Homesteading Forum banner

81 - 96 of 96 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,225 Posts
I'm sure you don't tell friends in Eastern Canada that they get what they deserve but

We keep things current too but that doesn't ensure that problems won't arise. We lost power at -45C at about 1:00 am. I can assure you that all our preparations meant very little when one simple failure left everything from our well house on through frozen solid in a matter or mere hours.

My nearly antique gas stove kept things fairly comfortable but under those circumstances, there is a very narrow window where important decisions have to be made. I know what needs to be done and how quickly decisions need to be made but that's because I'm familiar with my environment.

Those who are unfamiliar are going to struggle.
I have never told Texans they got what they deserve. Wonder where you got that silly idea? What has happened in Texas was inevitable given the lack of preparation for change and the reality is that although we can predict a lot about the weather we still cannot predict with accuracy and with climate change it is even more difficult given the severity of the changes.

Texas is not the only state or the US the only country where this has lack of preparation has happened in the past - and present. The most tragic part is that Texas was made aware of the need for change in 2011 after the last big storm and following the investigation of their grid and nothing was done over that 10 year period. People are dead because of this and homes and businesses ruined or extremely damaged.

Talking with my friends in Texas (the ones I can reach) I know that they are suffering immensely and sick with stress and worry for the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,225 Posts
I'm sure you don't tell friends in Eastern Canada that they get what they deserve but

We keep things current too but that doesn't ensure that problems won't arise. We lost power at -45C at about 1:00 am. I can assure you that all our preparations meant very little when one simple failure left everything from our well house on through frozen solid in a matter or mere hours.

My nearly antique gas stove kept things fairly comfortable but under those circumstances, there is a very narrow window where important decisions have to be made. I know what needs to be done and how quickly decisions need to be made but that's because I'm familiar with my environment.

Those who are unfamiliar are going to struggle.
There is a really informative section here on Homesteading called Survival and Emergency Preparedness which could help you in an emergency situation. It really is vital to have more than one plan. If there is a chance your well will freeze (as happened to you) you need to have water or a generator on hand. No matter how well prepared you think you are there will be things that happen that will mess up what you think is enough security.

And a lot depends on the length of time an emergency lasts or if you can shelter in place. You may have all you need at home but if you have to evacuate while a wildfire burns your home to the ground or a hurricane blows it to pieces then you will be just as vulnerable as others. This winter emergency in Texas did not allow for evacuation as it hit right in everyone's home or business.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
19,426 Posts
There is a really informative section here on Homesteading called Survival and Emergency Preparedness which could help you in an emergency situation. It really is vital to have more than one plan. If there is a chance your well will freeze (as happened to you) you need to have water or a generator on hand. No matter how well prepared you think you are there will be things that happen that will mess up what you think is enough security.

And a lot depends on the length of time an emergency lasts or if you can shelter in place. You may have all you need at home but if you have to evacuate while a wildfire burns your home to the ground or a hurricane blows it to pieces then you will be just as vulnerable as others. This winter emergency in Texas did not allow for evacuation as it hit right in everyone's home or business.
Maybe the Texans all need to be directed to S&EP but I think you extrapolated a bit more than you should have from my comment. I don't think I indicated that we had no generator nor did I suggest we had no water. All I did suggest was that even the best preparations can fail, without blaming climate change, wind energey or a system that has worked fine in the past.

I've found over the years that the most important tool we have is the ability to use life experiences to get us through whatever Mother Nature sends our way but I would also suggest that if we were to encounter something that is completely unusual, we may struggle a bit too.
 

·
Be powerful. No other option exists.
Joined
·
40,208 Posts
Discussion Starter #85
I know Nevada crossed the forum "line" about a certain public figure who has probably (and unfortunately) ended his career with one bad decision.

However, as a native Texas, I think Nevada's comment was REALLY funny.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,729 Posts
I know Nevada crossed the forum "line" about a certain public figure who has probably (and unfortunately) ended his career with one bad decision.

However, as a native Texas, I think Nevada's comment was REALLY funny.
I suspect that’s only with folks that hated and wanted to blame him for everything, already.

A national radio show I listen to, based out of Texas, was yucking it up on that situation the other morning. They’d mention something that they had to do because of the weather (shovel the driveway, scrape their windshield, one of them had sprinkler lines burst etc.) and every anecdote was followed with “but if only (@Nevada’s buddy) was here, I wouldn’t have had to do that! Where was he?!?! On vacation, that cretin!! He knows he should have been home shoveling my driveway like he does every time it snows!!”
 

·
Be powerful. No other option exists.
Joined
·
40,208 Posts
Discussion Starter #88
I actually thought he (Nevada's buddy) was pretty decent till this blunder. It was a bone head decision.

BTW, I listen pretty regularly to Michael Berry on KTRH radio out of Houston.

Heavens to Betsy, the dreaded THREAD DRIFT. Again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,585 Posts
Everyone keeps acting like low cost energy is the cause of the breakdowns. What is wrong with paying less? I would rather pay less to them and be able to afford a generator than pay what California does per KWH and not be able to afford a generator. They have blackouts every year. We only have them when its a tornado or hurricane and now one winter storm. We pay half the rate of Californians and have much fewer blackouts.

Do Y'all really think that raising the price is the answer? Lets fix the problem then see what it will cost. Some of you just floor me with your "throw money at it and it will fix it".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,225 Posts
Maybe the Texans all need to be directed to S&EP but I think you extrapolated a bit more than you should have from my comment. I don't think I indicated that we had no generator nor did I suggest we had no water. All I did suggest was that even the best preparations can fail, without blaming climate change, wind energey or a system that has worked fine in the past.

I've found over the years that the most important tool we have is the ability to use life experiences to get us through whatever Mother Nature sends our way but I would also suggest that if we were to encounter something that is completely unusual, we may struggle a bit too.
Yes it was my assumption that you had no generator or water as you wrote “I can assure you that all our preparations meant very little when one simple failure left everything from our well house on through frozen solid in a matter or mere hours.” I took this to mean you did not have a generator (or more than one on a farm) because continuing to power the heat tape or even the old fashioned 100 watt incandescent light bulb down the well would have helped to keep pumps and lines from freezing.

But very true - life will always present struggles . Life experiences do teach us to be inventive and resilient but that comes with life and time and thus with age. The young don't have this to fall back on just as those who live in the city have a different set of problems to deal with whenever there is a natural disaster.

I do think that there is blame to go around. Just because something once worked well does not mean it will continue to meet the needs because there is always change. Change in the environment and change in human demands. This is supposedly what we pay our our governments and utility companies to stay ahead of. When people, governments and businesses have years of proof that change is happening but decide to pretend it is not happening then there is blame when such a catastrophic failure happens.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
19,426 Posts
Yes it was my assumption that you had no generator or water as you wrote “I can assure you that all our preparations meant very little when one simple failure left everything from our well house on through frozen solid in a matter or mere hours.” I took this to mean you did not have a generator (or more than one on a farm) because continuing to power the heat tape or even the old fashioned 100 watt incandescent light bulb down the well would have helped to keep pumps and lines from freezing.

But very true - life will always present struggles . Life experiences do teach us to be inventive and resilient but that comes with life and time and thus with age. The young don't have this to fall back on just as those who live in the city have a different set of problems to deal with whenever there is a natural disaster.

I do think that there is blame to go around. Just because something once worked well does not mean it will continue to meet the needs because there is always change. Change in the environment and change in human demands. This is supposedly what we pay our our governments and utility companies to stay ahead of. When people, governments and businesses have years of proof that change is happening but decide to pretend it is not happening then there is blame when such a catastrophic failure happens.

Those things you mentioned work very well but I guess you missed the part where the outage happened at 1:00 am, which is not a time when we're typically awake.

With temperatures sitting around a daytime high of -46C, it doesn't take long for problems to arise when people are asleep. Do you typicall stay awake 24/7 during extreme weather? I don't.

I don't expect that my utility company has many contingency plans for weather patterns that they've not had to deal with and I still suspect Texas is much the same.

It's always easy to armchair quarterback but things are always a bit different when you're looking at things from the inside.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
25,223 Posts
Maybe Cruz just forgot to buy the travel insurance and would have lost his well-deserved vacation and money if he had cancelled. Maybe he just wanted to stay warm. Who knows, it may end up costing him his swanky career, it may not.

Stuff happens and unexpected stuff happens when you least expect it. It really is hard to prepare for every contingency. I would have hoped that Texas would have called for the national guard or something to bring out generators and set up some shelters for people who had no heat but that didn't happen either. Funny how that stuff is set up so quickly after a hurricane but didn't happen after a cold snap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Trees are stupid. What kind of freak defends trees. (Probably from California) Trees are a horrible idea. But dang if they aren't a money maker, idiots with trees pay people to cut on them every few years. You can use two squirts of roundup, or pay a guy thousands of dollars, makes no difference to the guy you are paying thousands of dollars. Trees rot shingles, trees cause gutters to fail, trees rot structural members, trees bust DWS lines, trees fall and cause power outages, trees fall through roofs, trees fall on cars, trees block roads, trees cause fires, create wildlife egress to houses, create food for wildlife that causes property damage and loss of life through vehicle strikes. For every good reason to have a tree in a suburban area, there are ten to cut it off even with the ground. But people will still have trees, plant trees, and pay people to trim trees and cry about power outages, clogged gutters and smashed cars. Insurance companies should seriously charge people for trees if they don't already, the crazy thing is, people are so stupid, they actually think a giant tree adds to the property value.
Surely you are being facetious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,729 Posts
I actually thought he (Nevada's buddy) was pretty decent till this blunder. It was a bone head decision.

BTW, I listen pretty regularly to Michael Berry on KTRH radio out of Houston.

Heavens to Betsy, the dreaded THREAD DRIFT. Again!
Maybe Cruz just forgot to buy the travel insurance and would have lost his well-deserved vacation and money if he had cancelled. Maybe he just wanted to stay warm. Who knows, it may end up costing him his swanky career, it may not.

Stuff happens and unexpected stuff happens when you least expect it. It really is hard to prepare for every contingency. I would have hoped that Texas would have called for the national guard or something to bring out generators and set up some shelters for people who had no heat but that didn't happen either. Funny how that stuff is set up so quickly after a hurricane but didn't happen after a cold snap.
I guess what makes it so silly is that NV’s BFF really has no power within the state. The governor, a state representative, the power commissioner or whatever? Sure. Them going to Cabo during a state crisis would be a bad move, but the federal rep? That’s like being mad at the Education Secretary for being on vacation during a stock market crash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
That doesn't make much sense. Data centers don't rely on the power grid. They use it when available, but have battery and generator backup to deal with both momentary and extended power outages. The setup is similar to what phone companies use but unlike systems used by hospitals, hotels, and office buildings, who can tolerate momentary power outages.

You'll find that data centers in Dallas & Houston are doing fine during this crisis.
I live in Washington State and our large natural gas supplier, Avista, sent out notices alerting folks that their automatic payments had not been processed because the processor was out of Texas and had been down for days due to the weather. I wonder if those back-up systems are not sized to provide energy for more than a day or two. Just today we got an email saying the payments had been processed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Climate change, my foot. I live in east TX and we rarely get much snow to speak of...maybe a couple of inches a year. In 2009 or 10 we had about 4-5 inches. But in 1920’s there was a storm that dumped about 19 inches right here. We only know about it because a local restaurant has pictures of it up on the wall. When we discovered that, we went and reengineered our barn roof with extra supports because that snow will cave a metal roof in if it’s not built for that (and it wasn’t). The only “climate change” that is going on is the same climate change that’s been going on throughout the history of the earth.

We were mostly prepared for the storm. Although, our preparations were made for an economic storm rather than a weather event. We have a generator for our barn and our house, a well (which we winterize every winter to keep it from freezing), a store of food, and a wood burning furnace. We were stuck with rolling blackouts with the power going off and on very 15-30 minutes. We had enough of that nonsense and just took ourselves off the grid and relied on our generator for power for the duration of the power outages.

We did have a water pipe in the kitchen freeze and break, but we caught it before it flooded the house. When my husband took the wall apart to fix it, he discovered that the builders did not insulate that one pipe. we’ve always had trouble with that spot, so we knew to take precautions every time it gets below freezing here. But even our precautions weren’t enough to save that uninsulated pipe when it got to -1 degrees.
 
81 - 96 of 96 Posts
Top