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Well, THAT was fun!

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  • Well, THAT was fun!

    I don't know how much the rest of the world heard or cared about it but southern California is recovering from the biggest blackout in history.

    Yesterday at about 3:30pm all the lights, AC, computers, etc. from Orange county down into northern Baja California went off. Upwards of 3 million people in the dark. There were a lot of traffic incidents as all the signals stopped working plus everyone decided to go home at the same time. I was very glad to be, and stay, at home while they got things sorted out.

    I spent the evening with a friend. We cracked open a bottle of wine and had salad plus leftovers dinner by candlelight on my terrace.

    The whole thing wasn't too traumatic but it got me to thinking about disaster preparedness in general.
    The best purchase I ever made was that little hand crank and/or solar powered radio. In an event like that, you need to know what is going on. Yesterday there were wild (ultimately untrue) rumors swirling around about terrorist attacks and all kinds of other nonsense.

    I think people rely way too much on their gadgets. When the power goes out, low tech is best.

  • #2
    2nd the emergency radio. My local public radio station (KQED in San Francisco) gives them out as a membership premium. Quite appropriate for earthquake country.

    I also have a phone that requires no power beyond what is on the public switched telephone network even though I use my mobile almost exclusively. The PSTN has good backup for these situations. I have the cheapest metered usage plan. The ringer is off since only telemarketers call it. But it's there just in case. $14/month including fees and taxes but I find it good peace of mind.

    Refreshing and organizing my emergency supplies was actually on my list of things to do this weekend. The earthquake and hurricane back east and the power outage reminded me I've been meaning to do it for awhile.

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    • #3
      I predict and population inflation in about.. oh.. say 9 months
      Karin


      Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

      What am I doing? Depends on the day.

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      • #4
        I need to stock up on candles!
        Positively Radical Pigeonholes are for Pigeons!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by athomeontherange View Post
          I predict and population inflation in about.. oh.. say 9 months
          LOL I was thinking the same thing. "Hmm...honey, the lights are out..." Queue the music - boomchicka...ba-waaa....

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          • #6
            sounds like Google must have used the blender while everything else was plugged in, blew a fuse. hate it when that happens.

            Google Energy Use: 2.26B kilowatt hours in 2010, enough for 200K homes
            Primal Chaos
            37yo 6'5"
            6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
            current 338lbs 49" waist
            goal 240lbs 35" waist

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            • #7
              Originally posted by HillsideGina View Post
              I need to stock up on candles!
              Not only that but know where your matches are. Thankfully the power went out here while it was still light enough to find and round up things like lamps, candles, batteries, flashlights (with dead batteries in them) etc. If it went out after dark you would really be fumbling around.

              Also a few of the water districts in San Diego county were under a notice to boil their water because the pumps weren't working and things were backing up. People, especially in dry country like this, need to be sure to have enough water stored.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by canio6 View Post
                LOL I was thinking the same thing. "Hmm...honey, the lights are out..." Queue the music - boomchicka...ba-waaa....
                Lots of June babies in Cali. How very romantic.
                Georgette

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                • #9
                  I didn't hear about it. We had a couple bad power outtages a few years ago that lasted a couple days each. One was when it was freezing outside & one when it was about 100 degrees. Great timing. Lots of fun with three little kids in the house. I wouldn't mind having one today. I don't feel like working.

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                  • #10
                    All the schools are off for the day today even though the power is back on. So most businesses are probably running at half staff because everybody all of a sudden has kids to deal with for the day. SoCal is having our version of a "Snow Day" today.

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                    • #11
                      This is why any house I own (not a homeowner yet at 23yo) will (a) rely only on passive solar methods for essential climate control functions, (b) have local power-generation and energy-storage capability, and (c) have substantial local water-storage capacity. This will be easy to achieve because I will never own a home that I have not designed myself and built with my own hands--hopefully assisted by several other pairs as well, of course.

                      But I'm a fairly unusual combination of a person raised by a general contractor, with a mechanical engineering degree, who also focused on renewable energy and sustainable design in my elective education. Most people don't have quite that skill set to put into their home-ownership.
                      Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

                      My Primal Journal

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                      • #12
                        For what it's worth, I'm in Connecticut and from Aug 28 until Sept 3, the majority of CT was without power. I work for a smal municipal utility company and while we lost power to 78% of our customers during the height of the storm, 99% of our customers were restored by Aug. 30. The larger, corporate power companies (CL&P and UI) took almost a week to get power restored to their customers and needed 100's of crews from out of state.

                        I agree preparedness is KEY! Even though we were forwarned about Hurricane Irene for days, people still complained that they lost power, food spoiled in their freezer (cause everyone rushed out to stock up BEFORE the storm) and the best yet, their cable didn't work when the power was restored. It's almost embarassing how unprepared and spoiled we have become as a society.
                        "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity"

                        Primal Journal *WinkBlu*

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                        • #13
                          Yep, all the phones except for my old fashioned plugged in landline with a cord were out including anything with a mobile handset and cell phones for a while. Cell towers run on electricity. My friend was talking about wanting to call someone but not having their number because his phone wan't working. I said, "I have the answer to that problem. It's called a phone book".

                          I would suggest that people not put their whole life into a smart phone or ipad no matter how cool those things may be. When the power goes out, they are paperweights.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WinkBlu View Post
                            The larger, corporate power companies (CL&P and UI) took almost a week to get power restored to their customers and needed 100's of crews from out of state.
                            I work for a major utility and that is standard procedure for other public utilities to send linemen to help in the restoration. In fact our lineman went to connecticut (we are in minnesota) to help. No matter how much a utility prepares it takes a while to repair all the infrastructure. They have to deal with generation, transmission lines, substations and distribution lines. A lot of legs to the utility chair.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Uncephalized View Post
                              This is why any house I own (not a homeowner yet at 23yo) will (a) rely only on passive solar methods for essential climate control functions, (b) have local power-generation and energy-storage capability, and (c) have substantial local water-storage capacity. This will be easy to achieve because I will never own a home that I have not designed myself and built with my own hands--hopefully assisted by several other pairs as well, of course.

                              But I'm a fairly unusual combination of a person raised by a general contractor, with a mechanical engineering degree, who also focused on renewable energy and sustainable design in my elective education. Most people don't have quite that skill set to put into their home-ownership.
                              While this sounds fantastic, building a new house, even a green one, means that you have to use a whole lot of new materials that aren't necessarily so green. In addition, new "sustainable" homes are usually built out in the country where there was no home previously, which increases the carbon footprint immediately. Recycling an old home is far more sustainable in most situations. My previous home was built in 1913 or so. While it required some updates, it was far less material than building new, and if I still lived there I would be installing solar heaters and panels as much as I could. I admire your plans, and have similar plans for myself someday, but I don't currently have the option of living in an area where I could do that.

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