Thursday, April 08, 2010

Power Outage Tools

Since our "lovely" 9 day power outage due to a "wonderful" ice storm, (Jan. '09) I've been watching, reading, and finally collecting some Goodies, in case it happens again! Well, last night, April 7th, 2010, we had our first major storm come through, and according to reports besides the hard rain, we had wind gusts of up to 70 mph!! So I was thinking, ok, I need this, this and this...but the power never did go out in our part of town, reports from the scanner said that some did lose power. When we got out of church, the wind was picking up and it was beginning to start lightning, by the time we turned on our road it was sprinkling, by the time we got to our drive way, it was a "strong" down pour....I was soaked!! So as soon as I got in and "dry", I found my power outage "tools"! Above is a picture of the whole collection as it stands now, eXcept for the 20lb propane tank that I got for the heater. Below is what I was working with last night, the portable, hand crank items.

These items were picked up, while in Clarksville, during the 9 day power outage! We arrived about 2 PM that day, and by the next morning, the parking lot was full, and ALL OF THEM WERE FROM KENTUCKY! Each had a different story to tell, but we were all seeking shelter until the water was back on or the power was back on OR BOTH! These items were purchased at Kmart (ours in Madisonville has them..I recently checked) and the lantern was $14.99. The crank radio and flashlight were packaged together for $14.99. These are the Xventure series, they may be on the "low end" for most folks, but they do what I need them to do. The lantern has a built in compass on the top, it has a 3 way switch, it has 12 leds for light, and the 3 way switch allows for 4 leds, 8 leds, or 12 leds, which is really bright. It also has the capacity to use a power adapter 6 volt dc (not included). The radio can use batteries and or the hand crank. It has am/fm, and weather bands. We picked up Channel 7, WEVV, Evansville on the weather band. So I got to listen to 24!! The flashlight is a led flashlight and is very bright, you get "much, much" light with about 1 minute of hand cranking. That's what I did as SOON AS I FELT DRY ENOUGH...I started cranking...(I had a hair, about 2 weeks ago..just laying in bed watching TV, and during commercials I started 'cranking' the lantern..did for quite a while too! -- It's NOT as good as going to the 'fridge..but it wasn't all bad.)I had the kids take turns cranking..while they were cranking on the flashlight and radio, I was cranking on the other..I cranked on 'em for some time...until I heard the DES come over and say the "worst" part was over..I could then hear the winds let up and the rain too! So I put them back in there respective places until needed. So when the power goes out, the batteries will only last for a certain time, and then you'd be in the dark! So consider getting yourself some hand crank items for just such an occasion. For the next few posts, I will try to give you a description of each of the items in the top pic.
Also, I have a few projects on "hold"...the wind generator (we're close!) and the Big Version of the Solar Heater (collector), and 2 new projects...a sawdust stove (which has great potential!) and introducing the 'PILANKET!'....
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