Preps found wanting, or sufficient in current severe weather

What changes can we make to our lives to deal with the economic and energy crises ahead? Have you already started making preparations? Got tips to share?

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RenewableCandy
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Post by RenewableCandy »

More and more people are living hand-to-mouth these days, and sometimes buying-in extra isn't possible. Also if people are sharing a place, 'extra' sometimes disappears in short order.

Back OT, we found Chateau Renewable surprisingly difficult to keep warm this time 'round. Even after I'd checked the back-door (left open for ages by Russians) and one of the attic windows (left open by fils on his last visit over a fortnight ago)!

Some people are f***ing unbelievable.
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vtsnowedin
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Post by vtsnowedin »

You are not out of wood until you have broken up the last bit of old furniture and fed it through the stove along with the newspaper recycling stack and your old college text books.
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Post by vtsnowedin »

I had a really nice day today, clear about 37F at noon marred only by it being Town meeting day where we as usual spent tax payer dollars like they grow on trees. The weather forecast calls for a Nor Easter to come in tomorrow afternoon and though the night. The first exaggerated forecasts have now been down graded to a foot or less of snow with some drifting. The people at the meeting were all aware of the forecast but were more concerned with the budget and the structure of town governance. A power grab was attempted but soundly defeated. I'll update you in a day or so about how much snow I actually get to plow.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

RenewableCandy wrote:More and more people are living hand-to-mouth these days, and sometimes buying-in extra isn't possible. Also if people are sharing a place, 'extra' sometimes disappears in short order....
Those people in the report were living in a rural area and had been there for twenty years! Surely they should know what conditions can be like and would be prepared;.....if they had any common sense? It doesn't take much to build up a stock over time. What about BOGOFs for food?

Climate change could actually increase these events of extreme weather, at least in the medium term, as the jet stream becomes less stable. I wonder if it could disappear in the long term at certain times of the year or even all times of the year. It does depend on a marked temperature difference between polar and mid latitude air so if the marked difference goes, could the jet stream go too?
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

I found my home more challenging to heat than I expected, with consequent greater than expected fuel use.
The multifuel stove is one of the smallest readily available and has been of ample heat output in the past, but was run at full output for at least a week.

The bathroom was almost intolerable without use of a portable radiator, and for the first time ever I used an electric heater overnight in my bedroom. I am fairly well padded and well equipped with thick warm blankets, but my bedroom did drop to 5 degrees one night ! too cold !

I used the timer on the electric oven to run it for the last hour of the off peak electricity tariff, for warmth.

My electricity consumption in KWH more than doubled, but much of this was off peak electricity so reasonably cheap.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Sounds like you could do with my National Home Insulation Scheme, Adam.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

My loft is well insulated and most windows are double glazed.
Beyond that my options are very limited indeed as it is now a listed building and is in a conservation area.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

One day we will have to bite the bullet and insulate them or leave homes such as yours unoccupied and unheated.
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Tarrel
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Post by Tarrel »

We're still here up in Northern Scotland! Winter has been long but not exceptionally cold for us. Daily highs of +1 to +4 are normal and that's pretty much what we've had. It's just been a bit relentless though.

Snow has been unbelievable this past week. Speaking to folks who have lived here all their lives, they say they've never experienced snow from the east of this magnitude. If it does come from the east it's normally flurries and not much more. Big snow normally comes from the west. Driving from here (on the east coast) towards Inverness, you get to a point about 12 miles inland like someone's thrown a switch; no snow! I still can't get to the woodland because of the drifts. Tried this morning. But it's melting fast now.

We had the windows replaced with double-glazed, draught-proof ones in September, and the floor insulated the year before, so we've been quite warm. Rayburn has been doing its job, but I'm now into our reserves of firewood, so there's going to be a lot of work to be done once the weather improves, in order to get ready for next cold season!

There's been a good farmers / council / anyone-with-a-shovel community effort to get the roads and pavements clear, so life is pretty much back to normal after a few days of hibernation. Friday there was a big funeral in town. 170 people showed up, so the JCBs and tractors were out early clearing the necessary roads. Tescos were out of milk and bread but the Co-op had some. We made our own bread and Carol found a recipe for oat, cheese and leek savoury flapjacks in Women's Weekly, which were superb. Nice hot with home-made coleslaw, and cold on the side with soup for a filling lunch.

We've had no power problems up here, which I suspect is due to the dry nature of the snow; it's been like the filling of a bean-bag. It's formed huge drifts but hasn't hung about on power lines, etc. Temperature has been below freezing all day since the snow started (until yesterday) so we haven't had the "thaw/freeze/thaw" cycle that causes ice to build up.

No water supply problems, but still plenty of snow to melt if we run into any!

+8 degrees and sunny today. Yippee!
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Post by Tarrel »

RenewableCandy wrote:More and more people are living hand-to-mouth these days, and sometimes buying-in extra isn't possible. Also if people are sharing a place, 'extra' sometimes disappears in short order.

Back OT, we found Chateau Renewable surprisingly difficult to keep warm this time 'round. Even after I'd checked the back-door (left open for ages by Russians) and one of the attic windows (left open by fils on his last visit over a fortnight ago)!

Some people are f***ing unbelievable.
Poor old Russkies get blamed for everything. In Moscow, when they get a period of dull, drizzly weather, I wonder if they dub it "The Pest From The West" and blame it on the UK? :D
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Tarrel wrote:....Poor old Russkies get blamed for everything. ..
Candy's husband is Russian, Tarrel, which is why they get the blame!!

I hope you leave your new DG windows open on occasion to let some fresh air in. Wouldn't want woodburner worrying about you suffocating.
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Post by Tarrel »

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Tarrel wrote:....Poor old Russkies get blamed for everything. ..
Candy's husband is Russian, Tarrel, which is why they get the blame!!

I hope you leave your new DG windows open on occasion to let some fresh air in. Wouldn't want woodburner worrying about you suffocating.
As a non-Russian husband I also get the blame for everything. (I am half-Polish though!)

Don't worry about the fresh air. There are plenty of other little niches in the old place where draughts can creep in! Actually, the biggest benefit we've found is that the Rayburn is in a large open plan kitchen/hallway with a stairwell, above which is a skylight. Replacing that skylight with a nice modern Velux window has done a great job of trapping the heat and allowing it to spread around upstairs, rather than going straight out to outer space!
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

kenneal - lagger wrote:One day we will have to bite the bullet and insulate them or leave homes such as yours unoccupied and unheated.
I agree, in the longer term.
At present though we are ruled by planners and conservation officers who seem to measure their success by to what extent they can expand conservation areas, and by how many extra buildings they have listed.

Meanwhile, cheap "artificial logs" , off peak electricity, and some paraffin are called for.
At least the building has very considerable thermal mass, so heating at night by off peak electricity does improve the daytime temperature noticeably.
I aim to heat the living room to 20 degrees, most other areas to 15 degrees, though that is a target not achieved in very cold weather.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Tarrel wrote:......Actually, the biggest benefit we've found is that the Rayburn is in a large open plan food prep area/hallway with a stairwell, above which is a skylight. Replacing that skylight with a nice modern Velux window has done a great job of trapping the heat and allowing it to spread around upstairs, rather than going straight out to outer space!
It might be a bit late for you, Tarrel, but for anyone else contemplating doing the same thing, in a high temperature/high heat loss location like that it would be worthwhile using a triple glazed Velux to reduce the heat loss even further rather than the standard double glazed one. Alternatively, using one of their purpose made blinds, as long as you actually shut the thing at night, would add to the insulation. They used to make, at one time, one with aluminium coated on the outside, Millium it was called, to reflect heat back down. That would be even better.
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vtsnowedin
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Post by vtsnowedin »

vtsnowedin wrote:I had a really nice day today, clear about 37F at noon marred only by it being Town meeting day where we as usual spent tax payer dollars like they grow on trees. The weather forecast calls for a Nor Easter to come in tomorrow afternoon and though the night. The first exaggerated forecasts have now been down graded to a foot or less of snow with some drifting. The people at the meeting were all aware of the forecast but were more concerned with the budget and the structure of town governance. A power grab was attempted but soundly defeated. I'll update you in a day or so about how much snow I actually get to plow.
Well it is Thursday afternoon and it is still snowing a bit but here at least it was much less then predicted. I had about eight inches to plow this morning and I just went up and back to plow off the two inches that have sifted down during the day. Power blinked off once during the night but only long enough to require resetting the clock on the gas stove. The snow is heavy and wet so I'm glad I have the big green power shovel. All in all a non event but just enough to have the schools and such call a snow day.
Funny part about that is that instead of one bus going around the route morning and afternoon you have all the soccer moms and teens with licenses going back and forth to the ski areas.
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