does losing electricity scare you?
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  1. #1

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    Default does losing electricity scare you?

    I'd love to visit north america to experience a "real" winter. I've lived in europe but I want the kind of snowfall that covers roads entirely and keeps you indoors for days at a time. Brrrr. Nice cup of tea and a warm fire is what I crave during the cold weather.

    I was thinking about your heating requirements when I read the winter preparedness thread and I was wondering :
    a) if you have a backup heating plan if your electricity goes out;
    b) does your electricity go out often, particularly in winter?
    c) how much firewood do you use in a 24 hour period if you rely on wood heating?

  2. #2
    Registered User SewCrafty's Avatar
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    First of all, yes our power goes out a lot! No I'm not afraid at all. When it goes out, we not only have no lights or heat, but no water either. We have a well which is run by electricity.

    To answer your questions:

    a) if you have a backup heating plan if your electricity goes out;

    yes we have 2 kerosene heaters


    b) does your electricity go out often, particularly in winter?

    Anytime around here, it went out 2 days ago for about an hour or so in the morning. We never know why.


    c) how much firewood do you use in a 24 hour period if you rely on wood heating?

    Someone else will have to answer this one.

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    Our power goes out periodically as well, but not usually for long. We had a period a last year where the power was out for 28 hours, but mostly we're out for just 2-4 hours at time.

    We have propane heat and cooking, and we have a woodstove in the summer kitchen if we absolutely was going to be without power for an extended time.

    We have oil lamps, flashlights, hand powered flashlights and radios. . . .

    I'm not afraid for the power to go out (went without power for weeks in 1978 after a major ice storm), but we plan well every year JUST IN CASE.

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    Registered User Missy's Avatar
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    we lose power now and then. I'm not worried. We have excellent insulation and have the option of our fireplace. Though we've never used it. Even once. The longest we've been with out power was during the blizzard of Oct 97. I tell ya that one was bad. no power, living in mil's house. nothing to do but look at each other for hours on end. There's only so much lookin at your inlaws you can do before you concider hitching up their dogs to a sled to flee.

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    LOL!! That's not a good image - you sitting staring at the inlaws and then snapping and escaping with the help of their dogs.

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    LOL Missy, I would too!

    Our longest without power was a couple of years ago. Bad snowstorm, I'n not sure but I think we were without power for 4 days.

    I'm really gald we don't have children when that happens. For just Jack and I, it isn't a big deal. We have a propane stove so I can still cook and warm the kitchen if need be. We always have water on hand and the kerosene heaters warm things up nicely. You just have to remember with kero heaters to put them in a well ventilated area and NEVER leave unattended! We turn them off at night and just put extra blankets/comforters on the bed.

    I really wish we had a fireplace or pellet stove, but alas there isn't anywhere to put either one in this house.

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    When we were without power for weeks, we played lots of board games, sang around the piano with a guitar, knitted and crocheted (even the guys got involved in this), read lots of books. I was disappointed when the power came back on-- we had gotten used to the oil lamps and slower pace.

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    Power outages happen pretty frequently here. They are not to big a cause for concern to me. Usually its only off for an hour or so. The longest since we have lived here has been about 3hrs.

    We have a fireplace but dont' use it much. The woodpile is dwindling since dh likes to do bonfires in the backyard in the summer.

    I don't have a woodstove here, but I grew up with one. We got rid of it when I was pretty young. I liked it, but my parents didn't use it much. I think it was dirty? I know hmsclmom has a pellet stove, maybe she has more info....

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    We do get frequent power outages but not just in the winter. They don't usually last for long and our biggest concern in the sump pump in our basement which pumps out the water from under the floor. We have a small backup battery to deal with that.

    Up until a year ago losing electricity was my biggest fear because DS#1 (Josh) relied on medical equipment that runs on electricity. During the Ice Storm of '98 we were without power for 10 days. Because of Josh's medical problems and some serious environmental allergies the whole family was evacuated to a special shelter after 4 days. The military had tried to hook up a generator for us but it was defective and almost set our house on fire!

    Since then we have had one other major blackout but it was in the summer and we only lost power for a few hours compared to days for others.

    Our goal since then has been to try and become a little bit more energy self sufficient and we had planned to buy a generator, put in a new fireplace insert (our fireplace loses more heat that it generates) and get a gas stove. But that costs money and with both of losing jobs just after that (unemployed for a year) it has not happened yet.

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    We do get power outages but not for long periods of time. It is a major concern though because we heat by natural gas, but need power to keep the fan going which blows the heat. With 3 special needs kids, we would be able too go long w/o heat.

    We do have a generator, but I'm not sure how long it would last as its an older one and a small one. We also have a natural gas fireplace in the basement which we could use if we were desperate.

    We have -40C weather often with high winds but were fortunate in that we don't have long delays of power outages. So far so good.

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    We have kerosene heaters and and oil filled heater if the power goes out. DH works for the power company so we get hooked back up fairly soon.

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    The power goes out here often too. It tends to be more in the summer though. We heat with propane and although we heat with it the heater itself needs electric to run. We do have a wood stove we got last year and use it for most of the heating in the house when we are home. Our well needs electric to pump water so we would need to get bottled for that. We are 7 1/2 miles from the nearest town and I like that, but at times it has its drawbacks. That would be one of them.

  14. #13

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    We hardly EVER lose power where I live. Of course the Midwest blackout last summer brought EVERYONE to a screeching halt. Lack of preparation.
    We have a kerosense heater for backup heat, a provision of water and food.

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    We put in a hand pump as well as an electic pump on our well - power goes out way to frequently in Colorado and Bennet will never be a top priority. WE use kerosene heaters and have a generator. But the kids and I really like candle light - we've been doing lights out - Laura Ingalls nights since they were real little and Bruce loves old time radio that we pick up with our little battery operated and listen to the old shows and misteries.

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    Well, I wouldn't say we lost electricity quite frequently, but we do lose it somewhat often in the winter. In fact, we lost our the other day. Good thing I had batteries for backup in the alarm clock!!

    We do not have any backup heating if it goes out.
    We also run on a well and if the electricity goes out we lose everything, heat, lights (obviously), water & cooking.

    So, I just light a bunch of candle for light & put on a battery operated radio. And we all just sit around the living room talking.

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