Letter: Disaster preparation

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  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 6, 2014 9:55 p.m.

    Preparedness takes many forms. IMO having some source of electricity in a crisis is better than none. I think the idea is to have some source of power to charge cell phones, have some light in the dark, especially when you have young children.

    I do no think the idea is to totally live extravagantly off-grid but maybe be able to keep food cool in a fridge and run a blower motor on a heater for an hour or so to keep part of the home warmer than the outside.

    I have cooked thanksgiving dressing and loaves of bread in a solar oven. Works for me.

    Why not consider solar water heating? For about 5 months of the year you could pre-heat most of the the water before it goes into the water heater, lessening energy use.

    The next debate ought to address the subject of 5.56 vs 7.62 for home preparedness.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 6, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    @ 2 bits

    Thanks for reminding us all of what happens when repubs are in the white house. The Katrina debacle was something for the ages. Where was Chaffetz there? Why didn't he hold Bush accountable?

    I don't think this country would even survive another term of repubs in the White House. Nope. Not until they repent and change their ways.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 6, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    @airnaut - I am not really sure where you experienced your disasters, but living in hurricane central, we have had our share of natures fury in our area - either directly, or through aiding areas in need. I have absolutely no idea what the heck you are referring to. I have not seen any scenes of mass lawlessness. Sure there is the odd few who choose to take advantage - but they are far out numbered by the businesses that jack up their prices to take advantage of the shortage.

    I do agree with 2 Bits on the generator situation. We have had a couple or periods where we have been out of power for extended periods of time. I have a generator myself, but the only way to keep it supplied for the duration with gas would have been to use the fuel supplies in our vehicles, which then leaves you exposed on another front. It is not wise to store 50, 100, 200 gallons of gas at your home.

    Solar does provide a decent source for basic living needs in these conditions. On the family farm, all water is pumped via solar panels... it works great.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2014 3:13 p.m.

    WHEN our disaster comes... I don't think we will be "uniquely prepared". I just hope we are not caught standing on the street corner complaining to the cameras about, "Where is President Bush... why isn't he here handing out water"....

    I hope we do not just stand around blaming our political leaders (if they are the party we want to blame for everything bad in our lives) for our un-preparedness.

    it's OUR JOB to be prepared... not the GOVERNMENT'S job to be prepared FOR US.

    I hope that's something Utahns get....

    Utah's focus on being "self-reliant", and planning ahead in your life so you can take care of yourself, your children, and your neighbors, is an attitude that COULD make us uniquely prepared to handle a disaster... but not if we're all unprepared and looking to our neighbor to be prepared for us. Or to the Government to be prepared for us... so WE don't have to be prepared ourselves.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 6, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    FYI --

    I'm against guns,
    I do have them...

    Because I have plenty of food, clothing, shelter, water and POWER.

    Remember, I've lived through a couple disasters,
    and served in the Military -
    and know WHY they send in troops to hand out lunches...

    My guns are not to fight the mean old nasty Government,
    but to BE the Government, if called in a minute, and if need be.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2014 1:23 p.m.

    We should not only be prepared to go power-less.... we should also be prepared to go water-less.

    In every disaster that is most likely in Utah... our water supply would be impacted. And it would take 3 months... not 3 days to restore it.

    Be prepared to survive without water coming out of our faucet at the twist of a wrist, and be prepared to provide your own electricity, possibly for an extended period of time.

    Solar panels are an excellent emergency electricity source. When municipal electricity is down.... gas stations can't pump gas (even IF they have it). When refineries are affected and your local gas station can't get re-supplied... you can't get gas to run your gas generator. So you will be in the dark.

    It's something to think about.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 6, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    "Why would I want to spend $25,000 for a second source of electricity that doesn't work and cannot supply all the power my house needs for 1/2 the time and 1/3 of the year?

    It doesn't make sense. Solar panels are a rich man's toys."

    Except for the last statement, your comments are pretty much based on rumor and old history. Its sort of like when cars first came out.... they were just for those with means to play with. Same thing was also said of Personal Computers. Even smart phones with data plans.... toys for those with means first.... but soon all became staples of daily life.

    If you don't think this pattern will repeat itself, your not paying attention to history - particularly the history of technology.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 6, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    A lot of posters here are willfully ignoring the lord's counsel. He warned us recently in this dispensation to be prepared. If he are prepared ye shall not fear.

    Unfortunately, conservatives are all about fear. They clearly aren't prepared.

    In fact, now they mock and belittle those who are prepared. It's reassuring to me and my house that Noah was mocked too.

    The wicked will see soon enough. They'll have front row seats when they find out how ill-prepared they are.

    Will they have food storage, water, and solar panels? What good is all their money and dirty coal and smelly gas?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 6, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    Thinkin\' Man
    Rexburg, ID
    Why would I want to spend $25,000 for a second source of electricity that doesn't work and cannot supply all the power my house needs for 1/2 the time and 1/3 of the year?

    It doesn't make sense. Solar panels are a rich man's toys.

    11:39 a.m. May 6, 2014


    1. Becuase they don't cost anywhere near that much.
    2. Because, once they are installed, they become your primary and 1st source of power.
    3. Supply, demand. Even if you are a coal burner -- Your Solar powered neighbor just lowered your rates [less demaand], and increased the timespan of dwhenlding finite supply.
    4. They work just fine.
    5. They provide enough power -- and to spare -- which is sold back to the grid.
    6. If it is so wrong, evil, bad -- Why did the Lord have them installed on my new Stake Center?
    7. You don't want it? Fine, be like the grasshopper and the ants -- just don't go crying to those who prepared when you need it. [That's what emergency preparedness is all about].

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    May 6, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    Why would I want to spend $25,000 for a second source of electricity that doesn't work and cannot supply all the power my house needs for 1/2 the time and 1/3 of the year?

    It doesn't make sense. Solar panels are a rich man's toys.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 6, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    Some hate Al Gore to the point of stubbornly and willfully ignoring the Prophet's call of emergancy preparedness.


    Having lived through 2 major earthquakes, and being without food, water or power for 2 weeks -- the Lord of the Flies and Mad Max are not that far from the truth.

    They don't just send in the fully armed troops the be handing out lunches...

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    The emergency preparedness aspect doesn't require you cover your house with solar panels and install expensive inverts and batteries in your house.

    There are inexpensive portable units you can buy online to be prepared for emergencies. They come on a wheeled cart so you can move it and store it when not in use. And pull it out and use in case of emergency.

    You can build your own, or you can buy one somebody assembled for you. But be careful and research the company you use, many of them don't work at all, or fail frequently. Don't go for the cheapest one. You will be sorry.

    But until covering your house with solar panels is economically feasible... you can get an inexpensive emergency unit for reasonable prices. Not to power your whole house, but enough to power a few things or charge some communication devices during an emergency. Goal Zero is a good place to start.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    That is wise advice.

    This is not some crazy preper dream. Hundreds of people every year wish they had been prepared for the disaster that hit them.

    Remember on the news all the people in New York and New Jersey standing in line for a chance to plug their iPhone into a generator to charge it so they can let people know they are OK? And the people parked in miles and miles of lines waiting with a can to get 1/2 gallon of gas for their generator (so they could function)?

    How nice would it be IF you had electricity, and you didn't have to stand in line for gas for your generator when the first gas station got back up and running...

    Solar emergency power is a great idea. The more people who have it... the better. The more affordable and reliable it becomes... the better.

    But research it before you do it. You can't just buy it and forget it. Batteries need frequent attention. After you buy it... you have to be committed to maintain it and keep it ready, or when you need it... it won't work.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    Mostly what people are missing is resourcefulness. You don't need a lot of high end equipment if you know how to make best use of what you have, and keep a pallet of beer in the garage.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:23 a.m.


    It's not either/or. It's not a zero sum game. Nobody is arguing that solar will totally replace fossil fuels. Solar energy would simply reduce the rate of consumption of fossil fuels. How hard is it to understand that fossil fuels are a finite resource, and that reducing the rate of depletion is a good thing? And that solar energy is going to last a lot longer than fossil fuels, and is out there for the taking.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 6, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    Check the price to buy and install solar panels, batteries and inverters. People who can't afford to replace ten-year-old cars would have a hard time paying $16,763 (average for Utah in 2011) for solar panels.

    On the other hand, having a generator and enough fuel to run the generator for a week is more practical ($1,000 to $2,500 depending on size). Add to the generator a dutch oven for cooking and some briquettes, and you'd be prepared for the emergency. In addition, if you had to leave your home and gather in a church or school, the generator, fuel, and dutch oven cooking gear could be taken with you.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    May 6, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    I will believe solar will replace fossil fuels when I see cars, airplanes and trucks with solar panels. Until then, your life, your job and your health all depend on fossil fuels.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 6, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    Dag'd fern'd it!
    This here's Utah --
    we grow our own vegatables,
    can our own fruit,
    and hunt our own meat!

    We don't need noth'in from nobody,
    and we are totally self-sufficient in everything!...

    Except when it comes to clean, renewable energy!
    We MUST then rely and be solely dependant on the limited filthy COAL fed finite fossil fuel depostis and imported Middle Eastern OIL worthy fighting, lying and dying for!


    [sacasm -- off]

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    May 6, 2014 7:12 a.m.

    Solar time has come. Move over fossils.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 6, 2014 6:14 a.m.

    Unfortunately, Rocky Mountain Power punishes customers who produce their own energy.

    And our do-nothing legislature is so bought off that they're allowing RMP to get away with it!

    Time for us to vote these bums out!

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    May 6, 2014 12:58 a.m.

    Solyndra. That is all that will be understood by republicans. It's sad that brainwashing works so well.

    My solar panels are working great for the last 8 years. Love them.