At my old house I had all manner of storm preparations in place. We moved here in July of 2021 which gave me several months before the Winter Storm of January 2022 hit.
I, as they say………Screwed The Pooch.
Fortunately for me the power never went out because if it had I wasn’t quite ready for it. My biggest indiscretion was that I own a 9500 watt, 50 amp generator. That is essentially enough power to run your whole house in a storm.
At my old house I had a 7500 watt, 30 amp generator. I ran my whole house EASILY with that. And while this is a much larger house with mostly all electric appliances…………you pick a floor to live on. Upstairs or Downstairs. Actually the heating system downstairs runs on gas. So if we stay downstairs, which we mostly do anyway………….we’d never miss a beat.
So when we moved here I decided to hook a PBN50 Power Inlet Box up to the house.
- 9500 watt, 50 amp generator – ✔
- 50 amp power inlet connector – ✔
- Cord to hook them together – X
I have all manner of RV adapters around here and I THOUGHT I could hook them together but never actually tried it. Epic Fail. No problem. I’ll run to Lowe’s and BUILD a cable if I need to. I even planned to buy a PBN30 amp box and yank down the 50 amp box so I could hook up to the 30 amp connector on my generator like I did at my old house.
Lowe’s didn’t have a cable, didn’t have a PBN30, and they didn’t have the connectors for me to MAKE MY OWN CABLE. One YEAR AGO all that shit was on the shelves there in prodigious quantities. “We haven’t had that stuff in a long time” sez the guy working there. “No idea if or when we’ll get more in”.
LET’S FUCKING GO BRANDON. Thanks asshole.
But I am a man of resources and imagination. I DO have all the connectors to hook the generator up to the CAMPER. Worst case scenario………..We move in the camper. That’s not so bad. So I hook up the camper and turn on the heat pump. Heat pump works but let’s face it. The colder it is, the less efficiently a heat pump works. Probably not good enough for a Winter Storm and Ice Storm that was imminent.
No worries, I have a furnace that runs on propane tanks, and the tanks are mostly full. I didn’t figure this tidbit out until the day after the storm. When I turned on the furnace. The heat pump kicked on with max fan. So while the furnace was cranking out hot air, the heat pump was blowing in COLD AIR.
So I go in and google it up and find out that my fan on my thermostat in the camper needs to be set to AUTO and not HIGH while running the furnace. Yeah that sounds like a simple thing, and it was, but imagine working through it at 2 or 3 AM with no power, an uncomfortable wife, and two small dogs in a camper the size of a large shitter.
Now clearly we would not have died, We have all manner of emergency rations. We were smart enough to put some water aside for cooking. I have emergency food in the camper. The house would have had plenty of meat in the freezer and I could have kept the freezers on with smaller portable generators and extension cords.
I will stop playing what if, and expanding on my mistakes. I will however, say this:
Preparation is not just having things like generators and food. Preparation is also PRACTICING for the potential life threatening event.
This will NOT happen to me again. Next time I will be way better prepared. Yes it will cost a few dollars. My generator cable is actually due to be delivered today, 2 days after the winter storm. Better late than never, and thank you God, that we didn’t need even the poorly made preparations that I had made.
I would be fine. The dogs would be fine. I however, have an obligation to keep my wife safe, warm, and comfortable. I failed. I will not fail again.