Monday, December 23, 2013

Nothing at All...

Over the weekend NW Vermont had a wonderful ice storm. The news was reporting that it was worse than the 1998 ice storm. One of the electric co-ops actually requested the Red Cross to open a couple of shelters. During the early morning hours on Sunday I was was what looked like lightening, but it turns out that the transformers were popping and trees shorting out power lines were the cause.
The weather was funny. Raining and freezing as it hit. Overcast, foggy skies. I cleaned off a two inch blanket of ice of the cars. Trees are popping and snapping leaving one heck of a mess. Sunday appears was the worse day at the moment in the this storm. Still have the branches loaded with ice and it is going to get a colder. More snapping with limbs and trees coming down soon enough. We were without power most of Sunday until late evening. No TV, no internet, I live in an area where cell phone coverage is generally not available for the carrier I use.

What did I do and what did I learn?

Nothing beats a quiet day with the wife and Christmas music playing on the radio...

Heat - I used a small indoor propane heater called or made by Mr. Heater. Has two ceramic waffle plates that heat up a small room nicely. When I bought the heater I bought the extension hose that connects to a grill tank. Normally the heater will use two Coleman fuel lantern tanks. The wife was happy about being toasty warm. No smells or fuss.

Food & Water - Well, what can be said about this. I suppose that people should exercise a bit of common sense here. Having a supply of food and water to go for a week or more is a given. If you don't I would give some thought to it. No issues with hydrating or eating.

Communications - I have a small portable radio that I listened to local news, music, and shortwave. My scanner radios were working as well as my 2M/440 radio. Used FRS radios to update and keep in touch with the neighbors. The one radio I was not going to use is the HF rig. I need to work out the DC power for that. I have car battery that I trickle charge that I connect to my DC distribution panel. It is not a deep cycle battery so I don't get to carried away when it is hooked up.

Lighting - I have purchased some 12VDC LED reading lights from Amazon. Very bright and useful. I plan to get several more as they draw .020 amps DC. The battery will last forever with lamps like this. For wandering around we have some LED flashlights. No worries with lighting.

Power - As mentioned above I have a auto battery for the radios and a couple of lights. Total draw with radio receiving and LED RV Lamp was four (4) amps. Also, cranked up the generator long enough to recharge the battery.

What do I want or rather what does the wife want? What do I need to do to provide the wants?
TV and internet. Working out the details for these two. Got pieces & parts on order.

Stay Tuned....