Reader “just waiting” — who was without power for nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy and got back online only yesterday — posted this in comments. But with its combo of good advice and scary warnings, it deserves more exposure. Everything that follows is his.
We just got the internets back yesterday after Sandy. Street power came back on late last Saturday, we were out for almost 14 days. My ears are still ringing from the constant hum of the gen, silence truly is golden.
We were as ready as we could be, so it wasn’t really a big deal. Travel was limited to 1/2 mile down the street in either direction for 3 days, there was no leaving. No phone, no cable, no bars. True isolation. C got to think about home instead of work for an entire week. It was great. No cars could come by, we were to be able to have the dog on the street with no leash.
Lots of big old oaks fell from the neighboring parkland onto my property, so I’ll end up with about 6 winters of heat once its cut and split. Still trying to find a downside to the storm, but can’t yet.
Learned a valuable lesson about generator maintainance 6 days into our adventure: Its not enough to check the engine, check the rotor and brushes too! I have a 12+ year old 5000W Coleman gen, loud but sipped gas and powered everything I needed. Stored it dry, fill with fuel, starts second pull, every time, no matter how long it sat. 6 days in, only getting partial voltage, take the end off the gen itself and crap, rotor and brushes are bad rusted and corroded. Wire ends rusted off of sensors. 2=1 and 1=none, and now I got none. Sub lesson: if you prefer battery tools, make sure you have some in 12v. Gerry rigged cordless drill to batt jumper box and cleaned everything up, bypassed some noncrucial sensors (in my estimation) and got it running again.
Local hardware guy was getting 80 gens in Monday night, so got one of them, just to be sure. Once everything settles down, I’m going with a streetgas gen w/propane backup. One that’ll run on methane.
We had a week’s notice that this storm was coming, countries like Greece [Ed. note: this was originally published as a comment on a letter from Greece] have been warned for years. I went to the beach yesterday, it looks like a war zone. Evacuation was mandatory, Nat Guard man roadblocks, the foodstore parking lot is Command Central (everyone! with initials has a comm vehicle and big tent), thousands of property owners have been denied access to their flooded homes for over two weeks, martial law is in effect. Word is that last week a local business magnate was threatened by the USCG with fire if he further approached by boat.
I guess what matters is how the masses respond in the face of their adversities. For those of us who were looking, we got to see what the beginning of armageddon/the apocalypse/shtf looks like here in NJ. My foodstore had no fresh foods, meats, baked goods, produce, etc for 12 days. People wandered the aisles of dry, prepackaged goods with flashlight. It was almost Hollywood. I saw people waiting in line for hours with 1, 1 gallon gas can in their hands. 1. 1 gallon. When I went looking replenish my fuel on day 11, I had 6 empty 5 gall jugs. 1 gallon???
The big difference here is that now it’s over. Except at the island, everything is back to normal. While none of us knew how long we were going to have to do without, we knew that it was a finite term. For the first week, it was very 3rd world. Greece is still spiralling downward, with no bottom in sight. Last year we were out of power for 9 days, this year it was 13. How long is our next great outage gonna be? How much more are the Greek supposed to endure?Are super long outages supposed to be our new normal here in the Noreast?
I gotta finish with the best part, we missed the entire election, no commercials, no news, no blogs, no emails, not a single piece of political information crossed into our brainspace. Thank you, Sandy!