Icemas2013. 4 day icestorm during Christmas week. I was prepped, or so I thought. Power went out. No problem, my automatic backup would kick in, pure sine wave inverter and 150 amp hr of battery power. Problem is the inverter failed 6 minutes into the power outage! I reset the inverter. It failed again. Disconnected the batteries and did a hard reset. It failed again.
OK, enough with this 21 century stuff and I reverted back to 1915. Started up a Perfection Firelight Kerosene heater whick powered a Sterling engine fan to blow the heat around the room. Now I had heat (10,500 Btu) and light (300 cp). Lit another wall lamp, Eagle #3 w/20 cp and the entire house now had light and heat. They ran for 4 days until power returned. And you know, neither the Perfection Firelight heater, Sterling fan or the Eagle #3 wall lamp failed in those 4 days! Guess it pays to have a backup plan for when the primary backup plan fails!
Living in California we tend to focus on earthquake preparedness, but don’t forget the more mundane disasters. In the last 5 years our family hasn’t experienced a single major quake, but we HAVE experienced almost a year of unemployment for the primary wage earner, plus three separate occasions where a family member had to go to the hospital. It’s good to have supplies, but we got through those personal emergencies with plain old unglamorous insurance and savings.