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Post-Storm Analysis: March 2018 Pocono Snowstorm

Some thoughts regarding the snow storm that wiped out the power throughout much of the Pocono region back in early March, 2018: 

The Starner’s Exxon gas station was one of the only working gas stations around.  On Sunday 3/4/18, the underground, 10-thousand-gallon tanks were filled up.  On Wednesday 3/7/18, the tanker truck was back in town, and we were down to around 25% capacity.  That means that as a town, we would have run out of gas in less than 7 days!  

Let’s use this as a learning experience: 

Food & Water

For most people, the most difficult aspect of living without power was the lack of running water.  Folks were melting snow in buckets in order to flush their toilets.  Bottled water goes quickly.  Remember that you can only live 3 days without water.  Even if you live in an apartment, you can buy a bath tub ‘container’ for storing emergency drinking water for $35

"I'm on public water, which is all gravity fed, so I dont have to worry."
Wrong! Our water system holds around 700,000 gallons, which is enough to last our town roughly 1 week. After that we would either need to power up the well pumps that fill the tank or open the valve behind the bowling alley so that buck hills water system feeds Mountainhome. 

Fuel

Keep 10 or 20 gallons of fuel at home at all times!  
If you buy 5-gallon gas containers, then you can rotate the gas into your vehicle, lawn mower, and / or generator.  Remember that fuel goes bad after storing it for long periods of time, so look into “STA-BIL” fuel stabilizer if you plan on storing.  It’s also a good idea to store 93-octane because it will last longer than regular 89-octane.

Diversify!
A small solar panel, charger, and a deep cell battery probably can’t power your house refrigerator.  You have a better shot at powering a 12 volt appliance: 

Buy a bigger propane tank than you need.  
If your house is powered by an automatic propane-powered whole-house-generator, you may have learned the hard way how fast these generators guzzle propane.  (Think in terms of gallons per hour!)  With that said, it’s easy to see how owning a 500 or 1000-gallon propane tank would be great during such emergencies. 

I recently posted an article, “How to avoid paying too much money for propane.”

Related Reading:
Rural hospital shutdowns force communities to take care of their own

 

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Editor

Editor

Please submit any corrections or additions via e-mail.

Nate Covington,
editor@barrettcommunity.com

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