One of the more important lessons I’ve learned about survival prep is that oftentimes the best teacher is failure. Surviving a bad experience has a way of focusing the mind.
A couple of years ago we lost power in New Hampshire. Becky and I were away that weekend but our kids were staying with my parents who live up the street. When the power went out, my dad and daughter went down to our house to grab something and she noticed that the generator wasn’t working.
The following week I had my electrician check it out and he said all was working fine. I thanked him and started thinking about what if this had happened in the dead of winter. I decided to get more wood delivered.
The thing about generators is they are finicky. Even with regularly scheduled servicing, at the end of the day they’re a machine, and sometimes machines don’t work.
This winter was another cold one in New Hampshire. After a scheduled servicing, my electrician recommended we install a cold weather kit (note to self, who’s surviving here?). The kit basically helps get the generator started in the cold weather. Simple enough. It’s worth noting with my generator there is no warm-up period. It basically has two settings: full speed and off. The cold weather package eases that rough transition.
Once a week, there’s a startling lawnmower sound outside of our house which sets off our dog—a not so gentle reminder that we have a generator. As it runs through its test cycle, it makes me wonder. Is it worth it? I’m not exactly sure.
If we didn’t live where it gets so cold why bother with it? But since it seems to get dark around 4pm in the dead of winter– too early to go to bed– it will make living a whole lot easier. I just hope it works when we really need it.