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Old 11-23-2013, 07:17 PM   #1
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Default Preparing for winter storms

OK, at our house we are preparing for hard times, be they tornado, economic issues, what ever.

I was watching the Weather Channel about this big winter storm that's heading eastward across the US. The programming was interrupted by an insurance commercial in which the hero gets a car unstuck from snow using kitty litter.



Hmm? This got me thinking, what besides my usual "camping stuff that doubles as emergency equipment" do I/we need to stock up on in preparation for the coming winter storms?

I guess the first thing might be some kitty litter. Maybe some driveway salt. Here in Atlanta we get that black ice that no one, I mean no one, can drive on. At least with this I can get to the end of the drive way.

What else might be a good thing?
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:40 PM   #2
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Tire chains? Old Grand-Dad?

It would be good to have several days' supply of easily prepared food, drinking water, and toilet paper, for use if you can't get out for a time. Be ready to help neighbors survive, the ones with kids especially. A propane stove and many little bottles of propane, too, unless they're already in your rig. Make sure the generator in the rig runs; you can live in the rig for an extended time if everything is there and the stove, generator, and furnace are ready.

Tools, for helping the neighbors. You won't need them yourself, 'cuz you did all your testing and fixing ahead of the storms; but neighbors are usually dolts.

Crossword puzzles and pens; use of pencils is cheating. Jigsaw puzzles?

Ammunition, because some of your neighbors may not stay nice when cold and hungry. If the storms really get bad, be able to repel looters. After every bad hurricane in Florida, there are looters -- some seeking food & water, some seeking TV sets and jewelry, but all wanting to take it all instead of sharing.

Medicines, if you must take them daily as I do.

To all this, add a little bit of luck.

What did I leave out? Probably lots.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:56 AM   #3
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Yeah I have all that between my prepardedness stash and my camping stuff. Generally not too much looting in Georgia during a winter storm since the bad guys are stuck just as much as the rest of us. I guess if you live in an aparment or other urban/close in environment that might be a problem.

People do tend to burn down their houses in winter storms, usually by the use of candles. Also they have carbon-monoxide issues with kerosene heaters and trying to cook on their camp stoves indoors.

I'm trying to figure out what problems the winter storm presents that is different from any other emergency situation, such as getting stuck in your own driveway.

Blowing a little WD-40 in your car door locks keeps them from freezing you out of your car. Happened to me once.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:40 AM   #4
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Generator full of gas, snow mobile full of gas (transport during bad storms) plenty of fire wood in the wood box 4X4 full of gas and a 18 pack of beer. Up here the plow trucks have had lot of experience dealing with snow we never have had issues where we could not get around. Every once in a really great while they officially close some roads then it's fair game for the snow mobiles till they get it plowed. Around here if you can't get out you can't loot snow shoes are far too much work for thieves.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:58 AM   #5
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Don't forget to spray the car / truck door gaskets with WD-40, PAM, or coat them with "VASELINE" before a cold or freezing rain / snow.
In the Northern regions, a block heater is often a good thing.
Add gas stabilizer to seldom run engines fule tank's / storage cans and / or "HEAT" to keep moisture at bay.
Camping Candle's / Candle lanterns are a good thing to have around as well as "Coleman" gasoline type lanterns (light and heat for small area's) just don't forget to "VENT" the area a bit .
At least a 3 day supply of easily prepared food and water for your self and your pet's is also a very good idea.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
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I'm trying to figure out what problems the winter storm presents that is different from any other emergency
Well, for one thing, it's cold when winter storms occur. Hurricanes, at least, usually hit in summer.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:45 AM   #7
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Oh, yeah, concrete blocks for opening cans of soup.
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:23 PM   #8
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Hmmm, stuck in the house on a cold day with no power.

Besides a perculator, one of those stove top expresso machines might not be a bad idea.
And really big LP tank for the camper.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:54 PM   #9
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Well, for one thing, it's cold when winter storms occur. Hurricanes, at least, usually hit in summer.
Give me a blizzard any day you guys can have the hurricanes, I can have fun in the snow but don't think I would in a hurricane.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:18 PM   #10
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Well, long azgo when I was a teenager in Miami and Eisenhower was President -- back then, Miami was an American city -- when we had hurricanes we boarded up and had hurricane parties. Every house was equipped with plywood boards for the windows. Each window had a screw sticking out at each corner, and in the garage were stored plywood sheets with matching holes for those screws. Stick the boards up, add flat washers and wingnuts, and party.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:40 AM   #11
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If you have a motor home make sure the fuel tank is full of stabilized fuel, This should last you at least 2-4 days on Generator full time, a week if you part time the genny. Make sure the Propane tank is also full and you have an Extend-a-stay type device and a portable tank full as well.

On my house, when I had one, I installed a generator transfer panel and put selected loads on the E-power board. (Emergency) These loads included the kitchen (Fridge, Freezer, Microwave) Computers, Televisions and the furnace. Air conditioning (Which was 240 volt) I can live without and we cooked, and heated water with Gas, And selected lights. I LEFT one KEY light, which we rarley used, on the main panel (more on that later) An INLET on the back of the house and a custom OUTLET in the motor home and a custom made extension cord let me power the house from teh MH when, not if, Detroit Edison failed.

The light.. The house had a hall, about six feet long, the light was in the hall, since spill over light from the rooms off the hall provided all the light we needed there we almost never turned it on.

But in a power fail I would turn it on

Then when the light, lit... I'd switch back to mains.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:40 AM   #12
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If you have a motor home make sure the fuel tank is full of stabilized fuel, This should last you at least 2-4 days on Generator full time
My motor home's generator (7.5kw) runs on propane. My tank holds about 120 pounds (28 gal) of propane, good for about three days of constant heavy generator use (air conditioning in 100 degree WX), or a week or two of light use. When I have shore power, my propane is used only for cooking and for the water heater, and lasts four or five months typically. But I never let it run empty.

Your key light is a good idea. When I was in a stick house I had a very nice Onan JC 12.5kw generator that would run the whole (small) house including A/C, and I designed and built an automatic controller that started it when the mains power went out, and stopped it when it returned. It also exercised the generator once a week. Worked well. That JC would also run on natural gas, but I had no natural gas service at the stick house, so I ran it from a moderate-sized propane tank. Two tanks, actually, with an automatic-changeover regulator from Camping World. That way I could change tanks without stopping the generator. Sold all that when I dumped the stick house. Should have kept the controller and adapted it to the MH. Ah, well.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:27 AM   #13
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HOuse: Install a proper generator transfer switch, Hook necessary systems up to it, this includes the Refrigerator, Freezer, furnace, Radio/Televison/Computers, Microwae and selected lights (not all of them, leave a few on the main panel only) You will need a gas cookstove as portable generators big enough to power an electric range are expensive.

(A dual burner Coleman propane may work)

Motor home, Add an outlet to power the house, make sure the fuel tank is full and with STABILIZED fuel, if Diesel add anti-gel as well.

Trailer you need a supply of Stabilized gasoline (Seafoam?) and do not forget the monthly generator test/exercise.

WATER,, I would keep 10 or 20 gallons INSIDE the RV in storage containers (It is ok if it freezes provided the storage containers are the kind that do not mind freezing).

This is about the best it gets. IT is how I had my house set up for winter as well.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
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HOuse: Install a proper generator transfer switch
It would be almost impossible to exaggerate the importance of this. You can't use just any old relay; it MUST be a UL-approved transfer device, whether a manual switch or a big relay like the one I used, which came from a Generac auto controller whose electronics had died. Without a proper transfer device you risk killing the power-company guys who are out trying to restore power to the neighborhood, and you risk burning your house down while simultaneously voiding your insurance.
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:14 PM   #15
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If you have a Square D panel box they make a manual interlock for the breaker box that makes it impossible to turn on the generator breaker with out turning off the mains. You can select what you can power by turning off breakers that the generator won't run. I my case the only high demand breaker I leave on is for the water pump the range, dryer and big stuff gets turned off that gives me all my lights, TV, computer, furnace, fridge etc. My 6KW Honda does a good job of powering most of the house.
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Old 12-04-2013, 03:40 PM   #16
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Well, winter storms are now so destructive the Weather Service has taken to naming them like they do hurricanes. Here in the south we have to call them "The great blizzard of 1996" or whenever it was.

It's hard to remember. Or was it 1993? Anyway, now we have names to remember them by, like Camile and Betty that I still recall from childhood.

And here comes "Cleon" which will bring sustained snow and temperatures in the single digits until next Tuesday throughout much of the U.S.

For discussion...are you ready?
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:29 PM   #17
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Some one told me there was no such thing as climate change so far I can't say I believe them.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:20 PM   #18
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Default Naming Storms

The NWS does not name winter storms, nor do they name hurricanes. The Weather Channel has started naming storms to promote in interest in their programming. Although Superstorm Sandy caught on through the media, the official name of the storm was Hurricane Sandy. Winter storm Cleon is not an official name, but a creation of the Weather Channel.

The World Meteorological Organization maintains the list of Hurricane names, which are assigned sequentially. If a name is retired, it is replaced with a name for the next season.

Not matter what you call it, you need to be prepared for severe weather throughout the year. As a past emergency coordinator, my family road out the storms at home, while I rode them out in the EOC. We always have plenty of supplies and a plan for each type of severe weather event.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:35 PM   #19
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And with that we welcome K4PYR to ORR.net.

So it's not the NWS that picks out the names? Hmm. Well, that explains why I never met a typhoon with a name that I could pronounce.

In any case it's good to have a fact checker on board, as the admin here has been senile for quite awhile.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:48 AM   #20
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I had a professional upgrade the electrical service in my house and as part of the upgrade we added a proper Generator transfer panel and power inlet.

I modified the motor home to provide 2x 120 volts at 30 amps (NOTE this is not the same as 120/240 volt, it was 2 120 volt lines)

And that meant I had heat, light and refrigeration, I had communicaitons (Computer, readio, 2-way radio, television) and so on when the power company failed to provide.

I did.. Fill up ye old tank (Fuel tank) and add stablizer before parking.

Worked out real nice

Mod to motor home $$
Cord from MH to house $$$
Electrical upgrade on house $$$$
Warm wife..... Priceless.
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