Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

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Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by angelofwar » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:34 pm

Welp, power is back on after 27 hours. I felt like a kid at Christmas, finally being able to use my stuff!

So, what lessons did I learn?

-Have enough and the RIGHT extension cords for your genny. I had one 100' cord, and a shorter 8 foot,,,they were fine for minimal applications, but I picked up a few more,and heavier duty ones from Lowes, and it helped tons!

-Genny: GET ONE! Heat? Check. Entertainment for the kiddos? Check. Light? Check. Electric Griddle in case the propane runs out? Check. Charging Batteries? CHeck. Scanner? Check!

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-Powering too much runs the gas down faster...rotate high energy items.I plugged the fridge in for an hour an then unplugged it and switched to the deep freezer. This saved on gas consumption rates.

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-Fuel...get yer fuel BEFORE the storm hits...I had 5 gallons,so we were good the first night, but luckily I was able to go out the next day and get some more. I got 5 gallons of 87, and then went back out,the 87 was gone, so I grabbed 10 gallons of 89. Tried to swap out the propane cylinders, but all of them had been swapped, and the delivery truck wasn't coming.

-Gas water-heater: You can reasonably make due with everything with a genny...except hot water! Luckily our hot water heater is natural gas, so we had hot water...great morale booster.

-I have TOO MUCH POWER!!! Maybe...Once the genny was fired up, I found little use for my plethora of RC batteries...but I'm not counting them out yet...had I not been able to get gas for the genny, I would have tapped into them hardcore!

110v LED Light, originally powered by my power pack, now powered by the genny, provided plenty of light in the living room
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-Fuel stores: Propane Rules!!!Gas has limited storage life,compared to propane. All though my propane stores were low due to the number of camping trips I've been on as of late, propane holds much longer than gas. At least with propane I would have had heat and hot food! Propane can do much more than other fuels. Pick up a catyllic heater in the summer when they're on sale.

I'll add a few more "lessons learned", but just wanted to get this out there for those that may deal with the next storm...
Last edited by angelofwar on Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by mattdcknsn » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:57 pm

you live and learn.

I would think the deep freeze would last for a day or so without power (depends on how stocked it is) but from what I know freezers work best when full.

I like propane as well. Depending on what your using you can look at adapters so that some items that use small canisters can use the larger ones.

Otherwise you made it, and you learned from it.
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by angelofwar » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:12 pm

mattdcknsn wrote:you live and learn.

I would think the deep freeze would last for a day or so without power (depends on how stocked it is) but from what I know freezers work best when full.

I like propane as well. Depending on what your using you can look at adapters so that some items that use small canisters can use the larger ones.

Otherwise you made it, and you learned from it.
Ditto matt...I could have left the deep freezer off (or taken the stuff outside). Had I known it was going to be longer...I did keep a good tab on the weather and had a good idea of when it was going to"get better".

Another lesson learned...PRIDE...it does zero for you in a survival situation. My mother in law had a "falling out" with the wife...she let her pride get the best of her, and decided to stay in her non-heated "apartment-ette"...mean while, we were eating hot food, had light, and heat. Had this been long term, her pride would have killed her...
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by Mikeyboy » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:11 am

While I am just north of the Mason Dixon line (I actually can walk to it from my house) These last two storms have kicked my ass, so I know you "usually" warm weather folks down south have got to be hurting. Last week in Southeast PA half a million people lost power. At home I was fine, but work was out for a day. At least half of my friends and family lost power for 1 to 4 days. I took in my sister and her family on day two. On a side note with prepping, while you should prep to CYA if the power goes out in your home, also prep to take on extra house guest in case the SHTF with your friends and family and your home is fine.

Yesterday we got a 14" dump of snow and icy rain. I'm sick of it, and can't wait until spring.

Meanwhile when things settle down and the scalper prices fade away, I'm going to buy a generator. Also in speaking with someone who had to use one, those small electric space heaters works wonders if you don't have enough juice to run the blower on your regular home heater.

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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by mattdcknsn » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:49 pm

I understand the "pride" thing. Sister in law who lives close by decided to stay in her apt downtown. She worried constantly about power loss and food. :) no matter how many times we tell her she just wont get something extra.

The offical count by us is 16 inches then wet freezing rain than a dusting. My knees are aching and my back is sore. While we didnt lose power that is a definite looking into this spring/summer. Like Mikeyboy said, once the price gouging goes down. For emergency heat we have a Mr Heater Buddy heater. It should be enough for room just in case.
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by Belair56 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:39 pm

How about next time with regards to the generator, a twist lock connector wired into the electrical panel box?? Just my 2cents....Ice storms suck.......

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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by aikorob » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:14 pm

Belair56 wrote:How about next time with regards to the generator, a twist lock connector wired into the electrical panel box?? Just my 2cents....Ice storms suck.......
Doing this without a transfer switch is HIGHLY ILLEAGAL---pole transformers work both ways. If you put 110VAC into your panel box, without a switch IT WILL BACKFEED!!! After going through the transformer, the voltage can be stepped up to several thousand volts. The line crew working on the lines 2 miles up the road will be thinking they are working on dead wires-----you WILL kill somebody.

Safely---
Go to your breaker box
Turn off main breaker
remove cover
remove wires from the breaker controlling the circuit you want to run
wire plug on the end of these wires
plug into generator
enjoy power, and bask in the satisfaction that you were prepared :clap:

Back to our regulary scheduled topic:
I am near ATL, so by late on day 2, roads were passable. Any open stores looked like locust swarm had hit. Coming so close to the cluster f*%k a few weeks ago, more people at least stocked a little
Wins--had generator---did the direct wire method to get furnace blower and small appliances
had plenty of bottled water
had plenty of soups and canned meals
Fails--did not have plug and wire to run well pump--no shower for 3 days
genny tank was full, but no spare gas. This didn't really matter since I only ran it a couple of hours morning and evening
could not find candles--still in boxes somewhere from move
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by Old_Man » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:42 pm

I had an epic fail. I was caught in Philly trying to get back home (Jax) after having to quickly head north for an unexpected funeral. Plan was up and back in 24 hrs to beat the storm. My son, headed to Atl, had his flight cancelled but the airline put him on a flight to Orlando ( no biggy only 2 hrs from Jax wait for the storm to pass and then catch a hop to ATL). I go to his gate to say goodbye only to have the agent tell us he cannot board since they forgot to change the ticket ( vs boarding pass) to show Orlando. Help desk is outside of security. I miss my flight out trying to un-SNAFU my son's situation. Wife and other kids go without me...as does everything except what is on my back and in my pockets ( suit from funeral, wallet cellphone). Flood of people trying to get out of dodge causes all airline counters to crap themselves... We are stranded.
I realize I literally have nothing with a rather large storm running up the coast at me....TARFU. I had a few rudimentary 'survival' items in my carry on bag ( compass, fire starter, flashlight, P-cord, 1st aid items).. But that was it due obviously to arpt security and we only took carry on. So I realized I seriously screwed myself and needed to come up with a better set up for carryon only situation....and make sure it was always with me as well as everyone have the same. The more I thought about what the set up would be... The more trouble I had coming up with something viable. Largest issue of course is lack of any blade, knife, axe etc..

Ideas? I rarely fly...but I need to be better prepared.

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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by kmcdon3960 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:06 pm

I am a utility worker and I'm here in a town at the bottom of South Carolina. I drove here, from north of the mason dixon line, to do storm damage restoration for telecommunications.

I have never, ever seen anything like this before. This storm was on Wedensday, I'm still here, and I'm scheduled to stay until saturday. This morning I was told there were still almost 11,000 without power still and my crew still has almost 3k service lines down (that we know about.) The hotel I am staying in is full of storm refugees, along with every single hotel in town. There are hundereds of tree limbs down on every block, and I don't think they're getting cleaned up any time soon.

Most people seem to be in good spirits which is good. Everyone here says it's the worst thing they've ever seen in their lives.

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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by duodecima » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:18 pm

mattdcknsn wrote:you live and learn.

I would think the deep freeze would last for a day or so without power (depends on how stocked it is) but from what I know freezers work best when full.
Mine took 5 to defrost itself to fridge temp. :? Freezer broke the day before we went on vacation, didn't realize until the day after we got back, so it was unopened(+) in a basement(+) in July(-). :gonk: I imagine it would have been still frozen on the second day, and that my larger chunks of meat (3 lb roasts) and the things at the bottom would have remained frozen the longest. I learned that it takes 5 days of regular life (power, stores, everything) to can about 1/2 of what was in there, (http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 2#p2425965" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) and that I should just can this stuff to begin with, and keep less food and more ice in the freezer.

Hope everyone is doing well!
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by angelofwar » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:21 pm

Good stories guys (both good/bad...no ugly..yet...). A lesson learned, keep some of the gas on-hand, and write the date on the outside of the can (with a grease pencil, etc.). If nothing happens in 6-8 months, put it in yer car, and just refill the cans. But, those 6-8 months, you not only have emrgency genny gas, but emergency vehicle gas as well. I keep 10 gallons, which is almost a full tank/300 miles for me.

My neighbor told me you can plug the genny into the dryer port, turn off all the breakers off except the dryer, and it will feed the whole house (watching wattage use of course)...of course, this burns through more gas.
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by Armor76 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:01 pm

angelofwar wrote:Good stories guys (both good/bad...no ugly..yet...). A lesson learned, keep some of the gas on-hand, and write the date on the outside of the can (with a grease pencil, etc.). If nothing happens in 6-8 months, put it in yer car, and just refill the cans. But, those 6-8 months, you not only have emrgency genny gas, but emergency vehicle gas as well. I keep 10 gallons, which is almost a full tank/300 miles for me.

My neighbor told me you can plug the genny into the dryer port, turn off all the breakers off except the dryer, and it will feed the whole house (watching wattage use of course)...of course, this burns through more gas.
That's called back feeding. It's illegal and potentially lethal for linemen working on the power lines. Have a transfer switch installed in your house(for a couple hundred bucks) and you can power the house with the genny legally and safely. :D
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by RickOShea » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:59 pm

kmcdon3960 wrote:I am a utility worker and I'm here in a town at the bottom of South Carolina. I drove here, from north of the mason dixon line, to do storm damage restoration for telecommunications.

I have never, ever seen anything like this before. This storm was on Wedensday, I'm still here, and I'm scheduled to stay until saturday. This morning I was told there were still almost 11,000 without power still and my crew still has almost 3k service lines down (that we know about.) The hotel I am staying in is full of storm refugees, along with every single hotel in town. There are hundereds of tree limbs down on every block, and I don't think they're getting cleaned up any time soon.

Most people seem to be in good spirits which is good. Everyone here says it's the worst thing they've ever seen in their lives.
Some of my guys spent three weeks in western Kentucky back during the '09 ice storm. As soon as they got one span of conductor pulled back up and spliced, and started slacking-off the hot hoist, the powerline would break and hit the ground two or three spans further down.

Bad thing about climbing power poles coated in ice: you really got stick those gaffs.......Good thing about climbing poles coated with ice: if you cut-out you don't get a chest full of splinters. :crazy:
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by kmcdon3960 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:42 am

Yup, they're actually sending more crews down here it's so bad. I've been here since friday and I'm leaving this saturday. They're planning on having guys here until at least next weekend.

They got most of the stuff in the city limits straightened out, but there are still people in the country that haven't had power for 7 days now. Some people won't have power for another 7 days.

There are opportunists with box trucks selling generators for outrageous prices still roaming around, and the tree crews have been preying on the unprepared. I think I've learned a couple lessons being down here, even if I really wasn't affected at all.

They're calling for another icepocalypse next week too.

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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by Zoombee » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:32 am

Some local carpeters were put out of work by lack of carpets sent, so they walked around offering to shovel sidewalks. I could have taken the offer, but after shoveling so many times, accepting hired help seemed like quitting. Now it's snowing again. I should have asked for a business card.
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by grennels » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:15 pm

Armor76 wrote:
angelofwar wrote:Good stories guys (both good/bad...no ugly..yet...). A lesson learned, keep some of the gas on-hand, and write the date on the outside of the can (with a grease pencil, etc.). If nothing happens in 6-8 months, put it in yer car, and just refill the cans. But, those 6-8 months, you not only have emrgency genny gas, but emergency vehicle gas as well. I keep 10 gallons, which is almost a full tank/300 miles for me.

My neighbor told me you can plug the genny into the dryer port, turn off all the breakers off except the dryer, and it will feed the whole house (watching wattage use of course)...of course, this burns through more gas.
That's called back feeding. It's illegal and potentially lethal for linemen working on the power lines. Have a transfer switch installed in your house(for a couple hundred bucks) and you can power the house with the genny legally and safely. :D


All you have to do is switch the main breaker off when backfeeding.

But it must be as ingrained as safe gun handling.

ALWAYS TURN MAIN BREAKER OFF WHEN BACKFEEDING GENERATOR!!!


Make signs with above and put one on the genny and one on the breaker box.
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by RickOShea » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:25 pm

grennels wrote:
Armor76 wrote:
angelofwar wrote:Good stories guys (both good/bad...no ugly..yet...). A lesson learned, keep some of the gas on-hand, and write the date on the outside of the can (with a grease pencil, etc.). If nothing happens in 6-8 months, put it in yer car, and just refill the cans. But, those 6-8 months, you not only have emrgency genny gas, but emergency vehicle gas as well. I keep 10 gallons, which is almost a full tank/300 miles for me.

My neighbor told me you can plug the genny into the dryer port, turn off all the breakers off except the dryer, and it will feed the whole house (watching wattage use of course)...of course, this burns through more gas.
That's called back feeding. It's illegal and potentially lethal for linemen working on the power lines. Have a transfer switch installed in your house(for a couple hundred bucks) and you can power the house with the genny legally and safely. :D


All you have to do is switch the main breaker off when backfeeding.

But it must be as ingrained as safe gun handling.

ALWAYS TURN MAIN BREAKER OFF WHEN BACKFEEDING GENERATOR!!!


Make signs with above and put one on the genny and one on the breaker box.
And you don't have a problem with that being in violation of the National Electric Code? :(
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by raptor » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:19 pm

grennels wrote: All you have to do is switch the main breaker off when backfeeding.

But it must be as ingrained as safe gun handling.

ALWAYS TURN MAIN BREAKER OFF WHEN BACKFEEDING GENERATOR!!!


Make signs with above and put one on the genny and one on the breaker box.
You really want a double pole breaker transfer switch or proper switching gear that positively shuts off utility power in order to power the generator.

These are not cheap but honestly you will spend at least that amount when you talk to your attorney in the first hour explaining why the accidental back fed power either hurt a utility line worker or caused a fire in your house. Planning ahead is actually cheaper in the long run.

http://www.amazon.com/Generac-6334-Tran ... 20&sr=1-34" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by Squidi » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:18 pm

raptor wrote:
grennels wrote: All you have to do is switch the main breaker off when backfeeding.

But it must be as ingrained as safe gun handling.

ALWAYS TURN MAIN BREAKER OFF WHEN BACKFEEDING GENERATOR!!!


Make signs with above and put one on the genny and one on the breaker box.
You really want a double pole breaker transfer switch or proper switching gear that positively shuts off utility power in order to power the generator.

These are not cheap but honestly you will spend at least that amount when you talk to your attorney in the first hour explaining why the accidental back fed power either hurt a utility line worker or caused a fire in your house. Planning ahead is actually cheaper in the long run.

http://www.amazon.com/Generac-6334-Tran ... 20&sr=1-34" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
These exist to:

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/st ... wUrafldXkg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

That serve the same logical function. I don't know if NEC recognizes them as acceptable or not.

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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by RickOShea » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:46 pm

My old company sells & installs the GenerLink devices for our customers. They aren't cheap, but they only take a couple of minutes to install.





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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by aikorob » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:46 am

this is nice and simple---I need to see about the price for one of these
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by Belair56 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:22 pm

I don't believe it's illegal to run a generator without a transfer switch, is it a state law? A City Law? I live in NYS the law capitol of the world. Never heard of it, I realize you need to do when the power goes out.

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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by RickOShea » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:35 pm

Belair56 wrote:I don't believe it's illegal to run a generator without a transfer switch, is it a state law? A City Law? I live in NYS the law capitol of the world. Never heard of it, I realize you need to do when the power goes out.
National Electric Code 702.6.
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Re: Dixie "Icepocalypse" 2014-What Worked/Didn't

Post by Belair56 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:44 pm

And who enforces it?

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