Would you notice it was gone?
If it is an inconvenience, fine. If it is a big deal or even
life threatening, then you have work to do.
How long could you go before you were crying uncle?
Went 5 days after Irene. Just passed 24 hrs here now. Easier in cold weather--heating, keeping food cold. Fun cooking outside in snow. Could make for interesting mischief night tonight.
edit: Power's back. Not too bad considering the number of trees down. Hopefully everyone else will get their's back soon.
I would notice it was gone. We have a wood stove, and a week's worth of wood for cooking. After that, we'd have to start scavenging scrap wood and newspapers (I should be getting a pile of wood soon).
Water is supplied by a water tower, so I think water pressure may stay up for awhile- if not, I've have to go down to the free artisan well. I cook from scratch, and most of it is either growing in the back yard, or stored in dry or canned form, so loss of power would be a loss of frozen luxury foods. Like berries.
We're in a mild climate; I expect that the house temperature would drop to about 50 degrees, so I'd have to begin thinking about freezing water pipes and all that fairly soon.
But we could make it a week easily, I've done it before (2 weeks, actually); and soon I'll be better prepared.
Also living in a fairly mild climate, not that bad, though it would be somewhat unpleasant, I don't have backup power for the hot water heater (gas but requires electricity due to being one of those fancy modern instant-on gadgets), and the furnace (gas but electric blower/controls.) Actually the electric power usage of the hot water heater is pretty small, I could probably have comfortable showering if I had a cheap inverter by using a solar panel + battery I already have lying around.
Although, having had the power out twice when I wanted to bathe, I could certainly do what I've done before: heat a pot of water until it's fairly hot (120-140F) and use it with the cold water and a smaller pan to scoop water out of it to arrange some fairly comfortable washing and rinsing.
I'd expect the indoor temperature to drop to 55 or 60F here, that's just blankets + more clothing to wear.
If the gas was out, I could just use an old 2 burner white gas campstove outside to heat water or cook. As it's turned out, I don't have much interest in camping, but I cook breakfast on that once every few months just to make sure it's in working condition.
I enjoy reading the if this fails then I will do thus and so.
It's a good exercise to run through once in a while.
After many years we're finally independent of the grid for cooking
heating needs. Hot water is an issue because we use an on demand
propane fired heater.
When the power fails for any length of time
we would be hauling water from the hand pump and keep a large
pot of water heating on the stove for sponge baths.
We've got a wood stove, but it burns out at 3am. Guess who gets
to run screaming in the cold to get it lit in the morning.
For that reason I am a big fan of propane and heaters that
are not electric or computerized.
Many of these changes came from lessons learned in the great
seattle power outage when we were out for seven days. Had it
not been for that wood stove we would have been forced to
abandon the fort with rest of the lemmings.
Experienced a ten day outage during the Great Ice Storm of January, 2009. Learned me a good lesson indeed. I have the generator wired into the house now. I also have the Country Flame Wood Stove, coal oil lamps, preps of food and lighting and batteries, water and big wood supply. I should be able to do modified pioneer/Little House on the Prairie for about 30 days, no problem.
This is of course, barring no trees falling on the house or me or wife, like happened during the referenced ice storm. Also now have a good Four Wheel Drive to get out if I needed to.
Have plenty of Clothing, cold weather, and Bags, sleeping.
Just hope we don't go there again!
I wouldn't notice at all, I live on solar in a (normally) warm climate.
BTDT. It's an inconvenience, easily kept under control. We found that boredom can strike, though, without internet access (sigh). No generator here, but we have sizeable UPSes normally used for the computers (power is dropped briefly every couple months in my rural location, even in summer, so really want to avoid OS catastrophes during disk writes) that we press into service as needed.
As electricity infrastructure degrades (higher demand, generating & carrying capacity not keeping pace), you can expect more frequent and longer durations of outages. Stretch the scenario a little, to where commonly used bridges have fallen down or many landslides have blocked roads... are you stranded and/or how far out of the way do you need to go?
Rather than a week, we're aiming to be able to last 2-4 weeks in winter before needing reinforcements. In the better times of the year, we can last indefinitely unless the local creek dries up.
Fall back position is the in-laws cattle farm that's 13 miles away... I know I can comfortably hike the distance on a rainy day; not sure if my wife is up to that.
Reminds me, though, it's time to add to the woodpile!
I've gone through a 5 day power outage due to ice. I drained all of my water lines to keep them from freezing and settled in. I've got all of the camping gear I could ever want so cooking and water filtration were not a problem. I have a water cistern so flushing toilets and washing up was relatively easy. Used candles at night with about 6 or 7 blankets on the bed; I had absolutely no heat, and slept like a baby. I've considered getting a generator but I hate the noise they create and you have to feed it with gas. Also, to keep from suffocating on the carbon monoxide they produce they have to be left away from your house which then you have to worry about thieves. I have though bought a kerosene heater since then which works pretty good; you just have to remember to buy the kerosene before the event or else you are SOL.
A week or two is no big deal. It's almost a welcome relief to get out of your normal routine.
Wouldn't notice, literally. I have solar panels and the only electric things I own are my phone and laptop anyways.
@Jeff, those new honda generators are really quiet.
I just got power back, it was OK but colder than I'd like (night time temperatures around 25F, it was definitely colder than 55F indoors). I was OK on water and food but I guess I need a better sleeping bag/different sweaters.
Here is your bag. It will keep you warm when it is wet.
With gear and clothing like this, who needs a campfire?
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