Lessons learned or confirmed from IKE

Not in any particular order or priority.1) I have some really nice neighbors.

Not in any particular order or priority.

1) I have some really nice neighbors.

2) Nothing beats having a gas powered chain saw.

3) You can't have enough gas to drive your AC generator.

4) Power usage expands to the capacity of the generator.

5) Multiple generators, maybe 2, would be better. One is the priority machine, the other (smaller) is for entertainment purposes.

6) Gas usage only approximates the inverse of load x duration.

7) Most AC generators run at the same speed. (Duh!)

8) A battery-backup UPS with spike filtering to power a desktop computer is OK.

9) A battery powered laptop is better.

10) A computer is better than a TV or a radio for information during the hurricane.

11) A phone line powered phone is a necessity.

12) Phone line DSL beats TV cable DSL without a doubt. Comcast has pissed off customers all over town, especially the ones with “digital” phone service. They went down with the power.

13) Satellite TV works pretty well during a hurricane. It works excellently during the transit of the storm eye. Like a Pioneer/Voyager/Galileo occultation experiment.

14) At least in this environment (US Central Gulf Coast), one bedroom with an small window AC unit is essential.

15) A physically protected water input to the house is a necessity.

16) A solar assisted hot water heater would have been really nice. Cold showers suck.

17) Two layers of shingles is better than one but it still requires a complete repair after a severe wind.

18) A working refrigerator beats an ice chest.

19) Dog and cat food are really hard to buy just before the storm hits. Impossible after.

20) A fully fueled auto makes up for the things you screwed up on. A computer makes a good scouting tool.

21) Pacing yourself is important. You can't repair, fix or clean it all up in one day.

22) Solid-state florescent starters for some compact florescent lights “sing” when the voltage drops.

23) A house without power is extremely quiet. Powered wiring hums.

24) If I was a retailer in household goods, a generator to power the entire store would make very good business sense, at least in the really high volume stores.

25) Even if you don't like some of their business practices, WalMart does know what its doing.

26) Homeland In-Security and the Texas state government are as screwed up as ever.

27) A cold front with a high pressure zone after a hurricane is delicious. You don't need to run the AC and it kills the mosquitoes.

28) Birds are smarter than a lot of people. They get the hell out of town when the weather turns bad.

29) Do all the laundry before the hurricane hits. But make sure its all dry before the power goes out!

30) Microwave ovens generate immense amounts of power line hash, enough to set off a UPS alert.

31) Email, believe it or not, is more reliable than a cell phone during a storm.