@Antedeluvian: The genrator was incredibly noisy...
And it was a natural gas generator, you say? I'm surprised -- ours has turned out to be relatively quiet -- I mean you can certainly hear it, but it's nothing like as bad as a gasoline powered generator.
When the icestorm of about 20 Dec 2013 hit the American northeast, Toronto lostbpower for up ton2 weeks in the extreme. We were without power for 4 days at fridgid temperatures. The only house who had standby power in out area was across the road and one house down and had a natural gas backup unit. One of the circuits powered the outdoor lights.
The genrator was incredibly noisy and we could hear it through securely shut double glazed windows and several covers over our heads. And the irony was that the family was away on vacation with the lights light brightly like a beacon saying, go ahead rob me! Fortunately no one accepted the invitation.
@Elizabeth: I used to live in the San Francisco area so I experienced several earthquakes and it was always a suprise.
I was once in my room on a very high floor of a very large hotel in Tokyo, Japan when a pretty big earthquake occured. The hotel was swaying dramatically side to side -- windows rattling, pipes and metal screaching...
My room had two pretty large beds in it. Up till that time, I hadn't touched the minibar because the drinks were soooo expensive.
As soon as I realized what was happening, I made a lightning-fast evaluation that there was no way I was getting out of the hotel if it were to come down, so with (what I considered to be) great presence of mind, I leapt across the two beds and quaffed all of the scotch in the minibar. My reasoning was that, if I survived, I'd be happy to pay -- and if I died, I wouldn't care about the cost anyway LOL
At least with a tornado, you have some warning. They don't have warning systems for earthquakes yet. At least not ones that you can rely on. I used to live in the San Francisco area so I experienced several earthquakes and it was always a suprise. I was in a car on the freeway when the Loma Preata quake hit. It was several seconds before I realized that it was an earthquake and not a blowout. Good thing there wasn't much traffic at that point... We lost power for about 24 hours, the folk on the next street over didn't have more than a glitch in their power.
You've got me thinking about this now. I need to talk to the guy who is providing the solar panels for Field Day. He sells solar panels for peoples houses so he knows what's needed for the electrical switchover. He may also do generators...
I'd just do a solar instaliation but with my luck the disaster that causes the power to go out will be the one that leave a foot of snow on top of the solar panels.... Of course I'd probably still have to shovel out the generator unless I put a shed roof over it. The project is getting bigger by the minute and I haven't even started yet.
@David: And can you get insurance to cover you if it happens?
I think the number of houses that are hit as compared to the total number of houses that exist are relatively small, so insurance does cover this -- I know our insurance covers us -- I only hope we never have to use it...
@David: I guess when it happens as often and as near to you as this...
Re the picture in my column -- I'm not sure exactly where that was from -- but there are subdivisions within say 5 or 6 miles of us that were hit that bad -- completely flattened -- houses just dissapeared -- really scary
@David: I guess when it happens as often and as near to you as this, you probably get a bit blase about it, like people who live in earthquake zones...
You try not to think about it -- it's weird when you are all gathered in your "safe place" -- which for us is the middle of the house in the laundry room -- listening to the radio and there's a tornado on the way and the radio is saying "it will be in Athens at 5:10pm, Limestone at 5:20pm, Harvest at 5:25pm, Monrovia at 5:27pm..." And you think "We're in Monriovia..."
@David: ...what would be what it would be like to have your home utterly devastated as in your first pic. To come back - or crawl out of your cellar - and find your home gone or utterly trashed must be one of the most awful experiences there is.
I don't think you can possibly imagine this until it happens to you -- if you crawl out with all your family and friends alive then I'd say "Thank God" -- even worse would be to be separated from your family -- like having your kids at schoiol -- then racing to the school after the storm had passed and finding it gone -- that happened to a town in the USA not-so-long ago.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.