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It's Freezing in Texas, please shut the freezer door up north......


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Stores are really hit hard.  Got some food.  But it's thin. I shot a deer in Jan and will pick that up this Saturday. Only protein was some cornish hens and some bison sirloins.  No water no soft drinks and no milk or dairy. 

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Just a quick update from Houston.  About a million still without power.  We went two nights without power but just got it back a few hours ago.  Got to about 53 in the house. It was cold but not unbearable.  Pipe burst yesterday afternoon. Caught it quick and turned off the water to the house.  Minimal damage to house which is good.  But I’d estimate tens of thousands of people had pipes burst so who knows if/when water will be back or we can get a plumber out here to fix .  Drove around last few days and nothing is open.  No power no street lights it’s surreal. I have food and drinking water and we are boiling water from our pool to bathe.  We have it well but I know a lot of people still without power or water.  Really hope that weather breaks by weekend so stores re open.  I can get by but honestly a lot of people were not close to ready for this. We are depleting our covid preparedness rations so we can restock.  And I’ve read like 1500 pages of the wheel of time.  Life is good for us but we do prayer for our neighbors down here. Rough going for sure. 

Edited by guru_007
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62 hours since my house had power. We headed back today to check it out and I was pretty worried, but my house ROCKS. Even after a second night in the single digits, and no fire going for the second, house was still holding at 49-50 degrees and still had full water. We stayed for the day to let the fire run and add some heat to the place, but I'm feeling better since it seems like the house has survived the worst of it. Had a lot of friends telling me about waking up to to 40 degrees or below.

Again, luckily we are at a friend's house with power so we are safe and doing well.

I'd like to see that EROCT board stripped naked and strung up outside overnight at this point. This is gross negligence. They should be open to mass lawsuits for all the damage that has been caused by their incompetence.

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VIDEO: Dual Survival - Cody's Super Shelter | Shipwrecked •Jun 2, 2010

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvKLOMgtM1Q

 

VIDEO: Gear Review: Sawyer Mini vs. Lifestraw •Jan 18, 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlDLbgN3xRE

 

*****

For those with fireplaces, the first video can be reconstructed in your living room with simple items in most garages ( i.e.repurpose tent poles and plastic sheeting).  Whether people have  mylar survival blankets is another story. Obviously each situation is different and using the fireplace has some drawbacks and everyone should have a carbon monoxide detectors in their homes, etc, etc.

The Sawyer Mini and the Lifestraw, I've used both and both are worthwhile to have at least one in the house somewhere. This helps with the water situation.

I have about 5 still in package Sawyer Mini's in my garage in River Oaks, but I'm not down there now. I don't remember if I have any in my Terrell Hills location. I would have been happy to have given them to people in this thread, esp those with kids.

In general, my unsolicited advice for people who can't leave their homes and are freezing is to focus on building up one "warm room" in the house. Even inside, the enemies can still be convection and conduction.

If you take two 55 gallon garbage/contractor bags, you can use them to sandwich towels ( bag in bag, with towels between the bags or other insulating type material like sweatshirts, etc) You can trap your body heat by slipping inside the inner bag, key point is to find a way to be elevated off the ground but not on a bed.

If you are going to use candles ( I hesitate here since flames inside is asking for trouble), then always have it warming something. Rig a can of food above it in a stable way and have the flame under but not touching the bottom of the can, have the top of the can open. You can heat water this way or the food in the can. Hot food and water will help you regulate your core temperature.

If you are truly desperate, do air squats. This is going to give you the most bang for your buck for a compound movement that will help you generate body heat. Do them at a rate paced enough where you don't start actually breaking into a sweat.

Good luck to everyone. I miss Houston.

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Also to add, my Subaru Outback has been killing it for me. Roads are crap, but we've been going back and forth between house the last couple days with no issue. Really glad I went with that when I got rid of the coup last year. Got married and needed to move to a 4 door and it has been a great choice.

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Oh, I'll also share my lesson for the day (that I'm sure everyone else knows), but who knew that gas hot water heaters still work when the power is off!!?? That first day when power went off we took showers and I didn't touch the hot water again so maybe it would stay warm enough for my wife to get another shower before bed, she didn't, but after the next morning I just assumed it would be cold, so I just never turned it on. One of my friends mentioned that it SHOULD still be working so I gave it a try when we went back to the house an holy crap it does!!

I would have though it would need some electrical circuit to tell it when to re light or something. That had me amazed and made my day better when I could rinse dishes in warm water instead of frigid cold!

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15 minutes ago, The Tick said:

Oh, I'll also share my lesson for the day (that I'm sure everyone else knows), but who knew that gas hot water heaters still work when the power is off!!?? That first day when power went off we took showers and I didn't touch the hot water again so maybe it would stay warm enough for my wife to get another shower before bed, she didn't, but after the next morning I just assumed it would be cold, so I just never turned it on. One of my friends mentioned that it SHOULD still be working so I gave it a try when we went back to the house an holy crap it does!!

I would have though it would need some electrical circuit to tell it when to re light or something. That had me amazed and made my day better when I could rinse dishes in warm water instead of frigid cold!

Gas, yes.  Electric, no.

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55 minutes ago, Psychopav said:

Don't you live in Dallas area? I haven't heard of gas shortages here.

I'm in 76017 rn.  Normally 75080.  Only personally experienced water issues where I am. Gas issues are second hand and maybe not real. 

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2 hours ago, The Tick said:

62 hours since my house had power. We headed back today to check it out and I was pretty worried, but my house ROCKS. Even after a second night in the single digits, and no fire going for the second, house was still holding at 49-50 degrees and still had full water. We stayed for the day to let the fire run and add some heat to the place, but I'm feeling better since it seems like the house has survived the worst of it. Had a lot of friends telling me about waking up to to 40 degrees or below.

Again, luckily we are at a friend's house with power so we are safe and doing well.

I'd like to see that EROCT board stripped naked and strung up outside overnight at this point. This is gross negligence. They should be open to mass lawsuits for all the damage that has been caused by their incompetence.

KXAN just reported 5 of 15 of the board members don't even live in Texas: CA, MI,IL, ME and Canada.

Edited by Phil Elliott
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2 hours ago, Jayrod said:
2 hours ago, The Tick said:

I would have though it would need some electrical circuit to tell it when to re light or something. That had me amazed and made my day better when I could rinse dishes in warm water instead of frigid cold!

Expand  

Gas, yes.  Electric, no.

The gas ones generally have a pilot light.

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5 hours ago, guru_007 said:

Just a quick update from Houston.  About a million still without power.

Just checked.  Down to 144K without power.  We lost power last night again about 10:30.  It came back on this evening.

The lines at every fast food place and gas station were amazing.

(We live in Fort Bend County, rather than Houston proper.)

Edited by Mrs. Rannous
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5 hours ago, The Tick said:

I'd like to see that EROCT board stripped naked and strung up outside overnight at this point. This is gross negligence. They should be open to mass lawsuits for all the damage that has been caused by their incompetence.

I wanted to hire all of Louisiana to make voodoo dolls of those idiots.  It's nice that Governor Abbott is a tool.  Trying to blame the Democrats is pretty rich.  We haven't had a Dem gov since 1995, when Shrub took office.

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Now at 72 hours without power. As I’ve said in this thread - I am very lucky and fortunate that I have a friend who will let me stay at his place. He has power. 

 

I don’t expect to get power until at least Saturday and with the competence the state and local leaders have shown - probably into next week. 
 

And then once we do get power, supplies are going to be a disaster. We are all under a boil order - which means we won’t be able to get water at any stores. Even if they were open. Which they are not. 
 

#sigh. 

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36 minutes ago, whoknew said:

And then once we do get power, supplies are going to be a disaster. We are all under a boil order - which means we won’t be able to get water at any stores. Even if they were open. Which they are not. 

I have a bathtub full of clean water, just in case.  

Where in Texas are you?

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5 hours ago, Mrs. Rannous said:

Just checked.  Down to 144K without power.  We lost power last night again about 10:30.  It came back on this evening.

The lines at every fast food place and gas station were amazing.

(We live in Fort Bend County, rather than Houston proper.)

Stay safe!  I’m in Pearland just down the road.

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5 hours ago, whoknew said:

Now at 72 hours without power. As I’ve said in this thread - I am very lucky and fortunate that I have a friend who will let me stay at his place. He has power. 

 

I don’t expect to get power until at least Saturday and with the competence the state and local leaders have shown - probably into next week. 
 

And then once we do get power, supplies are going to be a disaster. We are all under a boil order - which means we won’t be able to get water at any stores. Even if they were open. Which they are not. 
 

#sigh. 

72 hours is absolutely crazy. 

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9 hours ago, Phil Elliott said:

KXAN just reported 5 of 15 of the board members don't even live in Texas: CA, MI,IL, ME and Canada.

Yeah, I was going to mention that too, but the sentence included too many profanities so I deleted it. 

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6 hours ago, whoknew said:

Now at 72 hours without power. As I’ve said in this thread - I am very lucky and fortunate that I have a friend who will let me stay at his place. He has power. 

 

I don’t expect to get power until at least Saturday and with the competence the state and local leaders have shown - probably into next week. 
 

And then once we do get power, supplies are going to be a disaster. We are all under a boil order - which means we won’t be able to get water at any stores. Even if they were open. Which they are not. 
 

#sigh. 

72 hour club!  :hifive:

Luckily Round Rock seems to not have had any major water issues so far and I haven't seen a boil order yet.

I've got a hope for Friday. With temps up into the 40's they SHOULD be able to get a lot of the generation back. I may have no faith in the idiots at ERCOT, but I believe the people on the ground will know how to get it going when conditions allow.

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2 hours ago, Tom Skerritt said:

In less than two months, Ted Cruz has stoked the fires of an insurrection, and when his state and his electors are freezing, he jets off to Mexico. Just cannot make this stuff up.

https://twitter.com/davidshuster/status/1362272883775582209?s=21

It's amazing people support that guy.  I still laugh at this quote from his former Princeton roommate in 2016 " “I would rather have anybody else be the president of the United States,” Mazin told the Daily Beast. “Anyone. I would rather pick somebody from the phone book.”

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We have had power 23 of the last 24 hours now.

There are still lots of people without power, how come they are not doing a better job of rolling these blackouts. I could deal with power for 12 hours out of the day instead of 23 if it meant more people would get half a day of power.

 

Edited by MTskibum
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7 hours ago, whoknew said:

Now at 72 hours without power. As I’ve said in this thread - I am very lucky and fortunate that I have a friend who will let me stay at his place. He has power. 

 

I don’t expect to get power until at least Saturday and with the competence the state and local leaders have shown - probably into next week. 
 

And then once we do get power, supplies are going to be a disaster. We are all under a boil order - which means we won’t be able to get water at any stores. Even if they were open. Which they are not. 
 

#sigh. 

Wow.  I'm really sorry to hear this.  Hope you, Cos and anyone else still effected get their power and water back shortly.   I had a about 30+ hours without power/water.   It got down to 37 but I could deal with it for a night.  For 72 hours or longer and I'm sure I'd be tested.   Hang in there.  It's warming up which should lighten up demand on the grid.  

I'm off to hunt and gather supplies right now.  I've heard most grocery stores are slammed.  I got lucky at Whole Foods with a bunch of canned foods and cooked meals.   I also found convenience stores to be relatively painless, stocked with basics as well as the usual snacks/treats albeit for a premium.  Protein shakes have been a savior for me.  

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Sounds like most people in Austin are starting to get their power back this morning. At least those that were related to the ERCOT initiated cuts. Those outages related to equipment failures/tree branches falling on wires are still dependent on the ability for Austin Energy to get out and make repairs.

Edited by Phil Elliott
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We got our power back sometime this morning.  So probably didn't quite hit 72 hours without.  Again, my house held up really well, none of the water lines froze up, so we are back up and running with power and water.  I didn't get internet notices I was back online because I had unplugged the tv/cable stuff, didn't think of that when I kept checking my Nest app every hour :bag:.

Hope the rest of you guys come up really soon.

Edited by The Tick
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Just now, The Tick said:

We got our power back sometime this morning.  So probably didn't quite hit 72 hours without.  Again, my house held up really well, none of the water lines froze up, so we are back up and running with power and water.  I didn't get internet notices I was back online because I had unplugged the tv/cable stuff, didn't think of that when I kept checking my Nest app every hour :bag:.

Hope the rest of you guys come up really soon.

 

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brohans can i ask a question up here if we lose power in the winter i shut off the water where it comes into my house which is a valve down in the basement and then i open my faucets so that anything that freezes can expand and not blow up my pipes are houses different down in texas so that you cant turn the water off to the whole house i am sort of perplexed by how many videos i see of broken frozen pipes and stuff and am trying to figure out why that is happening take that to the bank brohans 

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10 minutes ago, SWC said:

brohans can i ask a question up here if we lose power in the winter i shut off the water where it comes into my house which is a valve down in the basement and then i open my faucets so that anything that freezes can expand and not blow up my pipes are houses different down in texas so that you cant turn the water off to the whole house i am sort of perplexed by how many videos i see of broken frozen pipes and stuff and am trying to figure out why that is happening take that to the bank brohans 

Our houses up here in most cases have the main water line coming in under ground, into our basements below the frost line.  A few pages back, someone noted that many (most?) homes in Texas don't have basements, and their water heaters/boilers are often in their attics.  My impression is their plumbing systems are not set up to benefit from the home's insulation, so the pipes may freeze and burst in some homes even when the internal temp is above 40. I would expect a home built in Houston is much better suited to withstand flooding or a hurricane than mine is, whereas I never have concerned myself much with frozen pipes in the upper midwest.

 

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18 minutes ago, SWC said:

brohans can i ask a question up here if we lose power in the winter i shut off the water where it comes into my house which is a valve down in the basement and then i open my faucets so that anything that freezes can expand and not blow up my pipes are houses different down in texas so that you cant turn the water off to the whole house i am sort of perplexed by how many videos i see of broken frozen pipes and stuff and am trying to figure out why that is happening take that to the bank brohans 

No basement, limited insulation, slab construction, water heaters in attics or garages, people not knowing to trickle hot and cold. People unfamiliar with how to prep for a real freeze and houses not built for it.

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2 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Our houses up here in most cases have the main water line coming in under ground, into our basements below the frost line.  A few pages back, someone noted that many (most?) homes in Texas don't have basements, and their water heaters/boilers are often in their attics.  My impression is their plumbing systems are not set up to benefit from the home's insulation, so the pipes may freeze and burst in some homes even when the internal temp is above 40. I would expect a home built in Houston is much better suited to withstand flooding or a hurricane than mine is, whereas I never have concerned myself much with frozen pipes in the upper midwest.

 

Great example. Roofs up north are designed for heavy snow load. In the coastal south they are designed for high winds. I don't think any handle flooding well except for the flood plan homes on stilts.

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1 minute ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Our houses up here in most cases have the main water line coming in under ground, into our basements below the frost line.  A few pages back, someone noted that many (most?) homes in Texas don't have basements, and their water heaters/boilers are often in their attics.  My impression is their plumbing systems are not set up to benefit from the home's insulation, so the pipes may freeze and burst in some homes even when the internal temp is above 40. I would expect a home built in Houston is much better suited to withstand flooding or a hurricane than mine is, whereas I never have concerned myself much with frozen pipes in the upper midwest.

 

Yeah, I think a lot of it is just lack of experience/knowledge. If I had a scorpion infestation in my house in NJ, I certainly would have no idea what to do. And if the power was out, my ability to do an internet search to figure out what to do may be limited.

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1 hour ago, Ron Swanson said:

No basement, limited insulation, slab construction, water heaters in attics or garages, people not knowing to trickle hot and cold. People unfamiliar with how to prep for a real freeze and houses not built for it.

Quoting Ron only because he mentioned it, but can somebody help me understand the bit about limited insulation. Homes in TX must still have insulation to help with the stupid hot summers, no? I mean, obviously our homes are insulated here in MN to deal with the cold, but wouldn't you still want to insulate against the heat in the south? 

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15 hours ago, Psychopav said:

Don't you live in Dallas area? I haven't heard of gas shortages here.

Still unable to fill up.  I don't know if it's a temperature issue with the pumps or if they are simply out of gas everywhere.  

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Was able to make the 1hr drive home without any issues whatsoever.  House is fine, warm, power on.  No pipes asploded.  Internet is on.  Down to about 14 sticks of firewood.

They are forecasting additional brownouts overnight tonight, but that should be the last of it.  

I tried to cut thru the ice in the pool and couldn't get thru it.  

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1 hour ago, GroveDiesel said:

Yeah, I think a lot of it is just lack of experience/knowledge. If I had a scorpion infestation in my house in NJ, I certainly would have no idea what to do. And if the power was out, my ability to do an internet search to figure out what to do may be limited.

Burn that ####er down and move back north, that's been my scorpion or snake infestation plan since I moved to Texas 20 years ago.  Haven't needed to implement it yet!

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