Do you have an alternative when the electricity goes out?

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  1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
    Kenna McHughposted 12 months ago

    A storm went through northern California. We were without electricity for six hours.  I worked a bit on my Android, and I tried a hotspot for my Chromebook. It was not easy going. What do you do when the electricity goes out, and you need to be online?

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Climb in the RV and start the generator.  Of course if the whole area is down, so is the internet.  Cell towers MAY be working (off a power supply for a while) but if not I'd have to go to another town and use the free internet in a hospital or something.

      It's been many years, but we had a major ice storm in Virginia when we lived there.  Without power for 10 days.  You hunker down and survive - fancies like internet pale beside the need for water, heat, food etc.

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
        Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        My mom and her husband lived on the Oregon coast and were without power for ten days.  They were the only house with a gas fireplace, so everyone came to their house to get warm, socialize, and help each other keep their spirits up.

        Six hours is not that long, but it got me thinking about how much we depend on electricity.  A generator is a good idea. I thought about going to a coffee getting on the Internet and working there.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          A public internet source is fine...if you don't care who sees and copies what you're doing.  My brother wrote software for city payrolls and always had to have private internet.

          I HAVE used my phone, making a hotspot for the computer, when camping and needing to get to financial or other secured sources.  It seems pretty safe.

    2. Miebakagh57 profile image41
      Miebakagh57posted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Hi, all, if I had fuel, I start my generator. That is all, and thanks.

    3. profile image0
      RTalloniposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Yes, a phone hotspot for using computer is a good thing as long as cell towers hold and batteries don't die. A home generator is always useful if you have fuel but you can't run everything at once on most. Car battery can help but it's smart to have a backup jump charger. Solar chargers for all batteries can be really useful. Small portable phone batteries for about 10 bucks are good to keep ready to go. Hefty power inverters are a great option falling somewhere between a phone charger and  home generator, depending on the kind you buy.

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
        Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        That is quite a setup. I don't even know what a Hefty power inverters are. big_smile

        1. eugbug profile image98
          eugbugposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          I think he means "heafty", i.e. beefy or sizeable (sometimes applied to a fat person, "she's very heafty") smile Maybe there's a Hefty brand though.

          Edit: Yes there is a Hefty brand smile

          1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
            Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            "He's very hefty" applies as well. smile

            1. eugbug profile image98
              eugbugposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              Hmm , my dictionary tells me that "heafty" isn't an alternative spelling. Better not enter any Spelling Bee competitions!

              1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
                Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                Did you check the derivation? big_smile

        2. profile image0
          RTalloniposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          Too funny...it's only capitalized because it's at the start of the sentence...https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/hefty

          1. eugbug profile image98
            eugbugposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            And Hefty inverters aren't heafty after all smile

            1. profile image0
              RTalloniposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              smile

              1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
                Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                I wonder if inverters are heavy. smile

          2. Kenna McHugh profile image90
            Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            Okay. So, they are just power inverters. smile I don't know what a "power inverter" is. I will have to google it. big_smile

            1. profile image0
              RTalloniposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              They are my preference because they are easily managed for a variety of uses in car and home, though it is nice that my husband keeps a larger generator for major scale home outages.

            2. Sherry Hewins profile image94
              Sherry Hewinsposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              Inverters turn DC power into AC power. So, you could use a car battery to run regular household appliances that plug into the wall.

              1. profile image0
                RTalloniposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                Now we're getting somewhere! smile Hopefully, an article on the different options offered in/with power inverters will come out of this question. I know ours will need to be replaced eventually–we've already been through one– and it's likely that this time a top of the line would be in order.

                1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
                  Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  Ahh...that makes sense. An article is a good idea!

    4. Tim Truzy info4u profile image97
      Tim Truzy info4uposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      In this part of the country, we regularly see hurricanes now. We have a back up generator for the house, but living near several big universities, usually one of their libraries stays operational during those times. If it is opened to the public, I may go use one of those areas.

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
        Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        That's a good idea. Libraries are safe and have wifi.

      2. Miebakagh57 profile image41
        Miebakagh57posted 12 months agoin reply to this

        In my country Nigeria, that will not work. Except the public library put up its generating set.

    5. Rochelle Frank profile image93
      Rochelle Frankposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Yes. We have thought of getting a generator, it's on our "someday" list, but so far it is not a priority.
      In the past series of storms we have had two outages of 5-6 hours. We have a wood burning stove and plenty of wood. We have a gas (propane) stove. The burners  can be lit with a match orlighter. We have battery lanterns, a battery/solar/handcrank radio with weather stations and regular stations. it also has a charger for cell phone or other stuff.

      My ipad has a Verizon link. I have a backup battery for it.
      My pantry is well-stocked.
      I have ahub about winter power outages.
      As paradigm said... you can find other things to do by lantern light. or just catch up on sleep.

      If you NEED to be online there are some workarounds-- or you can use it to to enjoy the fireplace and a bowl of soup or a glass of wine

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
        Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        Rochelle,
        It sounds like you manage well on the outages. I used to have Verizon. They are a good company for workarounds.

  2. eugbug profile image98
    eugbugposted 12 months ago

    We very rarely lose power, even during storms. If we do, it's usually for scheduled maintenance and we get notified by mail a fortnight in advanced. We use LED lights or even good old candles for light. I normally setup a hotspot on my phone so I can use the Internet on my laptop.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
      Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      The outage suddenly happened, so I didn't have time to set up.  I tried the carrier's hotspot, but it wasn't working well. I used to be with Verizon and switched to AT&T because of a better deal. Verizon's hotspot worked better. Do you use your carrier's hotspot or a third party app?

      1. eugbug profile image98
        eugbugposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        No, I just setup my smartphone as a hotspot, then I can connect to it by WIFI fom my laptop in the same way as I connect to my modem.

        1. Miebakagh57 profile image41
          Miebakagh57posted 12 months agoin reply to this

          Hi, eugbug, good to know this trick! Many thanks, and have a nice time.

  3. paradigmsearch profile image88
    paradigmsearchposted 12 months ago

    I was reading this thread and the power went out, I kid you not. That got a true LOL out of me. Outage lasted 40 minutes. The net result was I got a half hour's housework done.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
      Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      LOL! Housework is always an option for those short outages.

      1. Jean Bakula profile image92
        Jean Bakulaposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        We have frequent electrical outages in my area of NW NJ. I have a fireplace, helpful because we have electric heat. The town municipal bldg. has chargers to let us keep our cell phones and tablets charged, but you need lanterns for light, and it gets very cold fast. In the past 10 years, we've been without power for 10 days, 7 days, and 4 last March that were so cold we drove and checked into a hotel. I sometimes go to the library to use the internet. But after boiling water to take a bath and wash my hair, and trying to cook outside in the cold on the grill, I usually let communications go.

        I stayed here for a long time because I loved camping and the woods, but at my age now am sick of the hardships. We used to be without power for a few hours, would go to bed, and in the night would hear the heat click back on. My late husband said a generator wouldn't work for us, we would only be able to have a lamp and the TV on, so that doesn't help. You don't really get much out of a generator unless you are prepared to spend a lot of money, and heat is the most important. I am putting the house up for sale in about a year. I've had enough. The electric companies can't handle so many thousands of outages. Even summer storms make the house cold, then you are better off staying outside.

        1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
          Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          Jean,
          That is unbelievable. You'd think the electric company would pull it together and figure out how to sustain enough energy for its customers. I would be more concerned about surviving than being on the Internet, too. But, this is my livelihood. I would be concerned about my income and paying the bills.

          1. Jean Bakula profile image92
            Jean Bakulaposted 12 months agoin reply to this

            Kenna,
            You could find a hotspot, and as I think I mentioned, the library is nice about letting people work in it for longer periods of time during power outages. It's not like you need a computer there, you have your own laptop or tablet, I think? Also, in a pinch, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks don't really care if you sit a few hours, as long as you buy a coffee or two. You can get online as a guest user there.

            During Hurricane Sandy, POTUS Obama had huge power trucks sent out to us in military helicopters. He and R Governor Chris Christie worked so well together. I live in what is a bird sanctuary, there are one lane roads with around 65 houses. The crew that finally helped us was from UT. It was so touching they gave up all that time to come help us. Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi were entertaining and distributing hot meals in South Jersey. We never expected to get hit as we are in the Western part of the State, in the North, but you can still see the damage in a lot of places. It was great to see the people and politicians working so well together.

            1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
              Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              Jean, Your home sounds rural but full of all sorts of wildlife. When someone wants to get something done, it gets done.  Springsteen and Bon Jovi is so epic.  I am sure the conditions were terrible.

              Starbucks and Dunk Donuts are not my favorite coffee shops. But if that is all there is in a remote area, I'd be there working. I also like the library but their hours are not convenient for a writer.

  4. bhattuc profile image81
    bhattucposted 12 months ago

    I have experienced it in the Indian Himalayan foothills. The only thing which is useful for some time is a small UPS or inverter but it has to be used very very sparingly for mobile charging or things like that.

    We should refrain using it for lighting. Use candles, oil lamps (we do not have those now a days but they are the real useful things in such times) and other such items for lights.

    Rationing is the key to survive in such situations, I believe.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
      Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Bhattuc, The Himalayan Foothills is so far from where I live. I can't image what it must be like to live there when there is an electrical outage.

  5. LongTimeMother profile image94
    LongTimeMotherposted 12 months ago

    I live without mainstream electricity all day every day, completely off the grid. There are many solar powered lights etc you could have on hand and charged to help you through.

    I totally recommend anyone with money to spare should consider getting a proper solar system installed. We've upgraded four times since our first basic solar system.

    Our current solar system with bigger storage batteries supports big fridge, big freezer, fans, lights, electronics, big TVs and even a dishwasher.  Our heating and winter cooking are still provided by woodburner stove; summer cooking requires propane and/or solar oven; hot water instantly heated using propane LPG tank. Some day we'll get around to solar hot water but I'm happy with the way things are for now.

    I love never getting a power bill and not having supply interrupted.  A few years back I wrote hubs about our basic solar lifestyle (including generator) so you might find sone helpful info in them.

    At the very least, I think you should have solar powered flashlights. (I also wrote about erecting a small tent inside your house if you have extreme heat or cold without power for air conditioning.) Hope you find something helpful to be better prepared for next time.

    PS. I suggest you take a look at my generator article if you are considering buying one because lots of generators are not good for computers (or neighbors, lol.)

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
      Kenna McHughposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      LTM, I am impressed with what you have done to your home, or should I call it your homestead.  LOL! Amazing. I wrote a glibly article about solar power and how to teach kids the importance of alternative energy.  I wrote for a solar company and the source of energy easy to access if you can set it up. Funding such a set up is a factor, but you save in the long run by no more power bills.

  6. paradigmsearch profile image88
    paradigmsearchposted 12 months ago
 
working

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