Prepper Ponderings

Video Review

I FINALLY got a video posted to the You Tube channel reviewing FloodSax.  I think these things have a huge potential for community level flood mitigation efforts, and could also be very useful for the homeowner in a flood zone.

We'll be doing a contest to win a couple packs of FloodSax in a couple of days.

The Great East Coast Windstorm/Heatwave/Power Loss

I've already shared our tale up through Saturday night.  By Sunday morning we had lost phone service and the temperature was rapidly rising.  We got the kids back to their parents and saw a lot of devastation along the roads with trees uprooted or snapped off and falling across power lines and on to houses.  When we got back home, I changed the oil in the primary generator.  I noticed that it had 147 hours on it, and we only bought it 10 months ago before Hurricane Irene.  Counting time we were away from home or using the backup generator, we've probably been 180 hours or so without power in just 10 months.  Crazy.

No School Like Old School

We had to get some laundry done to get ready for work this morning.  The generator will run the washing machine, but not the dryer.  So, after we dropped the kids off, we stopped at Home Depot and picked up a couple of turnbuckles.  My wife already had 100' of clothesline from a sewing project, so I strung it up between two fence posts.  The line streteched out some, so some scrap 2x6s pushing up took out the slack and got it high enough for beach towels.  Not sure why I never thought of that before.

From Prison to the High Life

It was just sweltering, oppressively hot in the house yesterday, even with fans going.  I thought back to a part of G. Gordon Liddy's autobiography, Will, that I remembered from his time in prison.  He had described a basic air conditioner made from a rag, a jug, a pan of water and an electric fan.  I used our canning pot, a cookie cooling rack, a piece of towel and the fan.  The water was wicked up the towel from the pot, and the fan blew across it.  It was slightly cooler than just the fan going by itself.

We're at over 48 hours without power as I type this (never mind the 30 hours we had last Monday into Tuesday).   It is still in the mid-upper 90s during the day and the house is sweltering.  Last night we had three fans (incuding the one with my prison A/C unit) and the cieling fan going, and it was miserable.  Today we bought a 10,000  btu window A/C unit and I installed when I got home from work.  Our bedroom has no windows, but the master bath has one, so I put it in there and we can close off the rest of the house.  It is super comfortable in here right now.  Using our smaller, newer generator, I can run the A/C, refrigerator, well pump, a fan and my CPAP.  That's what we'll do when we go to bed.  Right now, while watching TV and some lights on, I've got the A/C running directly from an extension cord to the older, bigger generator and the rest of the house on the newer one.  We've been through a number of hot power outages... again, I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before.  This morning, I had been thinking about it when my wife called me with the same suggestion.  Great minds think alike.


  1. Hey brother, Don't forget some type of security for your generators... Chaining them to something substanchel. And a couple of peices of plywood angled like a tent will deaden the noise some. Good Luck, Joe.

  2. in the same boat with you. they say maybe power by the end of the weekend :( very good test of our preps as this is truly grid down out this way. bored, i drove until i found power, ice and gas. nearly 100 miles. didn't really need any of that but i picked up some for neighbors in need. we had one incedent where 3 guys attacked a an old man trying to take his genny from him. after getting beat about some, he pulled his 38 and cut loose. end of attack, subjects still at large,but maybe wounded.would be fine if not for the heat. its getting to the mrs. i never prepped for heat as i thought we could take it. we have grown soft. we are doing okay sleeping in our basement mancave at night. solar and genny humming, but unable to keep the fridge cool enough. not alot in there anyway now. stay cool :)

  3. Joe, we're in good shape with keeping the generators secure, but chaining is a good idea for folks. Thanks!

    RiverRider, glad the old timer was packing! I know what you mean about not prepping for heat, but really, there is not alot that can be done with modern construction if a person does not have a generator. I used to live in a 1928 farmhouse with no insulation, that because of the design and air flow, was comfortable in high heat with just a couple of fans.

    Staying in your man cave basement is the way to go. Wish we had a basement here!

  4. Curious, do you consider this a successful test of your preparations for a long term event? And, if conditions remained the same, or got worse before getting better, how long could you maintain yourself(/family) at your current consumption rate of stored supplies?

  5. Most of us live in an area that can be hit by some kind of natural disaster be it a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake. This may not be a doomsday scenario but having a bit of preparedness could go a real long way to making your life easier on you and your family in this sort of situation.

  6. Anonymous - I think that anytime we have a minor SHTF situation, it is a good way to test out our plans and preps for major or long-term situations. As far as how long we could last, with this particular situation, we could go indeffinately, as long as I could resupply my gas cans. I've got plenty of spare oil and other maintenance needs for the generators, and our day-to-day life was pretty much uninterrupted... just inconvenient.

    Prepper Supplies - One of the ideas that I promote is that if people are better prepared for week or two disasters, that when the "big one" does happen, they will be far better prepared than most others.


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