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When ALL the services go out!


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We had an ice storm here the end of last week. It was a pretty good one, as storms go - at my house we got anywhere from 1-1.5 inches of ice. The tree carnage is impressively awful. We lost probably a dozen or more trees completely in our little 2 acre woods, and hubby estimates close to 90% of our trees lost their tops. Trees and power lines down across roads everywhere. It's a real mess. (As an aside - in the past 6 months in my neck of the woods we've had fires, floods, wind storms, and now an ice storm. There's only one element left and I REALLY don't want earth to join the party!!!) 

 

Power went out, which we expected. We're on a well, so that means water too. That's fine, we have back ups and back ups for our back ups. (Thousands of folks are still without power and will be for quite some time, apparently. Mine came back up late last night, so only 5 days for us. We are feeling very blessed this morning! Hot showers for everyone!)

 

Wi-FI was of course also down; again, expected.

 

But then everyone's cell service went down, too. My best guess is the ice took down the repeaters for the cell towers - there are SO MANY power poles down. But that was the one thing I wasn't expecting - every other time we've had a significant power failure, cell service and internet are still accessible. This time, though, you couldn't make calls, couldn't send texts, couldn't connect to the internet, no matter what you did. 

 

And it was AMAZING how much harder it made life, not having access to weather reports, or community news, or anything else. We have a NOAA emergency radio, but that doesn't tell me if the gas station in town is out of fuel so I need to go to the next town over, or get me an eta from the power company on when they might get to me, or let me notify my boss that nope, I can't get to work, there are nine trees down between me and town, it's going to take a bit to clear them. 

 

I hadn't really thought about having NO cell service. Not being able to make calls, sure - in an emergency when the bandwidth is overloaded, they always tell you to send texts instead, right? But texts wouldn't go through either. We have a landline, but those lines were down too. 

 

So what are back up ideas for communication and information? Like I said we do have a NOAA radio. I thought about walkie-talkie types but do they reach far enough to be outside an affected area - storm or other! 

 

 

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Even without being able to reach outside the affected area, walkie-talkies can still be useful to talk to the houses around you and see what's going on or find out if anybody needs help.  We should probably run one over to the in-laws in case the cell phones go out again.

 

Otherwise, I think you're looking at a ham radio at that point.

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I don't have much to offer other than condolences on your situation. We've been in this type of situation twice but we had phone service. One was years ago, before cell phones. I can only say to have a wind up radio for news and weather reports.

 

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That is strange Babysteps. The last time my electric went out my Wi-Fi stayed on as did my cell phone. 

 

I think a lot of people will be surprised if we have a grid down situation by what will and what won't work. Mostly what won't work. :(

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Oh my ! Babysteps, I’m so glad you are doing as best as can be expected.  Isn’t it nice to be a prepped & have things in place to deal with the bad weather that is crossing the country?  
 

 

Good grief, this winter is shutting down ‘global warming ‘.  It is just the normal cycle of our earth.  Been here in the desert, so long, seen snow, record heat, record cold, across our country,  it’s just the cycle it goes through.  :sigh:    It is what it is.  I remember in MI, 5’ of snow, ice storms on top, and they said it was an ice age. :icon19:  

 

Hoping you all stay safe and warm.  :pray:

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I agree Annarchy. We go through cycles all the time. We are in a solar minimum so it figures we will be colder for awhile. Then things will go back to normal and a solar maximum will happen. La Nina and El Nino will happen too taking everyone by surprise...again. 

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Wow, Babysteps!  We're hearing all about TX but I hadn't heard a thing about OR.  I've got a niece in far eastern OR.  Sounds like you're coping as best you can.  We used to have bad ice storms when I was growing up in Iowa.  An inch to an inch and a half is horrific!  :blink:   No kidding you'll have to be clearing trees, power lines, etc for days and days and days!  Must be sorrowful to see all the beautiful trees down.

 

Did you turn off all your electric devices....appliances, etc?  Eventually it all comes back on and .....you'd have to be sure everything is safe to be on.  Glad you're back on now.  We're so used to being able to have instant data....kinda spooky when all is silent.   Except the explosive CRASH of more trees giving way.  :wacko: 

 

MtRider   :(  .....lack of reliable data was one of the worst things about our wildfire situations! 

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Texas is in FAR worse shape than us. The storm itself was bad but we warmed up to our winter normal of 40 degrees within a day or two, so the ice melted quickly and the temps aren't dangerous. We still have about 100,000 without power but no one is in danger of freezing to death like down there with their single digits!!

 

Although to hear people talk on the news... you'd think we all barely survived... lol. This was the worst storm from a power outage standpoint that we've ever had, according to the news. 

 

The only real concern I had was my parents. They live with us now, since the Sept fires went through their property, and Dad is on O2. I watched our fuel carefully because Dad's generator HAD to keep going, even if it meant we had to stopp running ours.

 

But we got through it with barely a wrinkle, thankfully!! 

 

Thank you for those videos Ambergris - I'll have hubby watch them and see what he thinks. It was just so surreal to have no contact with the outside world for a week! How quickly we have gotten used to our interconnected world!

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4 minutes ago, babysteps said:

Texas is in FAR worse shape than us. The storm itself was bad but we warmed up to our winter normal of 40 degrees within a day or two, so the ice melted quickly and the temps aren't dangerous. We still have about 100,000 without power but no one is in danger of freezing to death like down there with their single digits!!

They said yesterday that it was the longest period of time we've been frozen since they started recording the weather...and that was yesterday.  We're not due to get above freezing until tomorrow afternoon.

 

Oncor is down to 150,000 customers without power.  I think they were over 2 million at one point.

 

Our power stayed on overnight, luckily.  We do still have 2 tanks of propane and fuel for the generator if it goes out again.

 

The good news is, the random things that I tend to pick up multiples of because I can't remember if we have any came in (and then hubby gives me crap, because we already have some, why do we need more, blah blah blah) were things that came in handy.  The small propane bottles were running the heaters over in the in-laws' house (it's drafty enough we were not worried about CO much over there).  The extra bottles of water I keep picking up were on standby if the jugs ran out so we could still flush the toilets once or twice a day.  

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We have set records for extreme cold here in the Midwest but it's supposed to start a warming trend soon.  We have lots of snow but not more than we are used to in other years. We certainly haven't had the problems you in the south and in the north west.   I guess Mother Nature decided we'd had enough with the Derecho last year.  :twister3:  

 

:pray: for all who are dealing with Mother Nature's reminder that she is still calling the weather shots.....  

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16 hours ago, Mt_Rider said:

 

 

Did you turn off all your electric devices....appliances, etc?  Eventually it all comes back on and .....you'd have to be sure everything is safe to be on.  Glad you're back on now.  We're so used to being able to have instant data....kinda spooky when all is silent.   Except the explosive CRASH of more trees giving way.  :wacko: 

 

 

Yes, for those without power, go and UNPLUG some things if you are able.   Like your washer, tv, dryer, ect.   We always leave the stuff we want to kick on as soon as the power is back on, like our sump pump, plugged it.   But the stuff you don't need to work immediately, we unplug in case there is a power surge when the power comes back on.  

 

People with well pumps that are NOT submerged--did I spell that right?-- (underground), do you need to prime your well pump when the power comes back on?  Our well pump is in the basement and we have to sometimes reprime ours after a long outage.   So if the power is off for awhile, we unplug or shut off the circuit breaker for the well pump.   It takes us a couple gallons of water (which we always store near the well pump), to reprime the pump.  

 

 

Edited by out_of_the_ordinary
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I had turned off the central heat/ ac unit.  When the power came back on, we had to wait for hot water to pour some on outside unit as it was completely iced up.  

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12 hours ago, Mother said:

 I guess Mother Nature decided we'd had enough with the Derecho last year. 

No kidding.  I think my cousins had 26 trees down at their place last summer in that derecho.  Many of them fruit trees.  Not to mention all the crops that were TOTAL LOSS. 

 

Record hurricane year in the Gulf/Atlantic.....

 

The past 12 months have been a doozy, for sure.  Hang in there, folks.  :grouphug: 

 

MtRider  ....aren't ya glad we're preppers?  Aren't spouses learning to be glad they're in prepped households?  :lol: 

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My shortwave radio is a Grundig. I really wanted to like it but I dont. Stations are always fading in and out depending on weather and the time of day. Most of the stations are in another language so I can't understand what they are saying. Mostly Asian and Spanish. Also a lot of hells fire and brimstone preachers on there. The only good thing is that I can sometimes get the BBC news. But I can get that on my computer or Kindle Fire.

 

If I had to do it over again I would have bought a police scanner. That way I would know what is going on around my town instead of in Timbuktu.

 

I'd like to have a HAM radio that I could just listen to for information. Remembering what I would need to learn to talk on one, to get a license, just isn't going to happen for me. I would be very satisfied to listen in though.

 

Weather is off her rocker this year. Guess you heard Etna blew in Italy. At least they heard the rumblings and were prepared. It's good to let off A little energy once in awhile. If Yellowstone blows we are going to be in a world of hurt.

 

A CB radio could be useful for wanting to know what's coming our way. Truckers are usually in the know.

 

I'd like a set of walkie talkies. They have them in different ranges but are at the mercy of trees and buildings that might be in the way. Can ya year me now? Also making sure the other party kept their unit charged could be a hassle. At least with my brood. 

 

 

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On 2/19/2021 at 1:05 AM, Jeepers said:

If Yellowstone blows we are going to be in a world of hurt.

 

:tinfoilhatsmile:  ....yeah, it's a kinda close neighbor of ours.... 

 

MtRider  .... :pray: 

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The other day Mt, Etna blew in Italy. When I hear of a volcano blowing I always think of Yellowstone. It's good to blow off a little steam sometimes. I can only imagine the pressure Yellowstone must be under. 

 

Mount Etna in Italy erupts twice in 48 hours, photos show | Fox News3

Lava and ash spew from Italy's Mount Etna | Reuters.com

 

Also an earthquake in Oklahoma/Kansas

Earthquake Rattles Oklahoma, Kansas (msn.com)

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Hey Miki.....remember the night we felt the earthquake at Darlene's house?  :imoksmiley:   It was the 'Big Shove' variety of earthquake, not the 'Shimmy/Shake' for a minute type.  I've felt earthquakes in Iowa, Maui, Colorado, and Georgia.  All different kinds.  Lots of mild Shimmy type on Maui.  None have been a serious "Ceiling Falling In" type, thankfully.  :amen:  

 

A Big Shove earthquake felt on Maui and Big Island, shut off the electric turbines for both those islands.  [auto-shut off to keep them from damage, I'd assume.]  And they are  about 80 miles apart at their closest ends.

 

WHOOOAAA!  Just saw the Mt. Etna pics.  Fascinating....gorgeous, actually.......but skeery!  The article says it erupts about once a year???  It erupts like THAT????  Looks like it about took the whole top off!

 

MtRider  :blink: 

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We had some big ones in Japan and Taiwan. A couple of pretty bad ones on Taiwan where the dining room table walked across the floor, the lights on the wall and ceilings were swaying and the walls cracked. Everyone ran outside because of the walls cracking. They had air conditioners built into the walls there. No central heating or air. Some peoples air conditioners fell out of the walls onto the sidewalk. Husband was in the bathtub at the time and not only felt it but saw the waves in the water. He got out real fast.  :bathbaby:

 

Good times.  :rolleyes:

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My first earthquake....teen in Iowa.  Laying in bed upstairs reading when the bed begins swaying back and forth sideways.  My mom hollers up the stairs:  WHADDYA DOING UP THERE???   :lol:   She thot I was practicing gymnastics or something.  :whistling:  [Century old farm house]  Gave her a big shock to say it wasn't me!!!  Brother/dad on tractors in field...didn't feel it.  Thot we were nuts, of course cuz IOWA DOESN'T HAVE EARTHQUAKES!  :grinning-smiley-044:  There has been some since....

 

 ....but the news told the story  :reading: 

 

MtRider  ....course everyone said Georgia doesn't have earthquakes either - but we know different!  :imoksmiley:

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