Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Generators: live with them or live without them?

Considering the unusual weather we have been having here lately it has been an interesting summer.  Much of the summer was hotter than it had been in a number of years based on my observation.  So several days of over 100 degree weather this summer along with the usual high humidity made for some hot times.  Then the earthquake that hit our area was a big surprise.  Though it didn't cause any damage in our area it did make people feel vulnerable.  Then a week or so after that hurricane Irene came and gave us a wallop that killed our electricity, Internet, phones both land lines and cell not to mention cable for those that watch T.V. it was an unexpected wallop.  To follow that up we have had some unusually long and large rain storms with much thunder and lightning.  These type of storms are not unusual for us in the evenings this time of year but having them in the morning and all day for a couple days this last week have been unusual. 

Lots of folks have been worried about how to make it through and several friends have gone and purchased generators to keep their refrigerators on.  Our neighbor shared his generator the last day before electricity was restored and after plugging in the refrigerator the next thing we wanted was a working fan.  The last people in our area without electricity seem to have finally gotten it back this week.

Through this all my wife and I considered whether to get a generator or not.  They were available and we could have gotten one but when I thought about it we have been without electricity for an extended period three times in the last 12 years.  That hasn't seemed particularly terrible, despite the inconvenience and trepidation at the time.  We have lost much of what was in our refrigerator and freezer each of those times.  When you consider the cost of a generator at around $600 and then the cost of putting gasoline in it (one friend told us it was costing about $30 for every day and a half), that seems like a lot of money.  Especially when you have to travel around to find a gas station that is open and can pump gas due to the electricity being out.  So the cost of the gas to travel to and from the station added as well.  It is not like you can store any significant supply of gasoline on your property without additional risks.  All-n-all it hasn't seemed worth it to us yet at this point. 

I suppose if one of us had medical needs that required electricity then that would very quickly change the equation.  But with our current ability to roll with the punches and not be endangered by it, I think that a generator isn't helpful and doesn't save us much in comparison to the cost.  I'm sure other folks feel differently based on their needs.  For example we have a couple friends with young children who are here for school for a semester who purchased a generator here despite having one at their own home in another state.  They felt like it was worth the expense in their situation. Ultimately we haven't seen where a generator would be worth it except in convenience...maybe. 

I must admit I am a little reluctant to write this wondering if the next blow of mother nature might convince me otherwise, but I guess a little embarrassment isn't as tough as a it? 

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