outage.  Hubby returned the next day and we quickly developed a routine for lighting at night, and water usage, whether for cooking and drinking, or washing, etc.  Once you have a routine, it becomes a bit easier.  However, we could hear the drone of generators all up and down our road--nobody seems confident enough to live for even one second without electricity from the grid or their generators!

We wondered even back then, what would happen if the power didn't come back on for a full year?  What would be the turning point for all those brave, hardy pioneers who move to the countryside, thinking they are "roughing it"?  When their generators ran out of fuel, and they could not pump gas because gas pumps are all now dependent on electricity, what then? 

The biggest questions are, what will the people do when they make that final realization that the power is not coming back any time soon?  Will they turn on each other just because they are angry and don't know what else to do?  Will those who run out of fuel for their generators turn on those who still have fuel?  (My guess is yes, they will.)  At some point, will the last two households with generator fuel have a duel to see who uses the last drop of fuel?  Or will the first few to run out of fuel get together and begin to gang up on those with fuel, one by one, until nobody has fuel?  It is difficult to know exactly what would happen, but my best guess is that it will not be pretty.

What did we learn?  One thing is, that all a generator does is give a person a false sense of security.  It only prolongs the inevitable in the case of a very long term outage.  It also perpetuates dependence on "The Man" for survival.  The outage made us more aware that we need to hone our skills for outdoor cooking, with which we are already familiar, but skills can get rusty.  Time to practice using fire-sticks.

MadMax

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Re: When the Lights Go Out
« Reply #122 on: January 12, 2020, 02:44:24 AM »
Quote
The biggest questions are, what will the people do when they make that final realization that the power is not coming back any time soon?  Will they turn on each other just because they are angry and don't know what else to do?  Will those who run out of fuel for their generators turn on those who still have fuel?  (My guess is yes, they will.)  At some point, will the last two households with generator fuel have a duel to see who uses the last drop of fuel?  Or will the first few to run out of fuel get together and begin to gang up on those with fuel, one by one, until nobody has fuel?  It is difficult to know exactly what would happen, but my best guess is that it will not be pretty.

What did we learn?  One thing is, that all a generator does is give a person a false sense of security.  It only prolongs the inevitable in the case of a very long term outage.  It also perpetuates dependence on "The Man" for survival.  The outage made us more aware that we need to hone our skills for outdoor cooking, with which we are already familiar, but skills can get rusty.  Time to practice using fire-sticks.


ilinda thanks for sharing your experiences during this "extended power outage" it was quite helpful to hear what you learned during this period of time!

Max.
 

ilinda

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Re: When the Lights Go Out
« Reply #123 on: January 13, 2020, 11:20:34 AM »
Another stray thought relates to the type of fuel used by neighbors who will rely on generators the moment the grid is down.  Some generators use gasoline, others, diesel, and one I saw can use either gas, diesel, or propane.

It may be helpful to know the types of generators used nearby, as that is the type of fuel they will be looking for, including possibly siphoniing it from your vehicle's gas tank while you sleep, depending on whether your vehicle uses the same type of fuel as their generator.  Food for thought.

 

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