Dry ice & generators ... PS

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Did I mention that I have already stood by (quietly!!!) while he spent $3500 having a pellet stove installed? Yes, I did ask him what we would do if the pellet factory died due to Y2k (not to mention the transportation, etc).

He says we can convert the stove to wood. Is that possible?


First I was in fits (on the inside!) because I couldn't get him to believe there was going to be a problem at all, now I'm getting ulcers watching him spend money (we ARE NOT rich!!!) on stuff that doesn't make sense... ARRGGHHHH!!!!

Thank goodness and hard work, we have a strong marriage... now if only I could be stronger!!!

-- Arewyn (nordic@northnet.net), October 15, 1998



Ice: you can get it at any large supermarket that has a fresh fish section, or anywhere fresh fish is peddled or packed.

Generator buyin' husband: you can probably unload your generator at a profit before too long. Convince your husband not to put it to use until needed and that will increase it's resale value. I see that Honda has them on backorder already, citing Y2k. When everyone figures out what's happening and generators are being bought faster than they can be made and stocked, you can sell at a profit. Won't be long!


-- E. Coli (nunayo@beeswax.com), October 15, 1998.

Look in the Yellow Pages under "dry ice".

Get the consumption rate of the generator, and calculate how much gasoline it will take to run it for any length of time. Hopefully, you can convince him that so much gasoline is dangerous and impractical. I don't want to see you or anyone else hurt or killed storing all that fuel. You might also make the argument that 120 VAC isn't the most important thing to your survival or comfort. And generators will draw attention, and have a habit of getting stolen. I saw a post from a guy who went through a one week power outage in the Midwest last winter. He said lots of folks had their generators stolen from their yards. Your husband needs to slow down and think about things. Good luck.

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), October 15, 1998.


Wood pellet stoves require an electrical source for the fan to blow the heat out...you better check to see if a fan is still required, if you are able to convert it to wood use.

Texas Terri

-- Terri Symington (TJSYM@AOL.com), October 15, 1998.

Agreed, generators have a *lot* of disadvantages, besides being noisy, theft-prone and expensive. They go through a lot of non- replaceable fuel, and when it's gone, they're useless. After the event (or especially non-event depending on location) they have little or no resale value. Under ordinary circumstances they aren't useful. You can't cook on them, and it takes more generator than most people can spend to run an electric stove or furnace. If you can spend that much, such a generator will eat about a gallon of fuel an hour, making fuel storage impractical/dangerous.

We had a wood stove installed for about $1500 that heats a 2400 sq. ft. house to 80 degrees in the winter in Vermont, We can cook on it, and it even has a (thick!) glass door and produces useful light. At this heating rate, it burns about a dozen ordinary fireplace split wood chunks a day running 24 hours, and we estimate it saves us about a net $500-600 a year on our power bills. YMMV, since we cut and split our own wood. It's also very low maintenance, and a couple of hinges are the only moving parts.

For about $100, you can get a half dozen oil lamps and enough oil to last 6 months to a year depending on use. Enough light to read by easily. An affordable stack of ordinary batteries for a small radio and you're set (boom boxes eat batteries wholesale, so be careful).

It's important for preparations to be consistent, and this requires thought. Even a wood stove requires fuel, and won't help if you have no way to cut, transport, and store the wood. Don't buy a lot of dried food if you don't have an unlimited water supply - there are few good uses for water you've boiled rice in. Pick a time period during which you're willing to prepare to ride out a blackout with no external source of anything, and make sure you have enough of everything you need for that period. Not a year's supply of one item and a week's worth of another. And so on. Be very watchful for interdependencies - make sure nothing you get depends for operation or use on something else you forgot!

Keep track of *everything* you buy for at least a month. Examine the list to see what you use and need. That list can be a gold mine of reminders. Don't fall in love with something and overstock, like your husband's generators, or my friend who has purchased (so far) 10 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammo, but has no food! It's easy for many people to become collectors rather than preparers.

Remember that whatever you get, you should be ready to use, even if it turns out you don't need to use it. Silly to throw away (for example) cases of canned food you didn't need and don't like.

Most of all, keep working at it. Glad you got him started.


-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), October 15, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ