Emergency protection for a freezer-full of food
I buy most of my groceries on special, and then buy more than enough to last for a short while, unless I'm concerned about their deteriorating.
I've had freezers on different occasions during my life - am now using one that was present in uncle's house when I moved here.
They do use a substantial amount of electricity, but for rural people they can save trips for groceries (unless they often run for cigarettes). And keep ice cream a lot better than a fridge-freezer combination, which keeps goods at only a few degrees below freezing, rather than down near 0 degrees F. in the freezer.
They are almost essential if people keep a substantial garden and want to preserve their own-raised veggies for use throughout the year. Many women used to can veggies years ago, but many feel that it's far more work and the quality is less attractive when ready to use. Canning doesn't require energy through the following months to keep it preserved, though.
If you are subject to electricity interruptions for longer than a half day or so, check around among neighbours to learn who have freezers. Also - who have generators, and would be willing to rent them out during an extended power outage.
Maybe make a deal to allow several neighbours to use one current generator, one after the other, when power goes out for an extended period.
Lacking a currently-available generator, maybe make a deal with half a dozen neighbours to assure access to a small generator, with sufficient capacity to power a freezer ... plus possibly some lights, portable heaters, a fridge, etc. as well. A computer, maybe ... for addicts to get a sliver of their fix??
Lacking power - some modern phones go on strike (some cell ones, too, lacking power at the local tower). Can you envision extreme teen privation??
It might be possible to set up a system to allow connecting a furnace, but it would be necessary to check local building codes, for I think that some require direct connection from entry box or a separate switch. It may be possible to break the line to install a connector, e.g. of the push-and-twist variety, to allow disconnection from the power line and connection to a generator in case of outage.
Each additional item that one chooses to serve will require either a larger capacity (i.e. more expensive) generator, or serial coverage of the consumption units, especially ones that require motors to start under load (furnace, freezer, fridge), i.e. run one first, then disconnect and connect another.
As the group plans the provision of a generator, they can follow either one of two main patterns:
1. decide on what size they can agree on, then buy one co-operatively, each contributing a percentage of the purchase price, depending on declared need. And if there were more households being served, one after the other, it would make it more difficult to have several households using the generator to power first one unit, then another. For example, serve 8 houses for 3 hours each during a 24-hour period.
Experience would show them what portion of time each household needed, running the generator on up to a 24-hour basis, if necessary.
Usually when an outage is in progress for an extended period, at least one or two of the members will not be going to work, so could move the generator from house to house as required.
If they didn't need the generator for the full amount of time available, they could serve other neighbours' needs, on a charge for service basis.
The understanding could be that if one member moves, the others would pay out that member's share, a depreciated amount from the original contribution, depending on how much service the household had had. Perhaps the other members would put up the money, or they might know of some other neighour(s) wanting to join.
2. On the other hand, if one household wants quite a bit more service than the others, that household could buy and own a larger generator than the others want, paying a larger share or most of the full price, with others contributing a smaller amount each.
Several years ago, in early spring after an ice storm, I recruited a local generator to take to a nearby community ... when people asked the fee, I said that it was a free service from our church.
Many wanted to connect their furnace, but I couldn't, as it would require hooking up by clamp to the furnace-side of their cut-off box. Though we'd disconnected the cut-off switch, none the less, should it get reconnected for some reason, we'd be feeding electricity back into the power line that the workers understood to be dead. That could kill someone.
In very few houses can one routinely interrupt the line between the cut-off switch and the furnace.
In one family's back porch, where they'd covered the freezer with coats, etc., when we plugged in the freezer just over 48 hours after the outage began, when we opened the lid of the chest freezer - we found ice crystals on blueberries in a small dish. The freezing rain had taken place in late winter/early spring and the days were mild after it.
But it wasn't August, as one man who had 400 lbs. of fresh meat called the radio station crying about, about four years ago when we had that extensive outage in the N-E States and in part of central Canada.
I tried to call the radio station, unsuccessfully for several hours after, then suggested that he load a freezer into the back of a van or a trailer, put his meat into it and drive out to a rural area nearby, asking door to door among the farmers for permission to use their generator, for many of them have one and someone, likely using his at the time, would have surplus capacity and be willing to have him plug in for a while as needed, until the power came back on.
I hope that you're all having a lovely weekend.
It's snowing and blowing, here ... I've had to clear away snow from the back door three or four times. Guess I'd better clear away from the (seldom used) front door as well, soon: should have had sense enough to have done it in daylight, right?
If I can't push the back door open, can't you just see in your mind's eye, ole joyful crawling out of a window ... jumping into a snowbank ... in a blizzard? That should be worth a picture!
I wouldn't be going anywhere, even if I could drive alone ... they're telling us to stay off of the roads ... about 500 car smashes in the area in and around Toronto, a few minor injuries, but none major or deaths.
I'm warm and comfy, as is the f c - paid my oil bill yesterday.
If I fail my licence test ... I have a freezer-full of food, potatoes, squash, turnips and beets, plus enough flour, etc. to make bread for 3 months, at least.
I'd need to arrange for acquisition of milk, for being without it would cause me major privation, and being able to get my water supply for cooking and drinking.