Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Icestorm 2009

The Icestorm 2009, was a wake up call to me! Most of you know that it takes alot of something to wake me up! This event has changed me, I stop and think about things, I "wonder if" alot, I consider and prepare for the worst. My thinking is, If I prepare for the worst and the worst doesn't come, then I am pleasantly surprised otherwise I'd be disappointed and angry! LOL -- So I've been thinking, researching, watching lots of videos, googling, etc, to find ways to get ready for the next "one".

When we left our house on day 2, it was erie quiet, and cold, it was 32 degrees in the house. So my first concern was heating, how do i provide heat when there isn't any electricity. We have gas heat, but it's electronically controlled..that stinks! A buddy of mine, John Hall has an old fashioned floor furnance, all mechanical, no electricity involved anywhere..it was a toasty 69 degrees in his house! So after much debate, between a small wood burner stove (which I still may purchase) or a propane stove. I bought a Big Buddy Propane Heater, neat stove to say the least. It has 3 settings, low (4000 btu0, medium (9000) and high (18000 btus), it has a built in fan that takes a 6 volt power supply OR runs on 8 D cell batteries! It takes up to (2) 1 lb tanks or up to (2) 20 lb tanks of propane, you can get up to 12 hours on the 2 1 lb tanks and up to 240 hours on the 2 20 lb tanks! Okay, stop a minute and let's do the math..240 hours is equal to hmmmmm..10 days!!! we were without power for 9 days!

Woohoo! I have my heat problem solved. Since purchasing the Big Buddy, I've also purchased 2 20lb tanks and a mantank (100 lb tank)!! Right now, on hand I have 120 lbs of propane ready to go.

Okay, now my second concern: EAT! (See how they kind of go together, Heat and Eat!) That's where I started watching videos on small stoves, actually the first stove I came across was the Rocket Stove! They use these all over the world, Dr Winarsky (not sure that's right) but he designed it for those with no power. Okay that's exactly what I need, see earlier posts for my 1st and 2nd builds of the rocket stove. But then I found someone who made a smaller version (tabletop size) of the rocket stove and it worked very well too! But then I kept researching etc., and came across alcohol stoves, and that interested me greatly, because what would I do for fuel if my wood was wet or frozen in the case of the ice storm. Side note: I've started picking up sticks and limbs after storms roll through, even pickup limbs and sticks found along the road where folks have stacked them up for disposal (lots of FREE wood). The alochol stoves simply amazed me, so small, lightweight, yet so powerful and they are instanly hot, no waiting! I found out most people use Heet for their fuel, (when it goes on sale at Rural King, once or twice a year, I buy it a case at a time), on 1 ounce of fuel, you can get a 10 to 15 minute burn, plenty of time to cook up a meal. Side note: Heat comes in 12 ounce bottles, so you can get up to 12 meals on 1 bottle of Heat! Our nine days without power, I'd need 27 ounces of Heat, roughly 2 bottles and a piece of a third, so for less than $4 I can have fuel to make a hot meal! Then I came across a wonderul, talented guy that makes these alcohol stoves, Tinny from Minibull Design. He turns them out of aluminum, and they are sweet! I haven't bought one yet, but I plan to. He has several stoves, I want a M2 (not too big, not too small) and I want a chicken waterer. This attaches to the stove and trickles fuel out of it into the stove, so you don't have to do anything but blow out the stove when you're finished!
Oh I almost forgot, these stoves are remote feed, which means if you're cooking something big or baking something you can remotely refill your stove up, without stopping or blowing it out, etc..

So there we go, I have HEAT and EAT taken care of. Now I'm concerned with food storage, the length of food storage, and clean water, and water storage. That's my next endeavor, to research and learn how to do that. When I get comofortable with that part of it, I'll post my findings.

BTW - The below video is a few pics of the icestorm of 2009. This event started it all.

Til Next Time, One Day Closer

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