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Prepared for Alaska!? Are you prepared? How have you hedged your bets for survival in Alaska? All threads related to being ready for the worst Alaska has to dish out belong in this forum.

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Old 11-01-2011, 08:45 PM   #1
bgreen776
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Exclamation Extreme weather - Prepared?

Its that time of year again. How are you prepared?

My power just went out, I heard a big boom come from the west and the lights went out. Probably a transformer. Winds are gusting to 60 mph, and I know there are at least 3 trees in my yard that I should have cut down this summer.

What do you do to prepare, or what do you need to do to prepare?
  • I just hooked up the 5kw generator to power the house
  • A little 2000 watt Honda to run some electronics so I can surf and watch TV before bed.
  • Parked as many toys in the shop as I could, parked the old cars around the new ones in a place in my yard thats least likely to have a tree fall on them.
  • Put the chain saw in the shop so it will start easy if I need it to get out of the yard on the way to work in the AM.
  • Threw some empty fuel cans in the back of the truck to re-fill on the way home from work tomorrow.
  • Gathered up some warm clothes and safety gear just in case I have to bug out.
  • Stashed some shoes and a head lamp next to the bed and a flash light in every room of the house.
Tomorrow I'll move the boats and my ATV trailer to a slightly safer part of the yard and buy some more fuel for the generators. Probably fill both trucks up with Diesel too.

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Old 11-01-2011, 10:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

We have the same wind storm here today as well. Power is out toward Willow/Trapper Creek but been fine here so far.

I use a wood stove to heat my house and have flashlights and lanterns for light. Have a gen set but it's buried in the back of my shed right now and I can't get to it without moving 2 kitchen's worth of cabinets.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

We have a big wood stove, and a suprisingly large wood pile Also have a small generator but hardly use it anymore. I have a 2500 watt inverter and small battery bank that will give me about two days worth of lights and fridge before I have to start Generator.

The town has two big gensets too, so power is out often, but not usually for long.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

Just yesterday I installed a new soapstone stove from hearthstone in vermont. Power went out last night while asleep pretty chilly with when we woke up this morning. 72* inside two hours later I'm loving this thing!
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

Firewood on the deck, electric start 6KW genset standing by, stocked up on emergency fuel 2 days ago,kerosene lamps, lots of candles, flashlights (going more and more to LED stuff, better light and battery life), boxes of kitchen matches on all floors, and FIRE EXTINGUISHERS scattered throughout the occupied spaces. Water supply set aside, both potable and sanitary purposes. Two chainsaws in the basement, plus a buck saw. First Aid kit checked and refilled.

I'd like to talk to some people who have battery back up systems and inverters about their system, what batteries/inverters used, satisfied or not, things they might do differently, how much/long can they run their system with how much load, etc. Anyone using wind, solar, hydroelectric, combination, other?
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wasillashack View Post
Firewood on the deck, electric start 6KW genset standing by, stocked up on emergency fuel 2 days ago,kerosene lamps, lots of candles, flashlights (going more and more to LED stuff, better light and battery life), boxes of kitchen matches on all floors, and FIRE EXTINGUISHERS scattered throughout the occupied spaces. Water supply set aside, both potable and sanitary purposes. Two chainsaws in the basement, plus a buck saw. First Aid kit checked and refilled.

I'd like to talk to some people who have battery back up systems and inverters about their system, what batteries/inverters used, satisfied or not, things they might do differently, how much/long can they run their system with how much load, etc. Anyone using wind, solar, hydroelectric, combination, other?
My inverter is a Magnum Energy ME2512. Its meant more for a mobile system like an RV, but worked great at our cabin, and works great as a back-up. It has a remote control panel in the house that tells me all the vitals on my system.
My batteries now are just two Surrette Rolls S-460 6-volts, replacing four trojan t-105s.

I could run my cabin off those for about 1.5 days, running lights, computers, one small freezer and misc little stuff. Toasters, coffee pot, washer... Those needed generator action. I charged with a 3000w cheapo generator once a day for about an hour. The inverter automatically starts charging and passes through the genny powoer while charging. If wired to grid power it will just maintain the charge and pass through power to the stuff hooked to it. Switches to batteries nearly instantly. Two more batteries are on my list, and should extend my time to a full two days before I need to start the genset.

Oh, and you can get an auto gen start module that plugs in too. Will auto start the genny once the voltage gets low, if you have a generator with that capability.
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Last edited by Dr. Destructo'; 11-02-2011 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

I have all the basic stuff. Water, food, firewood and stove, chainsaw etc etc.

One thing I added last year was buying the right plugs to make an extension from my gen set to the 220 plug for my welder. Gen set is just enough to run the well pump, furnaces, and a few lights etc. I just wheel the gen set outside and run the extension under the garage door to power up the house. This one improvement changed our ability to get by from a couple days to perhaps weeks, providing careful use of resources. The biggest gain is the well pump, I only keep about 10 gallons of water on hand plus what ever is in the pressure and hot water tanks.

IF YOU DO THIS. Make sure you know how to isolate your home from the grid. Feeding electricity back down the line to the guy who's trying to fix it for you is deadly.

Last edited by matt s; 11-02-2011 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

DD,
Thanks a bunch! This is exactly the info I was looking for. Sources for batteries?
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

Bought mine from Gary's auto electric in soldotna, but there are surely cheaper places. S-460s were about $370 each... But have 15yr warranty and most seem to get 20yrs out of them.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

I've been running my BlazeKing daily. Well, stoke it before bed, and once before work. Seems that it always burns out before I get outta bed, or off work. I've been tinkering with the flue thingy on the back of it to get it to burn longer. If I have it just barely open, it still burns out before I wake up. Mind you, all the wood is ash when its done. No remnants left at all.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:48 AM   #11
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

Something isn't set right. I get about 14-16hrs on a load of wood with my Blaze King before the house starts to noticeably cool down. I load it before leaving for work in the afternoon and again before going to bed.
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Last edited by nate; 11-03-2011 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

I don't have a stove pipe damper. Maybe that is what the deal is.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:27 PM   #13
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

Have you read the book for the stove? It will be able to explain the best way to run the stove better than I can. Or more than welcome to swing by and I can show you on my stove. Mine is the smaller Princess, it has no trouble keeping the whole house at 70-75*
I heated the house all last winter with it, burned about 3 cords in total. I only use the floor heat if no one will be around to put wood in the stove.
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Last edited by nate; 11-03-2011 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

Jed you are also burning cottonwood. That stuff does not last long, and creates lots of ash....
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

I'm not burning cottonwood. I have none of that even on my property. I've been burning birch and aspen. Normally, aspen to start (as kindling) and birch for the heat.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:42 PM   #16
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

Thought your yard was full of cottonwood.
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:37 PM   #17
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Default Re: Extreme weather - Prepared?

What are you guys using to keep your spare fuel from going bad? Right now I'm double dosing my diesel with Power Service Arctic Formula. For gas doing the Sta-Bill Marine for the generator.
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