Storm coming....is a generator necessary?

lisagauss

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Feb 16, 2011
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For those that have been in the Santiago (Gurabo) area for the storm seasons, has the power gone out for days? I have an inverter (3.5KW) with 4 batteries. I figure under my use I could get 6-8 hours of power. Has the power been gone for more than that during last year's storm season? Also, does anyone know a place in Santiago where they rent generators? Cheers!

When I was living in Long Island we would have power outages for 6-8 days during storm season.
 

Conchman

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Jul 3, 2002
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Its tough to say, this storm does not look its very strong at all, and does not have much chance of strengthening, so we may just get a bunch of rain. But a bunch of rain could trip the local transformer, depends where you live. Expect maybe some 30-40 mph winds, unless we get the storm wall then maybe 50-60mph. Its also possible the storm goes further south and we get virtually nothing from it, but computer models predict a more northward trend.
 

puryear270

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Aug 26, 2009
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Each storm is different, so you have to plan ahead. If you think the storm is going to be bad, then save your power as much as possible. In a bind, how many lights do you really need? Conserve what you have and you should be fine.

In the case of Chantal, it might get to Category 1 status, but will probably only be a tropical storm. The biggest threat is rain and flooding. Be prepared for humidity.

My preparation for Chantal: made sure I had plenty of water; put envelopes, paper, and a few other items in airtight containers (I lost lots of envelopes last year because of humidity of Sandy); made sure buckets are empty as my roof leaks in three spots; went to the store for weekly shopping so I don't have to go out in the rain. And that's all I plan on doing. If it were already a category 2 or 3, my plans would be very different.

Given the unreliability of the power grid here, a generator is a good thing to have. I am researching generators now, but I'm trying to find a generator that works on propane, since that is so much cheaper here (and it runs more quietly).
 

donluis99

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Jul 12, 2004
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a back up gen set is a good idea anywhere subject to storms, and especially here.

We have installed 10 Kw of inverter w/ 16 battery's and storm season the gen set comes out for a time or 2 for 1 - 3 days at least.

Four hour of 6 Kw generator running during the highest consumption of the day and charging the batteries, give us at least the next 20 hours on the inverters.

Here ain't n better than long island.

With the present path and wind conditions of Chantal I would predict country wide blackout for at least 2 days, I sure hope she decides to swerve south or north as most of her predecessors have before, but she does indeed look like a straight on crash into the DR on wed.

g'luck
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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Where you live it would be rare that power would be out for more than 8 hours in any one day. That might happen once a year. You could easily make it to 12 hours by buying 4 bags of ice for the fridge an unplugging it and not using the fans nor toaster.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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i would not bother too much for chantal. like someone said: make sure you stock up on basics like presidente and brugal. i mean water, water, of course ;)

here we have two large water bottles plus enough food to last us at least a week. few weeks if you count freezer and pantry. cistern is nearly full of water too, it can be boiled and used for drinking too, in case of emergency. our inversor is 3.5 with 8 batteries, last big blackout proved we could go on for a long time. it lasted 36 hours and that could be easily stretched to 48 if we started saving power from the get go.

my additional advice is to get some candles and matches, charge all torches and have some extra batteries. as soon as the power in the middle of the storm goes off start switching off all the unnecessary crap, cut down to one bulb and a computer. your four batteries will last a bit longer then.
 

susan77

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Jan 19, 2008
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My flight to Santiago arrives Thursday @ 8:40 PM-- Hope the runway lights are on!!! :)
 

lisagauss

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Feb 16, 2011
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i would not bother too much for chantal. like someone said: make sure you stock up on basics like presidente and brugal. i mean water, water, of course ;)

here we have two large water bottles plus enough food to last us at least a week. few weeks if you count freezer and pantry. cistern is nearly full of water too, it can be boiled and used for drinking too, in case of emergency. our inversor is 3.5 with 8 batteries, last big blackout proved we could go on for a long time. it lasted 36 hours and that could be easily stretched to 48 if we started saving power from the get go.

my additional advice is to get some candles and matches, charge all torches and have some extra batteries. as soon as the power in the middle of the storm goes off start switching off all the unnecessary crap, cut down to one bulb and a computer. your four batteries will last a bit longer then.

Great advice. Maybe an extra 4 batteries may be a better buy than a generator? Generators Ive seen online are going for nearly $20K pesos, 5KW gasoline ones. Im pretty sure this time of the year generator prices are higher than normal. Any suggestions on where to buy a generator for a good price?
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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the problem with a generator is that it costs so much to run it... i would not buy it as a backup power, unless you are talking really large property here. with a long disastrous hurricane caused blackout you are likely to be f**ked up anyway, just trying to get petrol to feed it will be challenging. on the other hand adding 4 batteries will go a long way and may be useful on the daily basis.

some members ere brought small generators from the USA via shipping company. you may look into that. i understand they are quite pricey in DR.

one last note: it is better here than in the states in terms of dealing with a loss of power. how many americans have inversors or generators? i betcha not many. here people have some backup. on our street nearly everyone has an inversor and two of my neighbours have generators we could plug into in case of a total mess. are you in a similar situation in NJ?
 

lisagauss

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Feb 16, 2011
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the problem with a generator is that it costs so much to run it... i would not buy it as a backup power, unless you are talking really large property here. with a long disastrous hurricane caused blackout you are likely to be f**ked up anyway, just trying to get petrol to feed it will be challenging. on the other hand adding 4 batteries will go a long way and may be useful on the daily basis.

some members ere brought small generators from the USA via shipping company. you may look into that. i understand they are quite pricey in DR.

one last note: it is better here than in the states in terms of dealing with a loss of power. how many americans have inversors or generators? i betcha not many. here people have some backup. on our street nearly everyone has an inversor and two of my neighbours have generators we could plug into in case of a total mess. are you in a similar situation in NJ?
I lived in Long Island before moving here (Gurabo, Santiago) in Nov of 2012. In LI, last year we had power loss for 6 days. Tree fell on the line. I had to relocate to the Bronx till I got power back on.

As for here, I think an extra 4 batteries would be ideal. That and saving energy should I lose power during the storm. Tomorrow I will go buy some supplies at Bravo supermarket.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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get a good electrician to advice you. i understand it is not a good idea to buy more batteries and put them to work along old batteries (unless you've only had them for a short time). you can sell old batteries, for the four used you may get enough to buy you one brand new. someone will surely tell you some more details. i am only a user. i never asked to learn any of this. lately i was joking with polish consul here that once you move to DR you gotta learn about stuff you did not know existed...
 

puryear270

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Aug 26, 2009
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You'll be fine, so long as you don't have to drive in the rain. Streets flook horribly here.

Remember that everyone else is will be in the same shape you are in, and in a bad situations, Dominicans help each other out.

My advice: make a big pot of chicken soup. In the middle of a tropical storm, nothing beats the dampness better than hot chicken soup. Share generously with your neighbors, tell them that you made too much and wanted them to have some. After that, you will never have to worry about how to survive a hurricane again. (NOTE: nothing spicy in the soup, as Dominicans react violently to anything other than salt as a seasoning).

On my end, I just realized that I indeed do have to go back to the store tomorrow. I took my gardener/handyman to the store with me and he distracted me into buying milk and diapers for his baby instead of toilet paper and rum for me. Not sure how I could have been so foolish, but he is definitely NOT going to the store with me again.
 

puryear270

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Aug 26, 2009
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A gas generator will be costly unless you convert it to propane.

What does it take to convert to propane? In the US, propane generators are available. But my experience is that shipping costs are out of this world (unless I buy a first class ticket the next time I fly, which lets me carry two extra 50 lb bags at no extra cost -- and the ticket is only $200 more, which evens out). Or, do you know of a place to purchase propane generators here in the DR? Or would importing propane generators be a good business venture for someone to make some extra money?
 

keepcoming

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May 25, 2011
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When is this storm supposed to happen and will it hit Santo Domingo?

Looks like here in Santo Domingo it will be starting early Wednesday (maybe late Tuesday night?). I have family here from the US staying at one of the hotels on the Malecon, should be interesting.
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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Santiago
What does it take to convert to propane? In the US, propane generators are available. But my experience is that shipping costs are out of this world (unless I buy a first class ticket the next time I fly, which lets me carry two extra 50 lb bags at no extra cost -- and the ticket is only $200 more, which evens out). Or, do you know of a place to purchase propane generators here in the DR? Or would importing propane generators be a good business venture for someone to make some extra money?

I don't have a generator but this is what people seem to do. I expect a conversion kit needs to be bought and a propane tank.
 

Koreano

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Jan 18, 2012
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I too was wondering about small generators.

So if I wanted to run full blown refrigerator(rated at 543 kWh/yr), router and a laptop (maybe small fan) how much power do I require? I've been eyeing small generator at Amazon.com but I don't know if it's worth bring in small one in just in case. And can they convert small gasoline powered generator to propane gas as someone mentioned?

It's small price I have to pay but it might become lifesaver one day.