Northeast Storm

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joesxm2011's picture
joesxm2011
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Northeast Storm

 I got in to work where we have a generator and expected to report in on the thread for the Northeast storm and power outage.  We are clobbered here in southern New England.

Could it be that things are so whacked that no one has been able to post?

I underestimated the threat and got caught flat-footed with some of my storm supplies low after storm Irene.

One funny thing, while rushing to gas my car on Sunday morning I saw two people with gas cans that were still in their slippers :-)

I ate a Moutain House two-serving pack Saturday night and it was pretty tasty.

I hope all are doing well and good luck.

Joe
joesxm2011's picture
joesxm2011
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traffic jams

One other thing I noticed is that with no traffic lights there are massive traffic jams.  I got off the highway this lunchtime to try to fill up my gas can and immediate got caught in a massive gridlock.

This was a good preview of what they warn about in trying to bug out during a disaster. 

VeganDB12's picture
VeganDB12
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We got half a foot of wet

We got half a foot of wet snow that tore down many trees and power lines.  Few working traffic lights yesterday which made driving interesting to say the least.   Especially on the local highways.......

An anecdote: Prior to the storm my suburban New York office had been without heat (following a broken oil tank incident in April).  We were waiting for Con Ed to do work to finish the heating repair.   Now that Con Ed is dealing with more important repairs (and they are more important) I do not see our getting the heating repaired until December....thank heaven for space heaters.  At least we still have electricity.   I am better off than many in this area.

I think this is a good example of how peak oil is effecting annoying changes gradually-landlord has to drag feet on heating repairs to recoup money spent on expensive oil, then another incident occurs to delay ConEd from doing their part while they deal with a disaster in the setting of numerous infrastructure stresses, and voila we are 6 months without heat.

 

I know, it is against the law for the landlord to let us go without heat, but our group of 15 tenants has not been able to make it happen faster.  Due to deflationary pressures landlord cannot raise the rent so he recoups his losses in this way.

 

Wave of the future. Fortunately I stll have my electricity and heat at home. My neighbors are not so lucky.....

 

 

joemanc's picture
joemanc
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Storm

I wrote up something in the Insider area about the storm. I will add about the gas, fill up your gas tanks before the storm hits, not after.  I went to get more gas yesterday morning, with my neighbors extra tanks in tow, the wait was only 10 minutes. I happened to catch the news today, they showed 1 station had a 90-minute wait for gas. Some guy drove an hour! to get gas.

The communications aspect has me stumped. This is the 2nd storm now where many cell towers are either dead or dying. I have very spotty service right now, and with no landline, I'm in a pickle if an emergency comes up. I may need to look in to walkie talkies or a ham radio.

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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Quite the weekend...

Although we here in New Paltz (and now Red Hook) only got 8" or so of snow, my wife and I decided to complicate it (evidently) by moving house.  As it happens, we were in the process of moving from NP to Red Hook (NY) and the final big push was scheduled for Saturday.  Heheh.  I'm going to post more about it on the Community Building thread when I have more time (we're still unpacking & setting up), but suffice it to say this weekend was something like a complicated Bugging Out scenario complicated by heinous weather.  But we made it through okay (with a lot of help, and a chainsaw).  

Sounds like there's a line about 30-80 miles East of us where folks got hit a lot harder.  But with all these "dry runs" we're having in the area these days (and assuming we keep our preps up-to-snuff [food topped off, fresh gas ditto]), when the fecal matter impacts the rotary oscillator I guess we'll have a cooler head.  

And for those out there trying to convince friends/family/neighbors of the wisdom of preps, events like these are a priceless can-opener through their skepticism.

Okay.  I have to "prep" for work tomorrow.  Now where did I pack my clean underwear and work clothes?

Viva -- Sager

thc0655's picture
thc0655
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Urban advantage

There sure are a lot of disadvantages of living in the big city during the decline and collapse, but there are some advantages.  Here in my neighborhood we lost power for about two hours.  Most didn't lose power at all.  We don't have many trees so not many power lines were pulled down by branches overloaded with snow and ice.  Hearing all your horror stories and those of my New England family members makes me feel grateful for this urban advantage.  And this is exactly why I haven't taken the $5000 plunge and gotten a natural gas generator for emergencies. 

Jbarney's picture
Jbarney
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Generators

Hi,

I think the storm caught a lot of people off gaurd, and it is sad but many of the people who were hit by Irene seem to have recieved another dose of chaos with this one.  Here in Northern Vermont we got off easy, again.  Since the flooding in the spring (that was hell) we have avoided any major weather events.

However, the trend up here has been wetter for the last couple of seasons.  Snow storms are getting more intense.  Some of our wettest months have happened in just the last few years.  Storms are getting worse.

I am going to echo the thoughts of many people here and seriously consider getting a generator.  Money is tight, but I think it would be a good idea.  If the power goes out, especially in the cold of Vermont, it would be a must have.

Time to start pinching pennies I guess....

 

Jason

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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Posts: 1988
winter opportunities

Jbarney, Sager - yeah - alternative heating is a must unless you live on the southern border of the USA or some tropical climate.

And the openings for people to talk preps are amazing after such an event. It happened to us last winter. We had just made one of our community building Christmas cookie runs when we had a winter power outage last year, and our elderly neighbors now know they can come over and get warm at our fire when their electric heat goes off. Our prepper neighbors have their own wood stoves. It's one of the ways we identified them.

Poet's picture
Poet
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Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Lessons From The Storm

I'm not in New England,  but my wife is from there, and most of her (so also my) family lives in New England.

This is just stuff that has been relayed to me by my wife and family. Definitely the stories and examples are good ways to get people talking about and thinking about preparedness...

(Note: I posted some of this in the Daily Digest for 11/01/2011.)

1. We got reports that some gas stations couldn't even pump gas - no electricity. (Cascading points of failure, anyone?)

2. A relative of mine works in a nursing home / retirement home setting in New England. This morning she had to walk a mile to work as she couldn't drive - she walked around a lot of downed power lines. (Road hazards/limited mobility) There typically is a kitchen staff of 12 people to prepare and serve meals - so that can give you an idea of the number of seniors involved. Today, there were only 2: her and another nurse. All they could do was open up cans of ravioli and green beans. Her observation was that in an emergency, these nursing home workers prioritized their own immediate families - or just couldn't get to work. (This is something to think about if you have elderly or disabled relatives, or are facing your golden years yourself... Remember some of the nursing homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina - residents were abandoned or not moved, some died. In one case, 34 residents of one home drowned.)

3. My wife told me a couple of hours ago that generators that normally sell for $500 are selling in some of the small town hardware stores for $1,500 right now. (Get your supplies beforehand, while they're still cheap.)

4. Two families (my wife's cousins) have lost power and heat. So they moved in with my wife's 80-something-years-old maternal grandmother, because she lives alone in a big house all by herself and she happens to have a generator and working electric heater. So everyone's crowded into her house. (So don't be surprised if your extended family shows up and wants some of your preps that they didn't bother to do themselves because they were so busy ridiculing you.)

5. My in-laws' house is without power and they are running out of food (though they have a wood pellet stove). My mother-in-law drove to grandmother's house (in another town) to take a shower. (Caught unprepared by a freak disaster.)

Poet

Poet's picture
Poet
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Posts: 1891
What About The Pipes? Wood Pellet Stove Needs Electricity

If you don't have electricity and therefore maybe can't heat the home (say your oil heater in the basement runs off an electric thermostat and controls, or your wood pellet stove runs with the help of an electric motor - fans, controls, pellet feeder)... What about the water pipes?

Because of the power outages affecting hundreds of thousands of homes, my mother-in-law's household is without power. So far, she has been running her wood pellet stove (that heats the house) off of a car battery, that is, their car is kept running practically all night. (I'm not so sure that's safe or ruinous to the car, even if the garage does not ventilate into the house.)

Would it be safe and cheaper to just buy a car battery or few, and have each be fully charged to run the stove all night?

Poet

joesxm2011's picture
joesxm2011
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Joined: Mar 16 2011
Posts: 259
batteries and after action report

 Poet - I just got power back an hour or so ago so I am still pretty burnt out and will be short.  I am sure others can elaborate.  What you need is a deep cycle golf cart or marine battery and a way to charge it - either off the normal grid in advance or off some sort of solar panel setup.  The regular battery is not designed to be charged and drained like you are suggesting.

Some tidbits from my experiences.

On Monday I arrived to work which was partially powered by a big generator but lots of cubes in the dark.  I had my SureFire Saint Minimus headlamp and it has been worth every overpriced penny I paid for it.

I also brought some cheap headlamps and some of those ten for $10 flashlights.  One woman asked if she could take one home because they had not even prepared to the point of having a flashlight !!!  Later she told me that since she had gas hot water and stove eight neighbors were hanging out at her house and she needed more lights.  Apparently none of them had flashlights either.

On the other extreme, my McGyver-esque neighbor who is my prepping mentor blew a bearing on his generator last night.  A minor irritation because he has a backup generator!!! What a contrast.

As my retired police office shooting mentor constantly drills into me:  "Two is One - One is None".

I hope all the other storm victems get fixes soon.  I am shot so signing off . . .

Joe

BTW - my power was restored by a crew from Quebec.

Poet's picture
Poet
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Posts: 1891
To Joesxm2011

Thanks for the info, Joe. Turns out they got a generator. So that was good. Six days without power nor the ability to take a shower or cook (electric stove) sucked for them.

That said, I have a $15 head-lamp that I got at Walmart. Works really well and has two white light modes and one red light mode. I saw the SureFire, but it's kinda pricey there...

I never quite heard of it that way, "Two is one, one is none." Thanks for sharing the insight. So true!

Poet

joesxm2011's picture
joesxm2011
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
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Posts: 259
two is one - one is none

 Picture this.

You have your nice pistol, all set up so you like it an are comfortable using it.

A) It breaks and you have to send it in for service.

B) God forbid - you have to use it to defend yourself and the police take it for two years as evidence while you are worrying about payback from the criminals friends.

Makes a lot of sense to have a clone of your primary defensive handgun doesn''t it?

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