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I am fairly prepared for a storm outage of ...

Displaying poll results.
Approximately zero (empty fridge)
  1803 votes / 9%
Short duration (chips, soda, candles, laptop)
  3033 votes / 16%
A few hours (flashlight, snacks, UPS)
  2965 votes / 16%
1-2 days (water, pizza, UPS+spare batteries)
  4337 votes / 23%
A week, tops (storm shelter, charged kindle)
  2283 votes / 12%
A week plus (MREs, shortwave, generator)
  2041 votes / 11%
I could live off the land forever
  2007 votes / 10%
18469 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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I am fairly prepared for a storm outage of ...

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @10:29AM (#43782271)

    Hungry and wanting more. (With a side order of regret)

    • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @10:54AM (#43782631) Homepage Journal
      I live in New Orleans.

      I plan to survive for months and weeks...I fucking leave town when the hurricane come near me.

      I generally think of it as a mandated week of random vacation during the summer, at worst, I'm out of town for a few months (Katrina).

      I dislike hurricane, but I think I hate tornadoes even more. At least with a hurricane, you get about 3x days warning to get the fuck out of the way.

      • by Nutria (679911) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:17PM (#43785123)

        I live in New Orleans, too, but the part that doesn't flood.

        We still left for Katrina, but were back in 6 weeks, after the power and cable (I telecommute) were pretty reliable.

        In July we'll stock up on:

        • canned food,
        • powdered milk,
        • bottled water,
        • paper diningware/plastic utensils,
        • bleach,
        • cat litter,
        • gasoline,
        • a camp toilet.
      • by SeaFox (739806)

        I live in New Orleans. ...
        I dislike hurricane, but I think I hate tornadoes even more. At least with a hurricane, you get about 3x days warning to get the fuck out of the way.

        I live in Kansas.

        I dislike tornadoes, but I think I hate hurricanes even more. At least with a tornado, the destructive path is only a couple blocks wide, instead of covering a major portion of the state.

        Also, it only directly threatens you once in a couple decades, instead of a few times every year.

    • by Zmobie (2478450)

      Don't have my UPS yet (working on that, need more money), but have tons of water since that is mostly what I drink anyway, plenty of food, propane grill, gas stove, gas water heater, two gas assisted fireplaces, and a generator that can sustain most of my power needs long as I can get access to enough gasoline. I honestly could probably hold a week or maybe longer in my house if the heat doesn't get out of control or it isn't one of those ridiculous storms that tries to flood us (Texas has awesome weather

      • when you say UPS do you mean a generator or an actual computer UPS? Most computer UPS won't last an hour will they unless they're wildly oversized? I always thought they were for enough time to power down safely whether via serial connection or what have you.
        • by afidel (530433)

          I've got a 5kva 220V UPS that used to power our DR datacenter before it got big enough to need a hard tied UPS. Running my fridge, sump, blower for the furnace, and a few lamps it'll run almost a week unless the sump is going nonstop. It's way bigger than I would have bought new but since all it took was a little bit of physical labor to haul out of the datacenter and then out of the car and downstair it's great.

  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @10:43AM (#43782459) Homepage Journal

    My food in the freezer would last me a good month, but that's only true if it stays frozen (easy in winter, hard in summer)... If the power goes out I would keep the freezer running on battery while I stuffed myself with as much fatty food as I could eat.

    You would live a lot longer without food than you think. It's the lack of water that will get you. Missing poll option: "I am Bear Grylls, and am drinking my own piss while i type this"

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @12:45PM (#43783993)

      You can have enough food to last several weeks/months/years without going out of your way to do it and you do not need to shop anywhere but your local grocery store. Canned goods! Spam, vegtables, chili, tuna, soup, vienna sausages, etc. They all have sheve lives of 3+ years and they are still good after that if the can has not expanded. Buy enough that you feel comfortable storing somewhere. Use them as you normally would and replace the "stock" as you use it. Everything in a can is already cooked, it can be eaten right from the can, and most veggies and fruits are packed in water that you can drink. It would be cool to have some of the dried bulk grains and dried fruits packed in 5 gallon buckets but you don't need those if you have enough cans of stuff.

      I see so many people thinking they need a portable generator. Those are for people in the suburbs to feel comfortable and ride out a 3-12 hour power outage. Save your money by not buying a generator and buy some extra canned goods, an extra propane tank that is always filled for your gas grill, some paper plates and utencils, a keroscene heater with 5-10 gallons of keroscene, a few 5 gallon water jugs, batteries, cheap handi wipes, flashlights and some old mp3 players with an fm radio and a set of $5 portable speakers. For about $200 (1/2 of that the keroscene heater) + the cost of what food you want to stock pile, a family of four can easily make it a week or so winter or summer with no power/gas/heat/transportation.

      • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:11PM (#43785055)

        I see so many people thinking they need a portable generator. Those are for people in the suburbs to feel comfortable and ride out a 3-12 hour power outage.

        You don't need to lose too many deep-freezers full of food or spend a week at a hotel to make a generator start to look attractive. And as to comfort, think of it this way: comfort is your safety margin between living and dying.

        You're right on stocking up a bit. I really should store a meaningful amount of water other than just what's in the water heater tank. I've never had a fresh water outage in my life, but there's always a first time.

        • Or just by a Tesla S 85kWh pack - good for about a week of running essentials. I've started to think that an EV pack would be a good way to get through the "normal" power outages that you get in rural areas.
      • by camperdave (969942) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:30PM (#43785309) Journal
        Do not get the paper plates. Use regular ceramic plates, or if you want sturdiness get some plastic/melamine patio-ware. With paper plates, one good water spill or a stiff breeze, and all your plates are gone.
      • Or how cold it is.

        When we lost power for 10 days due to an ice storm, the generator was mostly for the propane furnace, and the well. In those 10 days, the temperature never got above freezing, so for us, a generator is a must. But, we're also in a rural area, we couldn't even get out for 2 days because the down trees blocked our road. Everything else was a lot like you describe, canned food, propane stove, handi wipes, etc. Except vienna sausages: I'd rather eat cat food

      • by teknosapien (1012209) <teknosapien@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @07:19PM (#43789133) Journal

        Not sure about the generator statement. if you live in my neck of the woods - I have well water and septic system that I would prefer no to fill up
        So my generator is sized accordingly 10 KW, runs on propane(Propane doesn't turn into varnish/go bad, worse case I steal a jug from my grill) I can get about a week on a fill running my whole house(granted it's only 1200 square feet)
        I have a decent fiber connection to the house and the CO is only about 2000 feet away. -
        As far as cost - I purchased a used Generator for $75.00 with a blown motor and replaced it with a newer energy efficient one for about $400.00. All said and done
        Transfer switch , 100 feet of 1 inch conduit two weekends burying pipe and pulling wire. All said and done I'm I''m into it for just shy of $800.00. our last power 2 outages lasted more than 36 hours but I lived through them in comfort.

        If you get beyond the idea of buying new this can be done on a budget. The other positive it raised the value of my home by about $7500.00
        not a bad return on my investment

      • by Miamicanes (730264) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @09:01PM (#43789857)

        Recharging your laptop & running an air conditioner is a bit difficult without a generator.

        In South Florida, the line between "air conditioner" and "life support system" is kind of blurry compared to drier & cooler parts of the country. Remember, Florida south of what's now I-4 was largely *uninhabited* (in the summer, at least) before air conditioning became widespread. Without A/C, Miami is *uninhabitable* in the summer.

        100 years ago, not even the SEMINOLE INDIANS voluntarily remained in South Florida all year... when left alone by the Federal Government, even *they* migrated a few hundred miles north every summer.

    • Missing poll option: "I am Bear Grylls, and am drinking my own piss while i type this"

      You don't have to drink it. You can cram it in your anus and absorb the water through your large intestine.

    • by mrxak (727974) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @07:26AM (#43792581)

      My biggest concern here I think would be a big winter storm. I figure I only need to last a week at most entirely without support or power, and I think I'll be just fine. I'd run out of water first, but I figure I can always boil some snow and I live near water anyway. I am prepared to survive very cold weather when the power goes out, and I've got plenty of food stores (camping supplies plus a wide range of ingredients on hand that adds up). I believe I could be rather comfortable without power in the winter for a week, easy. After that, things would get more difficult, but I'm sure I could survive for several more weeks before I was in serious life-threatening danger. I think internet withdrawal would be the primary stress in my life during that time, but I would have light and plenty of books for weeks and weeks. As long as the power came on again after about two weeks, and the roads cleared up within a month, I am confident a big winter storm would be only an inconvenience to me. In terms of pure survival though, I'd live long enough for spring to come around and the snow melting. After that, I can always drive someplace.

      I'm not worried about a major economic collapse or anarchy or alien invasion or anything else like that. If that day ever comes, I figure that my intelligence, street smarts, temperament, and survival skills will matter a lot more than anything I could possibly stockpile. Anyone who thinks they are truly prepared for the collapse of human civilization is kidding themselves, unless they already live without any contact with human civilization (and hint: that means none of you). Best you can hope for is a bit of luck, and the ability to work with other people to rebuild civilization. At our core, humans tend toward forming communities. Disagreements within and between those communities is natural too, but even when everything goes to shit people are not going to start murdering each other when they have the option to pool their resources and accomplish things they can't do alone. Feel free to call me naive, but there's a reason why humans formed civilizations to begin with instead of having endless war between family groups. For long-term survival, energy is better spent on activities allowed by peace than on constant fighting. Charisma is likely far more important to survival than a machine gun and limitless ammo. Humans were never the fastest, had the biggest teeth or claws, or the strongest animals around. Our greatest survival trait was our ability to work together in the face of whatever dangers lurked around us.

      By all means stockpile a bunch of ammo and buy some guns. They're good tools just like anything else. Unless you're prepared to murder your neighbors in cold blood at the outset of a disaster, though, you're a lot more likely to use them for hunting with other people than for defending a stockpile nobody's really going to come for. After a few years when the ammo runs out, you're probably going to wish you'd learned how to make traps and make good arrows for a bow, though. Tools are good, skills are better. Nobody can steal skills, and skills are always needed by your fellow humans in the community. Trade your services, live off the land, and work together with your neighbors. Isn't that much better than paranoia and an finite quantity of modern weaponry?

      So yeah, I'm really only worried about natural disasters, and the most likely are the ones I'm sure I can survive easily in relative comfort. I've got heat, water, and food enough to last plenty of time.

  • While I'd certainly be rationing the wireless time I spent on my Kindle, if things got too dire I guess there's always building a drill-charger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCxmn1ERbXc [youtube.com]
    • Re:Drill-charger (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Technician (215283) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @12:18PM (#43783695)

      I'm a little better supplied by having a motorhome. 100 gallons of fresh water, generator, propane stove, fridge heat and a 240 Watt solar pannel with inverter and deep cycle batteries. If needed, I can travel.

      Sometimes the camping supplies can double as emergency supplies.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        I'm a little better supplied by having a motorhome. 100 gallons of fresh water, generator, propane stove, fridge heat and a 240 Watt solar pannel with inverter and deep cycle batteries. If needed, I can travel.

        Sometimes the camping supplies can double as emergency supplies.

        Sounds like a good reason to keep those supplies around! Though I guess that means that camping is basically throwing yourself into emergency situations for the fun of it... *cough*

        • Hey, when you remove the likelihood of death a lot of things become fun. Swimming is only really necessary if you're on a sinking boat, but lots of people do it for fun. People who work offshore have to do a course entitled "Helicopter Underwater Survival Training", which is a lot of fun, but I can't imagine it's as much fun to do when the helicopter on which you were happily riding has just crashed into the Gulf of Mexico...

      • Sometimes the camping supplies can double as emergency supplies.

        I have 3 large plastic totes, one with Day trip supplies, fire starters, camp chair, camping spices, small hatchet etc.
        A second with longer term camping supplies, stove, tent, lamp, hammock, sleeping bag, ETC.
        The third is crammed full of MREs, survival food, medications I use commonly, and other OTC meds. Two first aid kits.

        If I need to get out. I grab those 3 totes, all the food in the freezer, water, canned goods and my bow. I can be out

  • Exactly how are you going to bake a pizza during a storm outage?
  • by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @11:21AM (#43782991) Homepage
    3x UPS. For some reason the OP rates these as very important but they won't increase your chance of survival unless you're on life support
    2x Petrol generator. I need to convert one to run on propane though
    Solar panel (30W only)
    Decent stockpile of food, rural area, stream with clean water nearby, good stockpile of fire wood & wood burning stoves

    Few car batteries floating about the place, ham radio (cheap Baofeng yoke only), perfectly good working satellite phone charged and with credit (Thuraya), have a few cans of petrol, not loads though. 3 or 4 butane cylinders some of them full, gas cook top.

    But I live in Ireland. A storm here is a strong gale that might knock a few saplings and put a few houses without power for a few hours or a day or two at the most. The worst part of the storm is listening to the media fallout after "OMG, I had to do without twitter and iPhone for a few hours, terrible, Joe, I could have died, Joe, are you listening to me Joe? What is wrong with this backward country? Why isn't the government doing more about this?! Elderly people trapped in their homes!"
  • How does a UPS make you prepared for a storm outage of hours or days? Do we now consider a media server to be necessary for human survival? The only real use for a UPS in the home is to give you enough time to turn of your computer and prevent data loss from a sudden outage. My plan for electricity in a power outage is to not have any and still be perfectly fine. The list of "necessities" in this poll reads like it was made by a hyperactive 7-year-old. I'll also be fine even though I don't have "chips, soda

    • How does a UPS make you prepared for a storm outage of hours or days? Do we now consider a media server to be necessary for human survival? The only real use for a UPS in the home is to give you enough time to turn of your computer and prevent data loss from a sudden outage. My plan for electricity in a power outage is to not have any and still be perfectly fine.

      If one depends on a sump and electric pump to keep a basement dry, then a UPS is pretty useful. I guess they're usually called "backup batteries" in that case, but I'd say calling it a UPS is descriptive, if not colloquial.

      Also, having a short-term battery backup for any life support equipment is a pretty good plan in case there's any trouble getting the generator going or while waiting to evacuate.

      Besides, it's nice to be able to surf the net during a power outage. Not nearly so many neighbors bogging down

  • by djbckr (673156)
    I have MRE's plus a JetBoil (mostly for camping) plus cases of water. With this, my family and I could survive well for a couple weeks, easy. It's a cheap, easy way to keep food at the ready. It makes me feel better for when we have a massive earthquake - or whatever comes our way.
  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @11:46AM (#43783295)

    I live in a country that has proper power supply. Yes we have storms, typhoons they're called, the bad ones batter the city with 250 km/hr winds for 8-12 hours straight, dumbing in the tune of 500-1000 mm of rain. Power outages? It's not an issue. It stops the trains from running due to trees falling on the tracks, but that's about it. The underground trains continue service even under those weather conditions.

    Luckily no tornadoes here, but not much one can do against those. And if you get hit, I think you have more to worry about that just lack of electricity.

    • Depends on the age of the infrastructure, and where it is. Certain telecoms providers [british telecom] often feel rural broadband and phones is not important and so leave places with iffy phone services. You know its crap as the whole village says there phones and broadband are unreliable. I know this as we have printed airline e-tickets for people flying.

      The electricity distribution underground network cables in our street are beginning to expire and it takes a good day for a replacement to be dug out

    • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @12:51PM (#43784063)

      I live in a country that has proper power supply. Yes we have storms, typhoons they're called, the bad ones batter the city with 250 km/hr winds for 8-12 hours straight, dumbing in the tune of 500-1000 mm of rain. Power outages? It's not an issue. It stops the trains from running due to trees falling on the tracks, but that's about it. The underground trains continue service even under those weather conditions.

      Luckily no tornadoes here, but not much one can do against those. And if you get hit, I think you have more to worry about that just lack of electricity.

      Sounds like you're prepared for anything you imagine could happen.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Sounds like you live in a big city with underground trains, yes there the power lines will be underground and fairly well protected too. More rural parts often don't have that luxury, falling trees, landslides and rock slides can take out the power cables as well. Like you I'm not very prepared but if I lived in some of the more isolated parts - which by climate are much the same - I'd definitively have a generator handy.

    • by Nukenbar (215420) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:47PM (#43785549)

      Living in NYC, I used to think the same thing about power in the city.

      Until Sandy.

    • I suspect your experience has less to do with "proper power supply," whatever that means, and more to do with peculiarities of the coastal geography where you live. Around here we have this thing called storm surge [wikipedia.org]. Because the continental shelf is very broad and very shallow, at Cat 5 will pile up 30-40 feet of water that will absolutely inundate all underground infrastructure (imagine a tsunami that lasts twelve hours) . We do put stuff underground, but not anything important.

    • Yes we have storms, typhoons they're called, the bad ones batter the city with 250 km/hr winds for 8-12 hours straight, dumbing in the tune of 500-1000 mm of rain.

      Sounds like Katrina.

      The underground trains continue service even under those weather conditions.

      Alas, can't really do underground trains all that well when the water table is a foot under your yard.

  • About 3 years (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tolvor (579446) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @12:27PM (#43783797)

    I have about ~1000 lbs of oatmeal in the basement (under the concrete slab of the garage) (repacked, resealed, and filled with nitrogen gas), 2 cases of mufti-vitamins, crackers, and sugar. I've also have 2 solar cell kits, Fresnel lenses large enough to create a low-grade furnace, several packs of batteries, blankets, a fairly good med kit, and bleach. Needless to say I've got guns, ammo, and weapons.

    This is a *minimal* list. I do not discuss it with my neighbors though the UPS guy probably knows from the deliveries, and the government probably knows since they can look at my credit card purchases without a warrant. This is not really enough. It is enough to *probably* help my family to survive for 3 years if the United States has a serious financial / social meltdown. I started about 2 years ago and adding to it every 2 months.

    If things do go very bad (and I think there is at least a 10% chance of a collapse), I plan to keep my family alive and healthy. As far as everyone else goes, sorry, no. I can watch them starve outside my door, and I am prepared to greet them, look them in the eye, shake my head and say that I don't have any stockpiles.

    Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Forgive my naivety, but I personally would rather feed my my neighbors for a month and starve with them after than be a selfish douche for 3 years.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I hear you, but the real question is:

        Are you not a selfish douche? And if so, do you have three years of food to feed your neighbors?

        Or are you really a selfish douche pretending to be something else, who will demand your neighbors feed you for three years.

        Grasshopper & the Ant all over again.

        I hear you talking about selfishness, and yet... a part of me realizes that the people who cry the loudest tend not to just be those with no resources, but the people who blew them on a vacation to mexico and a ne

    • As far as everyone else goes, sorry, no. I can watch them starve outside my door, and I am prepared to greet them, look them in the eye, shake my head and say that I don't have any stockpiles.

      No one is obliged to believe you.

      Why do you think the real doomsday prepper doesn't have any neighbors?

    • and the government probably knows since they can look at my credit card purchases without a warrant.

      In other news, how many times has the IRS audited you in the past 3 years?

  • I have guns. (Score:2, Informative)

    I have guns.
    I can survive for as long as there are people to rob.
    Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
    • by Stargoat (658863)

      lol. The people who have stuff to rob have more guns than you. In a lot of cases, they also have body armor and night vision gear. And they're better shots. Idiots like you and your family won't last too long after the balloon goes up.

      • I think you missed the point.
        None of the poll options reflect the notion that in a true emergency, we can expect a might-makes-right anarchy to unfold before us, rendering many of these preppers' efforts useless when a determined individual is sufficiently armed and wants their supplies.
        I'm not a prepper. I don't have guns to protect me in some sort of apocalyptic scenario. I have guns because I enjoy target shooting.
        Now, to pick your response apart...

        The people who have stuff to rob have more guns than you.

        Let's ignore, for the time being, that it's rather c

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      I find it interesting that your first thought is to use your guns for robbery, not to use your guns to hunt for food, or signal for aid.

  • If you have disposable income and don't have enough food, water, fuel, medicine, etc. to keep you and your family alive for 30 days without going to the store, you're being irresponsible. You don't have to be a "survivalist" to see that investing a few hundred $$$ and a few hours worth of time could pay huge dividends in certain circumstances. Even if you NEVER experience a disaster, what's the downside of being prepared? Less closet space?

    A tiny investment of time and money with almost zero downside ris

    • by jasnw (1913892)

      Ok, just looking at water for a four-person household you're at something on the order of 600 gallons of water for 30 days (5gal/day times 4 people times 30 days). That's 120 of those 5-gallon jugs that sit on top of office water coolers. A bit more than "closet space" unless you live in a megamansion. Storage of enough water, and the periodic recycling of the water store, is probably the biggest headache for going past a few days for most people.

      • You are assuming standard water usage during some sort of crisis. Actual water consumption necessary during a crisis would be 1 gallon/day maximum, unless you live in the middle of the Arizona desert. MREs do not require water to be eaten. And all of that 25-year food is dehydrated, but since it has to be heated you could safely use any water and just boil it for 5 minutes before putting in the food stock.

        Or you could live near a free-flowing river. That's a lot easier.

      • by tragedy (27079)

        The 600 gallons is an overestimate of what's needed to survive. It's really low compared to what most american 4 person families actually use, but an adult male typically only drinks 3 liters of water per day and an adult female 2.2. Assuming two adult males and two adult females, that's 10.4 liters, which is under 3 gallons and would be 90 liters of water per day. In a true emergency, all of the other uses for water, such as bathing, cleaning clothes, washing dishes, flushing the toilet, etc. can be skippe

    • If you have disposable income and don't have enough food, water, fuel, medicine, etc. to keep you and your family alive for 30 days without going to the store, you're being irresponsible.

      I don't think I'm really irresponsible for my "30-days with no food, water or services plan" to be, for example, "decamp to the in-laws' house one state away". A week or so, we could ride out, but when you're talking no power, water or even food and basic necessities in the stores for a month, it's time to evacuate for a while. Keeping at least one car's fuel tank full is pretty much my long-term disaster plan.

    • by Pfhorrest (545131)

      Less closet space?

      In some places, real estate is at a serious premium, and you have to be fantastically wealthy to own a real home with storage space, and pretty well-off to even rent more than a room in a house. Rent on an average studio or 1br apartment is 87% of full-time minimum-wage take-home pay here, and would leave you with $5/day for all other expenses. I make almost 3X the local minimum wage, just bought a mobile home of my own, and don't have enough closet space after putting clothes in there to keep my vacuum cle

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @01:54PM (#43784865)

    I can always sleep.

  • by Hartree (191324) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:30PM (#43785295)

    A house with some fairly long term storage foods in the pantry. 50 gallons if water in the water heater. An old 5 foot diameter well in the back yard. Probably 20 gallons of diesel/fuel oil and 40 of gasoline in various tanks. A chainsaw and various trees/stacked up lumber. Generator that can be gotten running in a day or so (round to it problem). Pack of 40 or so AA batteries and a radio that uses them. A couple of 4 wheel drive vehicles.

    A local doctor's office and a doctor who lines in the same small town.

    Various generators in the town that can power gasoline/diesel pumps.
    I think we've got it easily covered for weeks. This town's been snowed in/iced in and without power for over a week a number of times in the past 50 years.

    A 2 meter/440 MHz handheld amateur radio.

    And that's without making any particular preparations. Give me a few hours and I can at least quadruple the period just by filling up some tanks for fuel.

    Of course, that assumes the house and garage haven't been bullseyed/I'm not injured in the storm.

    Medicines might get short after a bit, but they aren't short term life threatening things.

    Internet or cell phone? Gimme a break.

    Waaaaaay down the priority list. Those are almost as low as TV, and I've not bothered to hook up my TV for several years.

    • by k6mfw (1182893)

      A house with some fairly long term storage foods in the pantry. 50 gallons if water in the water heater. An old 5 foot diameter well in the back yard. Probably 20 gallons of diesel/fuel oil and 40 of gasoline in various tanks.

      At least you have a house, these options not available for urban dwellers. However, good you pointed out the hot water heater (lotsa water). I also heard diesel is what you should store and not gasoline (gives off fumes). Also good point of TV down on priority list, I read unlike years ago when TV and broadcast radio was important for latest updates but now it is not (stations bought out by big networks and they ain't gonna interrupt Kardashians). I think internet is important, however, if infrastructure go

      • by Hartree (191324)

        Yeah, it's completely a result of my ending up living in a small town where I own an old (just turned 100 years) house with a fireplace, a well, etc. Also that I have to drive a ways to work.

        If I were in, say, near north Chicago, I'd probably be living in an apartment, and if I was working where it was an option I'd take public transit.

        Having a car in a big city can be a liability.

  • by k6mfw (1182893) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:46PM (#43785525)
    Really, where will "it" go if no water to flush the toilet? Use garbage bags inside toilet, then have someplace to put it where it will not stink up the place and spread diseases. For urban condo/apt dwellers this can be an issue.
    • by Kittenman (971447)

      Really, where will "it" go if no water to flush the toilet? Use garbage bags inside toilet, then have someplace to put it where it will not stink up the place and spread diseases. For urban condo/apt dwellers this can be an issue.

      Not really. I imagine they'll drop 'it' out the window with a 'Hey, catch!' shout to some hapless soul below.

  • by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:47PM (#43785547) Homepage

    We had an ice storm in South Dakota that knocked out power for five days. I spent the first day huddling in sweaters and reading by candelight. After one cold night (17 F outside; about 45 F indoors) I hustled myself to a hotel. I might have stayed longer, but more ice was coming and I was worried about being stuck in a cold home.

    I had plenty of food, including canned food that I could live on for weeks. I missed the internet (my UPS box provided 30 minutes of power; I conserved that), but I could live without connectivity. I had lots of batteries for flashlights and the weather radio. The limiting factor was the cold. If I had a generator to run my furnace, or a wood-burning stove, then I could have lasted until my fuel ran out. Without heat I lasted just over one day.

    It's not worth it to me to be a survivalist; I live alone, with nobody who relies on me, and I like to pretend that civilization will endure. But I'm seriously thinking about getting a backup heat generator of some sort, just in case.

    • by bobbozzo (622815)

      We had an ice storm when I was a kid; we were later told that we could have powered the thermostat or furnace solenoid off a car battery, and since the gas furnace was in the basement and the registers were in the floors, the heat theoretically would have risen up into the living space via convection.

      We also had a gas stove/oven and iirc a gas/wood fireplace.
      And the water heater ran on gas.

    • Candles can put out enough heat to take the bitter edge off the cold, especially if you can get them inside a metal container to buffer the heat.

      My mom had a purely decorative iron pot-belly stove that we stuffed full of candles during a severe snowstorm when the power went out. It did surprisingly well.

      If you want to get dangerous, you can attempt to rig up a candle-heated pot of cooking oil or something, too.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      You don't need to be a survivalist to own cold weather clothing. Military surplus is fine.

      If you live where it's cold enough outside to be dangerous, you should have suitable gear in your vehicle that you can WALK away from a breakdown without problem. Add a sleeping bag for home use, and the only cold hazard is frozen pipes.

      A heater is only useful when it's running and only in proximity to that heater.

      Never forget boots. Combat boots are fine, and if you fail to wear them enough to break them in make sure

  • Most preppers would never post on a public website how long their supplies could last. So in that case, I have an empty fridge and no chance of survival past 3 days.

  • by treeves (963993) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:20PM (#43786157) Homepage Journal

    Like you need a charged Kindle to survive for a week. Get serious.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @05:16PM (#43787985)

    I plan on cannibalizing the well-prepared. As well as being a plan of least resistance, you tasty folks out there with foresight probably eat well, so I imagine I'll be treated with a delectable, low-fat, low-sodium, granola-fed lean meat.

  • While I have food and water to last nearly a week, I have no UPS, and my laptop's batteries will last maybe three hours. Normally I could use my car to recharge my laptop, but my new one would actually trip the fuse on my car.

    However, if it's really a long outage, I am sure I'll have more important things to worry about than checking /. and Twitter.

  • by DERoss (1919496) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @05:25PM (#43788099)

    I have sleep apnea. I stop breathing while I am asleep. To prevent a strain on my heart (pumping harder to move limited oxygen through my body) and brain damage, I need a medical device that forces me to breath while sleeping. The device runs on electricity. Living next to a major urban area (Los Angeles), I go to a hotel or emergency shelter if my home will be without electricity through an entire night since outages rarely extend farther than a single neighborhood.

    The most frequent cause of a power outage in my area is the failure by Southern California Edison to perform preventive maintenance on its equipment, especially failed transformers and underground cables. Elsewhere in southern California, outages might involve utility poles holding too many other utilities -- phone lines, TV cables, fiber optic lines, cell phone antennas, etc. Edison will be paying $37,000,000 in penalties to the state of California because of a major brush fire caused when three over-loaded utility poles fell in a wind storm. Penalties against the utilities that also used those poles will bring the total to over $60,000,000.

  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @05:37PM (#43788239) Homepage Journal

    I wouldn't resort to it right away but I'm happy knowing I can, and have, live off the land. First I'd start with my vegan and vegetarian neighbors though. They are more likely to not be armed and are grass/grain fed.

  • I do multi-day whitewater rafting trips that last a week or so every year. As such I have a complete camp kitchen with propane stoves, charcoal grill and dutch ovens. After each trip I always top off the propane tanks and water jugs. I also have a ceramic water filter and a river toilet so I've got that covered. I have enough food in the cupboards to last several weeks. I also have a couple of small solar PV chargers that I can use to charge AA & AAA batteries and USB devices. More than a month th

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      hope your relatives have a huge ammo pile to shoot all the other hungry desparate refugees that will be headed their way along with you. hope your relatives don't mistakenly shoot you as they panic and go apeshit mowing down the hoards with bullets. on the plus side, think of all the "long pig" jerky they'll be able to make

      • by riverat1 (1048260)

        A relatively localized natural disaster like this poll was talking about would not lead to that sort of breakdown of society.

        But if things really broke down to that extent I think my relatives and their neighbors would probably be banding together to protect their little slice of heaven there in the foothills. I'd be a lot more concerned about some idiot shooting me on the way there than I would be about them shooting me when I get there.

  • It'd be an earthquake.

  • At least, no storm that could cause an outage. I am not sure there are european cities that have this risk.
  • Please... you don't need a UPS (which is for computers) in a major storm outage. If you had a whole home-oriented power backup, that might be something worth mentioning because you could use that energy (much more than a UPS has) for useful things like lighting and cooking raw foods or sanitizing water.

    The only way I see a UPS really making sense is if it was used strictly to power and recharge a cellphone in the event that some form of emergency local towers were still in place.

    My main point.. you don't n

  • Really didn't want to spring 10K+ for a whole-house generator so I went with a 'portable' 6KW Yamaha and a manual transfer switch.

    I'm working on a natural gas hookup for the Yamaha so if I need to go long term I won't have to be out scavenging gas.

    This will pretty much keep my house going except for the AC.

    Hopefully I'll never need to use it. I went 20 years in this location without a problem until Irene and then Sandy.

  • I keep 20-25 gallons of water, a mix of food that will keep for a few days as well as some stuff that will last longer, fuel enough for a few days to allow running the cars - good way to charge batteries, a few UPS's, plenty of radio equipment (amateur 10-160m coverage plus scanners and shortwave), enough weapons and ammo to hold out for a while. No generator here and not a lot of canned or dehydrated food though.

  • by JimMcc (31079) on Wednesday May 22, 2013 @11:19AM (#43794895) Homepage

    Let see, an ocean capable and proven boat, a full load of fuel, generator, watermaker, long range HF radio equipment... We could easily last for an extended period with only food being the limiting factor. Unless a tsunami takes out the harbor, we can easily just untie the boat and leave for an area not affected by whatever the problem is.

  • by MooseTick (895855) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @02:48PM (#43806365) Homepage

    I plan to join the roving bands of rapists and looters and will go full on canibal as soon as the first McDonalds closes.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.

 



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