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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Projections put Hurricane Laura making landfall just a few miles east of my location It was suppose to go up the Sabine River between Texas and Louisiana, but at the minute shifted to the east. This caused the majority of damage to be in Southwest Louisiana. Southeast Texas got some damage, such as downed trees, trees through houses, and power outages, but not as bad as Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana.

My trusty generator that always cranked refused to run - this is a Coleman Powermate 7200. Even after cleaning the carburetor, replacing the fuel line, replacing the fuel line switch, cleaning the spark plug, and replacing the fuel filter before the hurricane made landfall, nothing resolved the issue.

My son brought over a rebuilt generator, but something was wrong with the voltage. As a result, the fan in my fridge burned out. Fan was replaced yesterday - I ordered a replacement from Ebay.

To keep the food cold after I got a new generator, then took the back access panel off the fridge, the panel you take off to get to the compressor, and put a box fan blowing on the compressor, which also blew across the coils. The box fan kept the fridge coils and compressor cool and working.

My brother brought his cows, horse and goats to my house and put them in the chicken yard. When I built the chicken yard I built it using field fence, t-post, and telephone poles for corner post. The yard is around 1/2 acre and was large enough to keep the cows, horse and goats.

I use a utility pump to pump water from a creek to the chicken yard water system. Chickens have a 35 gallon drum, and a 5 gallon pan that catches rain water. Once a month or so, depending on heat and how much rain we get, I run a water hose from the utility pump to the chicken yard to fill up the 35 gallon tank, The livestock was drinking so much water, I put the water hose in the 5 gallon pan and left the utility pump on. The pump gave out being under the load. Of course the replacement pump was not in the store room. I think my exwife took it when she left in 2015. That is my fault for not making sure there was a replacement pump. Thankfully Lowes in Jasper, Texas had utility pumps in stock, so I bought two of them.

A buddy of mine I went to high school with, he was renting a house in Orange, Texas, evacuated to around College Station, and when he came home, a large tree had gone through his roof.

FEMA said there had not been enough damage to the area to provide housing.

Points of Distribution (PODS) were only up and running for a few days. My area did not get ice, water or food. Around the Orange and Bridge City area, supplies were handed out for only a few days.

Coleman stove worked perfectly. This is an old Coleman liquid fuel stove from the 1990s that I bought a propane adapter for.

LED lanterns worked great. No kerosene was used during the power outage.

Radios worked great. A cheap $16 am/fm radio I bought off Amazon picked up a radio station 100 miles away with no problem. Loaned my aunt a small Sony am/fm radio and several AA batteries, she did not have a radio. The cheap radio I bought off amazon is recharged via USB.

Battery packs kept running out of juice. I had to charge them almost daily with the generator. These are 20000 mAh packs.

Canopy with a tarp over it worked great for protecting the generators from rain after the hurricane passed. I have a 10 foot x 10 foot Coleman canopy, and put a 14 x 16 foot tarp over it. Tarp was held in place with bungee cords.

Before the storm hit, I filled up three 5 gallon buckets of water. We used those to flush the toilets. Once the water pump was wired into the new generator we had running water and was able to flush the toilets.

Main power transmission lines going to the Jasper, Texas region had been destroyed by the hurricane. The dam at Lake Sam Rayburn was able to provide power to the area. I thought it was wonderful a dam put in back in the 1960s was able to generate enough power over 50 years later.

Local radio station KJAS kept people updated.

I was able to get two cases of Sopakco MREs from someone further south.

Things I Want To Change

A day or two after the hurricane passed we got rain, so my solar setup would not have worked.

Bought a new generator, so that issue is fixed. Was able to run the water pump for the house, and shift between the fridge and freezer.

Get some larger USB battery packs, maybe something in the 30000 mAh range.

I have a window AC unit in the bedroom. This kept the room cool so my wife and I could sleep at night. The rest of the house was warm due to no central AC. Maybe get a window unit for the kitchen?

Overall, besides the generator not running, I was happy with how things went.
 

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What would Mal do
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4,798 Posts
great review Kev !

my older honda genny, when it works, I love it...but I think it has a mind of it's own, cause twice now when I really wanted/needed it...darn thing made me work for it !
it's actually in the shop now.. I figure a good small engine guy would do better than me making it run correctly and reliably as it did the first couple years I owned it...yes, start it pretty regularly, use nonethanol fuel, etc..

I did recently add a larger dual fuel genny to my preps..with our camping hobby (travel trailer) plus the grill, firepit, we tend to have plenty of propane around on a normal basis..if i go through all that, then I can pull gasoline from the lawn cans and eventually from the boat and vehicals.

batteries, comms, electric battery packs...like you.. I have all that, but I recognize the limits..and yes, I'd be disapointed in my solar recharge capability with overcast conditions.

We've weathered I think 8 hurricanes in my lifetime...evac'd for others rather than put up with the mess..and then been surprised by a couple that came far inland and caused us major issues in a city that wasn't accustomed to that kind of damage.

couple ice storms...those are harder in some ways..gotta stay warm...food perishables not an issue of course, but heating...big buddy heater, and a kerosene if needed..wood in the fireplace in one room..won't die, just different from summer heat hurricane.
good to read about your fail points and your successes...
 

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Crazy Cat Lady
Plan to Alamo at home.
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He had just gotten a new prescription for blood pressure pills (newly diagnosed), I had to scramble to get the 3 month before the storm rolled in.

My Achilles is transportation and I knew THAT would be out if we had what was predicted as a Cat 4 roll through. I am diligent about my medication and how I have plenty of his as well.
 

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Born 120 years too late.
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5,069 Posts
IF ELECTRICITY is important to your going forward in a disaster, as it is in mine...(live in north, cold, need heat, need to keep water moving so it doesn't freeze in pipes, that sort of thing...)
do not be afraid of having more than one generator sitting around.

As reported above, reliable gennys do not ALWAYS run..whoops.

Small gennys (1800-2500 watt) can be found on the used market fairly cheap if you watch for them. And, you can find all sorts of wattage available in used also.
If I have one that does not start, I don't take hours to tear it down and rebuild it to hope it will start after the work, I just go to another genny and pull the cord or turn the key. In cold winter if the pull start of my choice is too cold and I need it to get warm to run, I use the BIG elec start gen to get things going, then use the exhaust from the big one to warm up a smaller one. then, when it will start I can trade them off and run more efficiently.

The back up to your gen may not be as big as your primary, but it will do things that nothing else can for you... namely produce electricity.
 

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A marathon not a sprint
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4,688 Posts
Would only using premium gas as gennie fuel eleviate some of the problems? . My tool dealer suggested instead of Stabil, that I use Aspen to leave in the tank and run some through the carburator between seasonal uses of the snow blower and generators . So I am following that advice , where we live, we need that generator to run the furnace in freezing weather . Longest we have been out of power is 11 days and it turns your life upside down . I would empty all my pipes before I would allow them to freeze though .
 

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Founder
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys and gals.

I forgot one little topic that came up during the power outage, that was having enough 100 volt to usb plugs. During the day I would charge the led lanterns and battery packs. I had to look around the house to find enough plugs to charge everything off a power strip.

If the weather was clear I would have been using my solar panel.

This brings up another issue, having enough solar panels to charge everything. We were going through the battery packs faster than expected.
 

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Wile E Coyote, Genius.
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33,912 Posts
Thanks guys and gals.

I forgot one little topic that came up during the power outage, that was having enough 100 volt to usb plugs. During the day I would charge the led lanterns and battery packs. I had to look around the house to find enough plugs to charge everything off a power strip.

If the weather was clear I would have been using my solar panel.

This brings up another issue, having enough solar panels to charge everything. We were going through the battery packs faster than expected.
I would suggest making a 12V power setup like I put together a couple years ago.
Basically 2 or 3 car batteries hooked together, in a rubbermade tote. I leave a smart charger hooked up to them to maintain charge.
That is then wired to some 12V LED lights I got off Amazon for cheap. Just one of those lights will light up the house pretty good.
I also have a 12V camp fan "O2Cool" rigged up, along with a 12V USB charging stations for phones and things.

Also a 12V TV is on the same system, and a large radio also uses 12V and is hooked up.

2 car or deep cycle batts will give you a good bit of power.

https://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=867385&highlight=12V+power+supply
 

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Glad you came through the storm safely.

As a resident of the Ms. Gulf coast, I understand what you went through.

A question. You mention usb battery packs. What did you use them for?

Forum Watcher
 

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Jackpine Savage
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4,203 Posts
Thanks guys and gals.

I forgot one little topic that came up during the power outage, that was having enough 100 volt to usb plugs. During the day I would charge the led lanterns and battery packs. I had to look around the house to find enough plugs to charge everything off a power strip.

If the weather was clear I would have been using my solar panel.

This brings up another issue, having enough solar panels to charge everything. We were going through the battery packs faster than expected.
I have a Stanley jumpstarter with 3 usb ports on it that I bought in the spring. It handled all my charging needs while camping this summer and I bring it inside so I have it handy when we are expecting storms in case the power goes out.
 

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He had just gotten a new prescription for blood pressure pills (newly diagnosed), I had to scramble to get the 3 month before the storm rolled in.

My Achilles is transportation and I knew THAT would be out if we had what was predicted as a Cat 4 roll through. I am diligent about my medication and how I have plenty of his as well.
I have the same needs. If you have decent insurance get your doctor to make your prescriptions for 3 months instead of one. This is how I try to stay ahead of a crisis; none-the-less, the copay on the critical meds is $40 x 3 = $120. Four "critical" 3 month refills is $480. A hard pill to swallow on fixed income. If I were to pay out of pocket it would be from $400 to $480 for 30 days; so< I can't just go stock up. If you don't have good insurance go to the manufacturer for coupons. I can't qualify but maybe you can. I have 8 other prescriptions at regular copay. I skip a lot of doses to try to save up for the future. I guess I can go several months into a long-term shtf deal. Then it is prayer.
 

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Business Owner
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Can't stress enough redundancy!! I have 4 Generators and 3 large (1000+) wattage invertors.

I have been wiring my generator panel to accept input from multiple sources, and to even be able to parallel the sources that can do it.
 

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Founder
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Can't stress enough redundancy!! I have 4 Generators and 3 large (1000+) wattage invertors.

I have been wiring my generator panel to accept input from multiple sources, and to even be able to parallel the sources that can do it.
Working on getting the Coleman Powermate fixed, then I will have two generator backups.

Just the Powermate is enough to power the water pump, window AC unit, fridge / freezer and recharge devices.
 

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Business Owner
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Working on getting the Coleman Powermate fixed, then I will have two generator backups.

Just the Powermate is enough to power the water pump, window AC unit, fridge / freezer and recharge devices.
Recently a 6 hour outage on what was (at that time) the hottest day of the year was much more bearable with 1 generator running the fridge, freezer, computer network AND mainly - the master bedroom window AC. 3 people and 2 dogs setup camp in the master bedroom and all stayed cool.

I tell everybody who preps with a generator to include a window AC unit that the generator can run plus the fridge. The 5000 btu units can be had for $100 or less at the start of the summer season.
 

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Semper Fi
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Good write up.

Not to be a richard but as the founder of a survival board who lives where hurricanes are common it seems like ****poor planning to have had only the one genset.
 

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Working on getting the Coleman Powermate fixed, then I will have two generator backups.

Just the Powermate is enough to power the water pump, window AC unit, fridge / freezer and recharge devices.
Getting it fixed or fixing it yourself? 90* of generator issues are fuel related...the other 10* could be engine/gen head issues basically making the thing junk.

For running a small AC, charging devices and keeping a fridge cool it's hard to beat the compact and fuel economy of these 2kw inverter generators.

Dont need to run an AC and own a vehicle I would seriously look at running an inverter off your car battery. Way less maintence.
 
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