Backup Systems: Why I have them

Take today for instance. Today, I have a generator powering our primary refrigerator and our well pump. I have an 110V inverter hooked up to my truck’s batteries with extension cords powering my DSL router and the laptop I’m posting this from (recharging the batteries on my UPS which got pressed into service yesterday when all this happened).

I will have to venture out later today and refill the gas can for the generator. This is not a big deal, really, though finding a working gas station might be.

So… what happened?

A very fast-moving line of storms hit here yesterday afternoon. Our house seems to be right in the middle of the worst-hit area as far as reported power outages go. Trees down all over. Couple houses in the neighborhood have some obvious wind damage (shingles blown up and flipped over.

This is the third power outage in a week’s time. Tuesday was a brownout, then we had a brief outage on Friday night (storms) and then this one. DTE Energy is not giving out estimated time-of-restoration but is telling the media it may be tomorrow (Tuesday) evening. DTE’s phone system also flaked out, making it even more fun.

It’s supposed to be 90 today. Oh, and a chance of more storms, possibly severe, later today.

So why am I here? Well, couple reasons: I want to keep the contents of the fridge (K was at the grocery store yesterday when the storm hit; several things she bought were to replenish a few things we lost in Tuesday’s outage) cold and safe. The other is that the lift pumps on the sewer systems got zorched, or at least their controllers/power supplies did. The one down the street had the electric meter blown up and partially *off* the control box. That’s 480VAC stuff, and it had to be pretty spectacular. The other pump ’round the corner (which has a backup generator) apparently had the same thing happen to it. I have to wonder if the generator switched on and then the power jumped back on and… double-voltage backfeed. In any case, whoops.

And I really don’t want to see the sewers back up into our house. That would suck mightily.

So today, I’m working from home. πŸ™‚ A computer, a VPN, and a cell phone means I’m able to work just about anywhere.

Everyone’s safe here at Casa del Crider. Including Scooterbird.



    1. Thanks, Sarah. We’re holding our own right now, but the offer is greatly appreciated and we’ll call if we need to take you up on it. πŸ™‚ Meanwhile, I do have to get dressed in a professional manner and venture forth later this afternoon. I’ll take care of a couple errands (like retrieving the gas can for the generator from my trailer — and making sure the trailer is okay!) while I’m out. Until then, I have two priorities: 1) locate and consume protein, and b) fill out some paperwork associated with this afternoon’s appointment.


  1. Hope things improve soon! We have temps in the low 50s and the clouds are rolling over the hill from the ocean below and the wind is blowing (gently compared to the Mid-West Tornado Alley area) and it’s pouring rain. You put that nicely in perspective.


    1. So you have cold, wet, and crappy, and we have hot, muggy, and not so particularly electrified… πŸ™‚ Running on batteries…


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