Jan. 29, 2019 I had a massive power surge go through my home. It was bad, real bad. Bad enough that a new entrance box had to be put in, as well as some of the wiring bringing the power to me, replaced. The worst thing? The power company still doesn't have it right. Still am getting a lot of brightening and then dimming of lights and you can hear the lows and highs with the ceiling fan motor. Ongoing fight with them. The losses are something else. Since I have raised a lot of my own for years, I had a few freezers for the perishables. Even with a generator being run intermittently and cold outside temps, it didn't keep up and my 7' got fried from the surge, the 2 5's are working right now, but for how long? Food loss was into the thousands of dollars. 3/4 of a cow I had left, 25 chickens, pounds and pounds of fruit and vegetables. Baked goods and homemade ready meals. Then add in the 'can't pass this up' foods from the grocery stores.
Anyway, lessons learned....
1. Having a generator is not going to save you long term, unless you can switch to bio-fuel and produce it yourself. Then there's the noise. Even with a bigger muffler put on it, there's an unmistakable noise alerting others.
2. Whatever you have stored up for fuel, double it and have a way to keep it good. Fuel does have a shelf life, even with a stabilizer added.
3. Paraffin lamp oil, kerosene and candles can cause respiratory issues with constant use for lighting. Our houses are too tight for that now a days.
4. Water storage, for animals and human consumption. Pitcher pump is going in as soon as the weather finally breaks here. Anyone in the northern states is going to have difficulty keeping stored water a liquid.
5. Sleep. This is where having someone to watch your back comes into play. Alone, everything is on you. [see next below]
6. Commo. With the hills and mountains, it's sketchy at best, where I am. I don't have a cell phone for that reason. In a true grid down, you most likely won't either. There needs be a way to communicate or check-in. An "I'm okay, you're okay" kind of thing. Ideas, but no real plan yet.
There are a lot more holes in my lifestyle, but I think I've covered a few of the major ones. Even though I have been switching things up to being totally self sufficient for years now, staying on grid makes life easier getting to that point. Now, somehow, I have to up the plan and get there faster and I hate that thought. I lived off grid for a year, building my home. With an infant as well. It's not an easy life. When you're young, it's not as bad, still hard, but you're strong. As you age, lol, it gets a lot more interesting, even when it's something you're used to doing.