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I had a chance to test out the generator in a real lights out situation. This is the first time we lost electric at home since Onan was recalled to the factory. A four hour fault in the underground system was a nice test for the Generac set up.

It took me 35 minutes to get the food storage and one desk lamp hooked up and the generator running. We cooked dinner on the gas range which was purchased because it works without the electric (survival tip right there).

One of our guys has a busted up knee and should be alternating hot and cold for the swelling. I pulled a bag out of the freezer but found that the only hot packs we have are microwaveable. The microwave took another fifteen minutes to get hooked in, and I broke a glass jar filled with dried mint that was behind the microwave and had the appliance electrical cord wrapped around it. Even with the lights on this would have been pretty much impossible to avoid.

We got the hot cold going but I definitely plan one thing to improve; get something for medi pack that can be heated on the range. Are there any other suggestions?
 

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If you are used to an electric range like I was you will find switching to a gas range very different. The burners only have one temperature (the temp of the flame) and you use the heat control to vary the amount of area at that temperature. It requires a lot more attention than an electric range to keep from burning things. You have to "actively" manage the cooking process - just like cooking on an open fire.
 

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hot packs

On my "Prepping To Do List" is making a small wood-burning campfire stove.

As for hot packs, I have a few that are filled with gel and a small metal "button". You 'pop' the button, and it warms up the gel for about half an hour. In order for them to activate again you need to boil them in a pot for about 15 minutes. I have 3 pair
... oh, that's another thing for my list, is to find them and try them out! LOL A friend from Norway sent them last winter, after I kept complaining about my hands being cold when I'm driving, since work is only 10 miles away and my car heater doesn't even start being decently warm until I'm almost there anyway! So he gave me those 'button activated' hand warmers to stuff in my gloves ;)
I hadn't used them yet, cuz I still had a few of the kind that you simply open and the oxygen in the air activates carbon granules in them. Those are nice too, but can only use once since they're disposable.
 

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Recently we experienced a power outage. It was only for a few hours - not even significant in the scheme of things - but I did draw a few lessons from it.

- The sun was not up, so we were in the dark. Fortunately I have flashlights by the beds, most commonly used chairs, and in several utility drawers. Also a plugged-in emergency flashlight that SUPPOSED to start blinking when the power goes out. But the flash function apparently burned out sometime, although the flashlight itself still works fine. However, the most useful light was my camping headlamp, small, battery operated, and on a strap I would wear like a headband. The headlamp shone the light where I was looking while leaving my hands free.

- Battery or wind up radios are the way to go. A push of a button and you learn the rest of the world hasn't gone dark, too. Which is reassuring.

- Plug in wall clocks are NOT the way to go. I kept looking at the kitchen clock and being informed that gee, no time whatsoever had passed since the power went out. Battery clocks are much more accurate.

- Trying to walk about in a dark house with cats is an invitation to disaster. The little walnut brained wonders can see perfectly in gloom too dark for human eyes, so they see (literally) no reason they should not cut in front of you or dash between your feet as they do when the lights are on. Even with a headlight you can't see them making their move until you and they run into each other and you're all flailing around screaming in terror as you're at risk of a fall. Hopefully onto them, so they can cushion the blow.

- It's fall, the outside temperature is low (although not freezing yet) and I was startled at how fast things began to cool off inside the house once heat producers like the refrigerator, freezer, water heater, and computer went off. It wasn't dramatic but it was noticeable. Especially since a few windows were open to let fresh air in. If the power goes out, shutting windows immediately is now on my To Do in an Emergency list.

- It is good to have an alternative heat source / cooking method. Fortunately I had finished cooking breakfast (and feeding the cats) and nobody else needed anything, and it wasn't cold, so it wasn't a big deal. But a prolonged outage would have required something more. A camp stove, a wood stove, a kerosene heater, these can be necessary.

- Cats become heat seeking missiles when it cools down. And if they can't crawl into bed with someone, they'll wait until you sit down and then leap on your lap and try to snuggle. Which is NICE, but kind of slows you down.

- You can get a lot done when you're not being distracted by things like TV, the Internet... or work.

- Cellphones and landlines still work when the power goes out, as long as the land line doesn't have a base that has to be plugged in. The power company's automated system for reporting power outages over the phone and learning what's going on is as annoying as heck.

- When the power comes back on, it does so suddenly and scares the <bleep> out of you. Then you have to go around shutting off all the lights and resetting all the appliances that have clocks in them but no battery backup.

A short term power outage is a minor irritation, but one you can learn from so something worse isn't as bad as it could be.
 

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I had a situation back in 2011 where I lost power in a storm (remnants of a hurricane) and at the same time there was a murderer who had several shootouts with police loose in the area. It was a real test for both my backup power plans and my security plans. Had a number of revisions I worked on after that. (I also found that a lot of my planning worked. Made my wife a believer in prepping.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
On my "Prepping To Do List" is making a small wood-burning campfire stove.

As for hot packs, I have a few that are filled with gel and a small metal "button". You 'pop' the button, and it warms up the gel for about half an hour. In order for them to activate again you need to boil them in a pot for about 15 minutes. I have 3 pair
... oh, that's another thing for my list, is to find them and try them out! LOL A friend from Norway sent them last winter, after I kept complaining about my hands being cold when I'm driving, since work is only 10 miles away and my car heater doesn't even start being decently warm until I'm almost there anyway! So he gave me those 'button activated' hand warmers to stuff in my gloves ;)
I hadn't used them yet, cuz I still had a few of the kind that you simply open and the oxygen in the air activates carbon granules in them. Those are nice too, but can only use once since they're disposable.
Yep I had some of these gel packs before they really work well and store heat for as years as far as I remember. I am going to get more of these for my home first aid kit.
 

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I hope some day our electric range dies so I can replace it with a simple natural gas range!
I said those very words to my mother today...lol. Her gas range is being delivered next week. I told her I couldn't wait for my electric to die so I can get one, too.
 

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HAHAHAHAHAH!!!! I hadn't thought of it that way, but yeah, that's how I feel too!!
I'm always a little disappointed when the power comes back on. By then I had gotten the oil lamps lit, usually made a meal, and was enjoying a good book by fire light and quite comfy. Kind of a cold startling realization that everything is back to "normal".
 

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I'm always a little disappointed when the power comes back on. By then I had gotten the oil lamps lit, usually made a meal, and was enjoying a good book by fire light and quite comfy. Kind of a cold startling realization that everything is back to "normal".
I'm the same way. My outages have always been very short. I recently got excited about a recorded message from my power company saying they would be shutting off our service a few hours to upgrade equipment.

I took my generator and extension cords to the shop with a plan to run my basic needs. Well, the electricity never went off. I considered doing it anyway, but my neighbor likely thinks I'm a nut from building my wood gasifier outside.
 

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If you are used to an electric range like I was you will find switching to a gas range very different. The burners only have one temperature (the temp of the flame) and you use the heat control to vary the amount of area at that temperature. It requires a lot more attention than an electric range to keep from burning things. You have to "actively" manage the cooking process - just like cooking on an open fire.
I find this statement most mysterious and somewhat ludicrous.

Being an old broad who has cooked thousands of meals on electric, induction, gas and wood burning stoves, gas is by far the easiest and most responsive to manage, with infinitely variable and instant change heat settings (well, maybe 2nd to induction).

I cannot imagine what you are doing that requires "active" management. Really- unless you're cooking in a breezeway, turn the flame to the setting you require and ...walk away.

Lowest flame for simmer, highest for boiling, somewhere in the lower 1/4 for sauteing, above 3/4 for deep fat frying.

I didn't think it was rocket science, but I guess it is for some folks.
 

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reluctant sinner
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+1 for gas cooktops. When you turn it off it's off, electric coils holds a lot of heat to keep on cooking to the point of burning. I do prefer electric ovens as most regulate the temperature much more accurately.
 

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Hours to get running on the generator?? That should all be rigged up ahead of time. A heavy duty extention cord and a multiplug power strip and you should be good to go in minutes. Biggest slow down would be getting the danged extention cord untangled. (It doesn't matter how careful I am in winding it up, the dang thing always gets tangled! lol!)

One of the big plus's of living in an RV. When the power goes out I walk outside, unplug from the pole and plug into the generator. Takes at most, 5 minutes, and most of that time is checking the oil and gas level and getting it running and warmed up before I put a load on it.
 

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One of our guys has a busted up knee and should be alternating hot and cold for the swelling. I pulled a bag out of the freezer but found that the only hot packs we have are microwaveable.
I used to use a hot water bottle before I made microwavable rice bags. Now it sits in the closet.

The other option is a brick. My parents would put a couple of bricks on their wood burning stove in the afternoon. At bedtime They would put them in a cloth bag and stick them in their bed to warm it.
 
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