Colin McEnroe Show: Disaster Preparedness Part II

Arnold Chase is back to talk about how you can get ready for upcoming storms.

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Arnold Chase
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Colin McEnroe Show: Disaster Preparedness Part II
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Colin McEnroe Show: Disaster Preparedness Part II

So. Bought your generator yet? During the long power outage, everybody, it seemed, became a preparedness expert, if not an out and out survivalist. But it's a mentality you might find hard to hold on to. You have to buy food you're NOT going to eat right away.

You have to think about alternative light sources when you have plenty of light. You have to be an ant when so much of modern life is about being a grasshopper. 
 
Hurricane season is just beginning. And it will be followed by blizzard season. How ready are you, and how much readier to you want to be? 
 
Arnold Chase is our preferred preparedness expert, and he'll be back in studio today to answer your questions and offer some advice about power, utilities, food, water and communication.  Arnold also thinks people are often a little bit confused by what they hear about impending weather, so he'll introduce his own brand of clarity into that subject too.
 
Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

  

Comments

re: Email from Miriam

Unless you really need to drink the melted water, ice packs are always preferred as they do not need a dish to collect the water (which takes up space that could have been used for additional ice packs. Melted water can also ruin boxes and prepared food. There is no simple answer for how much ice or packs you would need in a given situation as there are too many variables (insulation thickness, food density, etc.) Several small coolers are generally better, as you can limit opening the coolers to just the one that you need. Since cool air sinks, the ice packs should be placed on top. If you can place the coolers in a cool basement, that will help as well.

re: Email from Cynthia

In ideal circumstances, a solar (PV) array is fine. There are many times, however, (blizzard, ice storm, multi-day storm) when the solar array would produce almost no power. You also need to be realistic as to whether the batteries could handle the nighttime loads.

re: E-mail from Brian

Unless your generator has a drain plug or spigot on the tank, rather then possibly damaging the fuel line, it's best to just run it until it runs dry. You always have the option of hooking up a load to your generator while it is using up the gas so the money for the gas is not wasted.

re: email from G.M.N.

If the tank has not been filled, just put a little bit of gas in there to make sure everything runs O.K., and then run it dry. It's always best to keep the gasoline in the storage can instead of the generator tank as inevitably you will forget to add additional stabilizer in the future, and it will go bad. It's a lot easier to replace stale gas in the storage can than it is to service the generator. Make sure the engine has oil, and every six months pull the starting rope as if you were going to start the generator so the oil gets spread over the internal parts.

re: email from G.M.N.

If the tank has not been filled, just put a little bit of gas in there to make sure everything runs O.K., and then run it dry. It's always best to keep the gasoline in the storage can instead of the generator tank as inevitably you will forget to add additional stabilizer in the future, and it will go bad. It's a lot easier to replace stale gas in the storage can than it is to service the generator. Make sure the engine has oil, and every six months pull the starting rope as if you were going to start the generator so the oil gets spread over the internal parts.

E-mail from G.M.N.

purchased a generator, bought gasoline & stabilizer. Cl&p restored electric power. should i run generator 4 hours now and change oil or add stabilizer to gasoline, keep it in jerry can and wait until next loss of electricity before pouring it in generator to operate?

E-mail from Harrison

Sent email to CL&P after 3 days without power asking when my street scheduled for restoration. Answer came back 2 days later telling me it would be 3 more days. But power was back one day after inquiry and one day prior to their email. My issue is power company putting put bad, discouraging, information about their situation.

E-mail from Paul

I have known Arnold for many years

It’s not only major disasters; I had a pending personal health disaster in my life many years ago.

Arnold offered his considerable resources to help me. I am not related in any way.

He was a friend.

A it turned out, God was on my side and I did not have to take advantage of the offer.

This is not something one ever forget after a lifetime.

Thank you Arnold

E-mail from Miriam

I wonder if you could tell me what is the best way to use a cooler for food during a power outage?

We just got our power back on Sunday, after over a week with none, and I feel as though there must be a better way to pack a cooler.

Are ice packs better than ice cubes?

What about the cold water after the ice melts--keep it, or drain it?

Should food be kept above the water and ice, or beneath it?

Is there an ice/water ratio that's best at keeping food cold?

Is it better to keep everything in one large cooler, or use several small coolers?

E-mail from Cynthia

Hey, how about skipping the gas powered generator and get a solar generator? I see them online, and an 1800 watt system (enough to run a small fridge and charge your phone) runs typically around $2k.
After all, it's hip to be green.

E-mail from Brian

I just filled my tank. Whats the best way of draining it?