General Question

john65pennington's avatar

If the electricity goes off at your house, are you prepared to be without it?

Asked by john65pennington (29187points) January 16th, 2011

Snow, ice, floods, and tornadoes can cause havoc with the electricity coming into your house. We were not prepared for the tornado that struck our city in 1998. Our electricity was non-existent for about a month. Food was ruined in the fridge and we went three days without a cup of coffee. We finally moved into a hotel for about three weeks. That was then. Now, we are prepared for the next attack from Mother Nature. Question: have you ever been in a situation where the electricity was off at your house? Were you prepared then? Are you prepared now? How?

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16 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

Where I am now is the first place I’ve had where the power doesn’t go off regularly. I’m so well prepared, I could go (and have gone) for a fairly long time without power. I have oil lamps, extra lamp oil, a wood stove, lots of wood, and I’m not dependant on power for water or cooking (gas range). It’s a bore, but nothing more. The longest I’ve been without is a week. My house filled up with refugees and we had a great time and played a lot of card and board games.

Coloma's avatar

Yes. Piece of cake.
I live in a rural mountain/foothill area where it is not unusual for the power to be out for several days at a time. The longest was one week some years ago.

I have candles and flashlights on hand, a battery powered lantern, have a rotary phone, ( often the phone lines will be down too. )

I have a gas ( propane ) stove that I can manuelly light the burners for making coffee and soups, canned foods.

I also have an electric starter on my heater sooo, lots of blankets are in order.

I do not have a woodstove at this time, but did for years.

It’s not too hard to manage.

Seelix's avatar

Not really. I have some candles, lots of blankets, and a plug-in (i.e. not cordless) phone, but that’s about it. Living smack in the middle of a huge city, I don’t anticipate the power ever going out for an extended period of time, though, so hopefully what happened in 2005 (I think) won’t happen again.

Oh, I should probably add that my building has generators that are tested on a monthly basis, and emergency lighting all over the place.

tedibear's avatar

We’re pretty prepared – as long as we can get gasoline. We have a generator that allows us to run the well, septic system, freezer, refrigerator and a few outlets. As well, we have a woodstove in the basement that we use as part of heating system in the winter anyway. Candles, a couple of oil lamps and a lantern can be used for whatever light we need. And I think there’s a camp stove somewhere… if not, that’s what the gas grill is for!

Seaofclouds's avatar

We are pretty well prepared. I don’t know how long we could really last as we’ve never had to go longer than a few hours so far (knock on wood), but I know we could go at least for a few days or so.

JLeslie's avatar

When I lived in FL yes. Living here in a cold climate I am not sure. If my gas central heating system works without electricity, then yes, I can do it. Otherwise, I need to buy a generator to kick on the heat. Without heat, I would be unable to stay in my house in the winter.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Yes, I have a generator for electricity. We are on gas and water from the utility. Also have sixty pounds of lump charcoal to cook on my BBQ. Generator will not run Air Conditioning ( North Carolina ) but will run fans, refrig and winter heat is gas (needs electric for switches, solenoids and thermostat). We have two weeks of can goods and my wife drinks soy milk in boxes, we have 10 of those.
Guess we are okay as long as the water and gas are not compromised and I can gasoline.

MissAusten's avatar

This time of year, no. Without power we’d have no heat. In every other way we’d be fine for at least a few days. We have plenty of water and food. Perishables could even be kept outside because it’s so cold. The lack of heat, however, would send us packing to a relative’s house or a hotel.

Other times of year, we’d be fine for a while.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Absolutely.
I have a generator for electricity with at least 20 gallons of gasoline (sometimes as much as 50)
Two wood burning stoves with at least 2 years of wood cut and stacked
Food and water
10 gallons of kerosene for lanterns and space heaters,
and more candles than the Sistine Chapel.
—Bring it on!

LuckyGuy's avatar

For those of you who need power to run your gas fired heating systems consider the purchase of a deep cycle battery and a 500W inverter. (Or a combined unit made by Delphi)
Check the specs on your unit. That will give you enough power to run your heating plant full on for a few hours. You might only need it for an hour a day so you can last about a week comfortably.

gailcalled's avatar

Not if but when. Loss of power (occasionally for five days in the dead of winter) is part of life here, like hauling stuff to the dump and having a compost heap.

Wood burning stove with a cord of wood, kindling and paper on hand.

Candles, flashlight and the miraculous miner’s lamp that frees up your hands.

Bathtub filled with water for flushing toilets (on septic system) and sponge bathing. Stock pots with water in them.

Gas burners for quick and dirty cooking.

Canned and dried goods that can be eaten out of hand.

Corded phone. (Crappy cell phone for backup)

Crank portable radio and a stash of AA batteries.

A town that responds to this crisis. The last time we had no power for several days in winter, the fire department distributed daily allotments of bottled water and dry ice for refrigerator and freezer./

Not fun but doable and a good reminder of just how lucky we are.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It hasn’t been off for more than a day.I don’t mind roughing it though and could handle alot more than one day of it.
We have a gas powered generator,candles,non-perishable food,shoes and handbag to match.;)

beccalynnx's avatar

Ditto, JilltheTooth. During even the smallest storm, the power would go off for four hours on average. Sometimes it’d be a couple of days, sometimes only half an hour. neverthe less, i’m always pretty well prepared. I keep plenty of canned and fresh-packaged food around. Always have oil lamps and candles, blankets, jugged water. small woodstove. won’t heat the whole house or anything, but a room or two at least. And those shakey or wind-up rechargable flashlights. My laptop is always charged and plugged in, on battery i’d have a good three hours worth. of course same with cell phone – 4 days with minimal use. I’m pretty used to losing power.

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downtide's avatar

No. We have candles, and means for cooking, but no way to heat the house without electricity. In the winter it would soon become uninhabitable.

flutherother's avatar

No, we are all electric and have a few candles but that is it. When I lived on the Gulf Coast we were better prepared as following a hurricane we would likely have been without power for days. We had some ex army MRE rations, a wind up torch and radio but never had to use them.

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