Hurricane prep

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, July 2, 2024, 5:00 PM | comments: 0

As unlikely as it sounds, we've lived in Orange County now for 11 years, and we've never had a significant power outage. It went for an hour or two for Irma in 2017, and that was it. And that makes sense, because we've had a backup battery for the house since 2019, and nothing more than a brown-out since. Power outages are the biggest risk for us in a hurricane. Damage is fairly unlikely because of the new construction, and storms generally weaken a ton by the time they get to us.

I'm paying a little more attention this year, because of Beryl and its insane and historic strength at the end of June. It's extremely unusual, and also validates the various academics who have warned about a rough year. The only thing that concerns me is the solar panels, since they're bolted to the roof. They're also the key to having some power in the event of an outage. With the battery, the solar can keep generating power for us and it disconnects from the grid (because you don't want to backfeed electricity to the utility in the event people are working on it). Our backup load only includes the non-high-voltage stuff, so lights, fans refrigerators are all good. We know from the time it got zapped and stuck in the disconnected mode that it'll keep up indefinitely, as long as there's some sun. What we lose is air conditioning, water heating, oven and stove. We have propane as a backup for the cooking. Beyond that, we can stock up on water, fill the tubs (for toilet flushing), and we should be good for a fair amount of time.

This year I finally bought a propane burner, to compliment the grill. I can't think of anything else that we lack, though if I were really a survivalist, I'd probably have a ham radio license. I don't think I'd last long in a zombie apocalypse, because I don't really make things or grow things, and I don't think I could stomach making animals into food.

It's frustrating that more people don't take the climate issues seriously. Because it's a slow burn, it's easy to ignore, but with the increase in extreme weather, something that is objectively observed and measured, you'd think folks would see it. It's another factor in the bizarre anti-intellectualism wave that I can't explain.


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