Power outage

I remember that, when I was a kid, we still had the occasional power outage now and then, during thunderstorms for example. Now the grid has become so stable that I can only remember two power outages during the last two decades or so. The last one was during winter, and boy was I glad to have my wood burner, my head lamp and a battery powered radio! It’s good to be prepared!

It’s funny, but when it comes to the subject of preparedness, people always seem to consider extreme scenarios, in particular the “end of the world”. Then they seem to split into two camps: Those who want to prepare for a “Mad Max” doom scenario and those who say “well, if it’s the end of the world, what’s the use of preparing” and don’t prepare at all.

I’m certainly not prepared for Armageddon. But I think a middle ground approach is the most reasonable one, i.e. in my opinion, food and water for a couple of weeks and some way to stay warm. Oh, and, most importantly, good relations to your neighbors and friends.

Where do you fall on the preparedness-continuum? Do you have your own chickens and have achieved complete autarky? Or do you rely solely on your credit card and don’t think anything bad will happen?

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12 comments on “Power outage
  1. Rick Westerman says:

    Have own chickens (and goats) plus can/freeze a lot of the veggies I grow. That said I am dependent on the power grid. I could burn wood for heat and propane for fuel but the supplies of those are limited. So … middle ground in the middle of the USA.

  2. JP Kalishek says:

    I used to live on a Co-Op power grid and my power only went out once in 8 years when lightening hit a transformer, and it was a type they did not have on hand so one was brought in from a few miles away.
    Now I’m on close to the same grid, but it is handled by TXU/Oncor so I have to shop out for the best rates, and when the power goes out (3 times in 3 years) it takes a bit for them to flip a switch and feed us from the Co-Op grid though they are getting faster at showing up like when my neighbors transformer blew up (fire in a field nearby caused a surge or short)

    The power was bad and blinking Saturday night, then finally went out for about an hour.
    The property next door to me is on Co-Op, wish I was

  3. bernd says:

    I’m a totally dependent child of civilisation. In a prolonged blackout we’d really have problems. We don’t have food for more than a couple of days (it’s hard to store more for a family of five), and we wouldn’t have heating, either. (It’s a gas-fired central heating, but it’s electrically ignited.

    But the time between the last two power outages was almost 2 years, I can usually tell from the uptime of our servers; they are generally not shut down or rebooted unless absolutely necessary.

  4. Jan Olieslagers says:

    Can’t help wondering how many trades are coffee-addicted. I have long believed it was limited to my own IT trade (where coffee addiction is indeed widespread, and grave) but have since learned that accountants are in the same boat. But aviators? Yes I had one instructor who wouldn’t take off before having partaken, but round here most recreational pilots seem quite free of (visible) addictions.

  5. Jan Olieslagers says:

    As for a general power outlet: I happen to live in a part of the world with benign weather – which makes total panic set in if more than 4″ of snow cover the earth – so no, I don’t bother too much. Then, I was trained to endure some hardship in my young days – I can’t help thinking today’s youngsters will have a hard time enduring an extended break-up of electrical power, or company water, or even distributed tellyvision or www access.

  6. mike says:

    I am often shocked how little people are prepared for even one simple thing going wrong. I know folks who don’t have a day worth of water or other liquids at the house, not a single flashlight, food, or cash. Last fire season I watched a guy who had to give his bagel and coffee back to the store because the credit card machine wasn’t working and he didn’t have 2 bucks in cash on him.
    I can almost see this behavior in the center of Europe were everything works most of the time and you don’t have very many massive disasters occurring. But in the States, and especially in certain States with earthquakes, wildfire, Katrina, tornadoes, and a crumbling infrastructure it amazes me.
    Every time the power goes out in my neighborhood I have my neighbors knocking at my door borrowing a flashlight. The first time I can see maybe but the second time?

    I am no prepper by any stretch of the imagination but I sleep better knowing I can make it three days without help. That’s what I am assuming it would take rescue to get to you, as seen with Katrina…

    All that being said . . . NOTHING moves in aviation without coffee!
    Especially not in Greece where I worked last year. I think we had three hot coffee and at least one frappe before lunch 😉

  7. Scott says:

    Yup, Coffee, America’s favorite Mind Altering Substance.

    Drugs in a cup. Legal too. No drugs in a cup? No work dude.

    Stuff was herder to quit, when I did for a while, the cigarettes. At least the Cigs stayed gone.

  8. bernd says:

    Jan Olieslagers, Scott: the good thing about coffee addition, compared to alcohol or tobacco, is that unless it’s really extreme, there are generally no long-term health issues. And from mild addition, the only withdrawel symptoms are usually two weeks of tiredness. Been there, done that. But came back, although I usually limit myself to 2 to 3 cups per day. Almost always with copious amounts of frothed milk, no sugar. I don’t drink coffee directly before flying, because I need to go to the bathroom soon after, and I’d like to do without a range extender if I can.

  9. Nick Raptis says:

    Exactly Mike. That’s why we love frappes. There is ALWAYS a way to make some coffee even if apocalypse comes down upon us 😀 And there’s a portable gas cooker in every house exactly for making hot coffee. Greeks are prepared!

    Don’t tell me Julio doesn’t have a pen blow torch to heat some water. They are just giving up 😛

  10. kkrummy says:

    We lost our power during a huge ice storm a few years back. It was out for five days. On the second day I bought a generator and had TV, Heat, Refrigerator, computer and lights. Neighbors were jealous. Most outages since then have been less than 4 hours. If you have lots of neighbors, you can always do what the Donner party did for food.. YECH!

  11. Fbs says:

    Hum, maybe Chuck worked for air America because in this movie they do about just everything you’re not supposed to to fly safely and professionally
    They probably did 200hours that way, at least for the ones that survived that long…maybe with some local coca cola 🙂 to replace coffee

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