Author Topic: Power cuts: are you prepared?  (Read 2361 times)

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #25 on: 10 October, 2021, 07:38:36 am »
Very much like Helly we're marked down as vulnerable due to Mrs M's issues, but I doubt that moves us up the heap for any assistance.

Heating is the main issue, we're on the usual gas fired, electric pumped boiler.
Cooking we could do for a day or two on the camping stove I've got stashed away (with spare canisters), and there's another stove at the allotment.
Lighting would be by torches and bike lights.
We've got a small hand cranked radio/light/USB-charger combo for entertainment & exercise.

The freezer, although we'll stocked, would stay firmly closed.
We have blankets & duvets (and our love to keep us warm {yuk})

I think we'd be OK for a couple of days, but not if its the zombie apocalypse.
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

robgul

  • Cycle:End-to-End webmaster
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Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #26 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:12:58 am »
Two Camping Gaz lamps and two stoves (with a few spare canisters) are near the door of the shed  :thumbsup:

The only mains gas we use is for CH/HW ... and the latter has a large-ish tank so can wash.

For all that I'm optimistic that power cuts will be few and far between.

AND a son-in-law is a biggish-wig at the nuclear power inspectorate, I'll ask him to put in a word about maintining supplies to SuA  ;D ;D

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #27 on: 10 October, 2021, 08:47:05 am »
I've got some candles left over from the 70,s and  camping cooking gear. Plenty of sleeping bags, tents and trikes. The only thing I want to get sometime is a camping water filter  :)


the slower you go the more you see

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #28 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:21:43 am »
Wood burner (can also heat water, slowly, if placed on top).

Conventional stored hot water CH so intermittent power cuts aren't a problem.  Obviously gas CH - unless it's from the Cretaceous period - won't run without electricity for the boiler fan/controls and the pump.

Candles and rechargeable lights.

The fridge and freezer are the main problems.  Oh, and no Internet, so I'd better get on eBay and find a good deal on back issues of Razzle.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #29 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:42:05 am »
I can light the gas hob with a match and we have a stove-top kettle too (just for outages).
We too, although for us it's our daily boiler.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #30 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:42:40 am »
My main preparation is that I live in a country that is part of the worlds largest peace project, where mutual assistance between countries is enshrined in it's founding principles. Allowing for good connectivity between the countries so that we can share power if needed.

In the unlikely event that there was an issue with the gas supply, I do have my camp stoves if I needed. My heating is city heat, which does rely on electricity to run the kit in the basement, but if there was a fault a few thousand of us would be cold, which would encourage rapid fixing.

While I am not young enough to remember the power issues of the 70's. My family at the time lived very close to the local hospital. Sufficiently close that their side of the street was on the same power sub station, so while the other side of the road would lose power, the side my family lived on did not.

I have a pair of 3KVA 2U UPSen that are currently fully charged. Last year there was a power outage in the building for a day while they did maintenance on the building's power (installing smart meters for everyone). I ran the internet router and my laptop off the UPSen, and was able to carry on seemingly without noticing. I also have my makita 18v work light if needed...

But, I think the main thing that I highly recommend to reduce stress about these things is being part of the worlds largest peace project. No need to worry about self imposed economic sanctions. Continent wide systems to moderate the energy prices. Have you lot across the water considered it?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #31 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:44:10 am »
Power cuts here are so infrequent and short that I don't care.

Do you live somewhere with a bad history of power outages?

Have you considered buying a newspaper?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #32 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:46:13 am »
I'd presume that being marked as vulnerable gives you some priority in issues that can be fixed on a per-premises basis, but it's not going to make any difference in a lack of power situation. Unless all the Vulnerables were moved in next to each other, a Vulnerable Ghetto in each town. It's possible Priti Patel is working on this already...
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #33 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:47:13 am »
Power cuts here are so infrequent and short that I don't care.

Do you live somewhere with a bad history of power outages?

Have you considered buying a newspaper?

J
Useful for drying shoes but not much good for heating and cooking. Or were you anticipating another Great Bog Roll Panic?
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #34 on: 10 October, 2021, 09:52:26 am »
I'd presume that being marked as vulnerable gives you some priority in issues that can be fixed on a per-premises basis, but it's not going to make any difference in a lack of power situation. Unless all the Vulnerables were moved in next to each other, a Vulnerable Ghetto in each town. It's possible Priti Patel is working on this already...

Yes and no.

Typically UK houses are single phase powered. There are three phases in the ground, with phase 1 going to one house, phase 2, the next and phase 3 the next, and then back to 1. This means that if you know which phase your vulnerable household is on, you can do the rolling black out to say, phases 1 and 3, but leave 2 up. Tho in practice it's a lot more complicated than that.

I don't know if it's the same now, but 6 years ago when I was a Emergency Response Volunteer with a certain international charity's UK branch, when there was a power cut, we got called out, and would go round to those the council knew to be vulnerable, and drop off things like a thermos of hot water, some bottled water, etc...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #35 on: 10 October, 2021, 10:07:32 am »
I have been discussing this with Kent daughter.

She has been stocking up on candles, has bought thermal underwear for the children, and is generally anticipating mayhem. She is also considering fitting shutters to the house. They add greatly to the insulation and provide a line of defence when law and order breaks down and oiks  with guns are roaming the streets.

A leccy outage would put a stop to all our domestic appliances: induction hob, gas ch with leccy pump. We would have hot water if power cuts occurred in the 9 sunniest months, but of course that is when it is least likely.

We have a small collection of camping stoves which run off gas or paraffin. I have a couple of Tilley lamps in the garage but I think they both need major overhauls. I haven’t used them for years. I don’t know if parts are still available.
Bach without a doubt.

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #36 on: 10 October, 2021, 10:13:16 am »
I thought (my EE is a bit rusty) the phases needed to be somewhat balanced. Switching them on and off independently isn’t how the system was designed.

In any case, I imagine the planning of which bits to switch is more on the level of here’s a hospital, here’s somewhere that goes bang, here’s big infrastructure, here’s houses. Any 1000 houses probably has one or two on a list of vulnerable people.

Like others, I can probably get by with no electricity or no gas for a bit. Neither would be less comfortable and my camping fuel supply isn’t big. Though, my memory of the 70s is that we had candles out some evenings, not all week. Are we expecting worse?

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #37 on: 10 October, 2021, 10:15:09 am »
Everything in my flat is electric  :facepalm:      I have a couple of battery powered lanterns,  a couple of those dual ring gas burners & fuel for them.  Some big plastic jerry cans for water storage & purifying tablets.  Can't do anything about heating other than wrap up or huddle over a candle.  Comms & internet via the mobile powered by a 26800 maAh battery pack. 
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #38 on: 10 October, 2021, 10:18:06 am »
I thought (my EE is a bit rusty) the phases needed to be somewhat balanced. Switching them on and off independently isn’t how the system was designed.

In any case, I imagine the planning of which bits to switch is more on the level of here’s a hospital, here’s somewhere that goes bang, here’s big infrastructure, here’s houses. Any 1000 houses probably has one or two on a list of vulnerable people.

Like others, I can probably get by with no electricity or no gas for a bit. Neither would be less comfortable and my camping fuel supply isn’t big. Though, my memory of the 70s is that we had candles out some evenings, not all week. Are we expecting worse?


Well, if the gubbishment has done it's risk and issue management and come up with comprehensive, workable, reliable, effective plans for managing potential power outages, then no ...


Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #39 on: 10 October, 2021, 10:24:31 am »
Everything in my flat is electric  :facepalm:      I have a couple of battery powered lanterns,  a couple of those dual ring gas burners & fuel for them.  Some big plastic jerry cans for water storage & purifying tablets.  Can't do anything about heating other than wrap up or huddle over a candle.  Comms & internet via the mobile powered by a 26800 maAh battery pack.

The aged pa not-in law lives in an all electric flat.  I've been giving thought to how we support him if we end up with extended power outages.  No heat, hot water or ability to cook. 

The pandemic has left us with one bedroom and one office cum store room instead of two bedrooms and we don't even have a guest bed as such any more.  There is potential to put him in our bedroom and we would move into the front room with the comfy big Exped camping mattress on the floor but ironically we would get the warmer room which still has a gas fire in this instance.  I don't see him bunkering down on the camping mattress though.

Lots to think about.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #40 on: 10 October, 2021, 10:34:57 am »
I thought (my EE is a bit rusty) the phases needed to be somewhat balanced. Switching them on and off independently isn’t how the system was designed.

In any case, I imagine the planning of which bits to switch is more on the level of here’s a hospital, here’s somewhere that goes bang, here’s big infrastructure, here’s houses. Any 1000 houses probably has one or two on a list of vulnerable people.

Like others, I can probably get by with no electricity or no gas for a bit. Neither would be less comfortable and my camping fuel supply isn’t big. Though, my memory of the 70s is that we had candles out some evenings, not all week. Are we expecting worse?
My electricity knowledge is Physics O level but that was my understanding. It's also what I've read from accounts by people who remember those power cuts, as well as fitting with what QG said about her childhood home.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #41 on: 10 October, 2021, 11:27:52 am »
In the event of prolonged outages I shall emulate Simon here:



This will serve for:
  • Heating, and
  • Lighting, and
  • Entertainment
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #42 on: 10 October, 2021, 12:26:22 pm »
Typically UK houses are single phase powered. There are three phases in the ground, with phase 1 going to one house, phase 2, the next and phase 3 the next, and then back to 1. This means that if you know which phase your vulnerable household is on, you can do the rolling black out to say, phases 1 and 3, but leave 2 up. Tho in practice it's a lot more complicated than that.

I'm struggling to imagine a situation where you'd do it that way.  Transformer efficiency suffers if the phases aren't balanced, and disconnecting entire phases is a great way to blow fuses.  None of which you want when power is in short supply.  I suppose you might power individual phases from a generator, but any generator big enough to reasonably power multiple houses is likely to be three-phase anyway.

Rolling blackouts would surely be area-wide, as that's the level of control they have without sending out the people in orange hi-vis.

If a vulnerable person were dependent on an electricity supply, they're more likely to rock up with a generator or put them up in a hotel than mess about running a three-phase distribution system as individual phases.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #43 on: 10 October, 2021, 12:30:34 pm »
But, I think the main thing that I highly recommend to reduce stress about these things is being part of the worlds largest peace project. No need to worry about self imposed economic sanctions. Continent wide systems to moderate the energy prices. Have you lot across the water considered it?

Every day since some time in about 2016...   >:(
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #44 on: 10 October, 2021, 12:38:31 pm »
I can fire up the gas cooker without electricity.
I've just ordered a hob kettle from John Lewis.
So I'll be able to cook and have some hot water.
Lighting courtesy of half a dozen Hope Vision 1s.

ETA - I've enough tinned/dried food that I don't need to leave the house for at least a couple of months.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #45 on: 10 October, 2021, 01:09:55 pm »
But, I think the main thing that I highly recommend to reduce stress about these things is being part of the worlds largest peace project. No need to worry about self imposed economic sanctions. Continent wide systems to moderate the energy prices. Have you lot across the water considered it?

Every day since some time in about 2016...   >:(
2015. When Cameron was re-elected and announced he would be holding a Brexit referendum. From that moment, Farage, Putin and Franco were PM, Home Sec and ForSec (positions interchangeable).
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Tim Hall

  • Victoria is my queen
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #46 on: 10 October, 2021, 01:51:04 pm »
Back in the three day week days my Dad molished an inverter which ran off a car battery. This gave sufficient uptime to the central heating ( gas fired, gravity circulation) during power cuts to ensure Mum's onboard thermostat remained un tripped.
Sadly/foolishly I binned it when we cleared the house.
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Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #47 on: 10 October, 2021, 05:23:30 pm »
Power cuts here are so infrequent and short that I don't care.

Do you live somewhere with a bad history of power outages?

Have you considered buying a newspaper?

J

No.
But I presume you are suggesting I might have no awareness of the current situation.

That is not the case; but I have risk-assessed my personal situation and have come to the conclusion that it is not yet necessary to take additional precautions.
I have a gas hob for cooking, wood-burners for domestic heat, and 300l of hot water.
I might suffer a loss of internets, because I shit-canned my UPSes some years back, because they were less reliable than the mains they were backing up. So be it.

That might change if the situation changes
It's going to take Lebanon or India type power outages for me to want to become a survivalist.
And I can't see that on the horizon, yet.

Your personal situation and risk assessment may differ.


Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #48 on: 10 October, 2021, 05:45:20 pm »
I was chatting to a guy with a bike and a camper van at Crowborough Campsite this morning. It seems that his campervan, which is pretty old, is a recent acquisition. Although it has a calor gas stove, he wasn't supplied with a cylinder. He told me that Calor aren't currently taking on new customers, so no cylinder to trade in, no gas.
Bach without a doubt.

Re: Power cuts: are you prepared?
« Reply #49 on: 10 October, 2021, 05:52:06 pm »
We tried to buy some Calor gas over the summer bank holiday weekend.
We ended up at a campsite which claimed to stock the stuff and got their last full cylinder. Apparently getting the gas was almost impossible back then. National shortage.
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."