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Uninterruptible Communities

I've mentioned this idea at previous forums, but I'll make it "official" here.


One of the biggest headaches for a family or community is an extended power outage. We all know that once you lose power, you realize how many life essentials rely on power. We've also seen how the community can be seriously impacted by an extended power outage.


My suggestion is to consider providing grants for PUD's to provide backup power for their development, especially those that have shared buildings like a clubhouse. Not for the fuel or maintenance necessarily, but to procure the generator and installation, which can be over $5000.


I lived in a PUD with 120 houses/families. We had several extended power outages and while I had a portable generator, all I kept thinking was how much easier it would have been for all those families and the utility companies if our clubhouse had a generator. Everyone could have gone to the clubhouse for heat or AC, refridgerating meds, recharge/refresh, etc. This can also be done for apartment units. However, it's not an expense most associations can afford, so they probably won't implement it without help.


From an emergency mgmt perspective, it would make it much easier to prioritize response and restoration if EM knew sections of the community were powered up.


I'd be happy to discuss further.


Bob Connors

Submitted by in Jan 2012

Comments (5)

  1. Another solution to consider, particularly where PUDs don't exist, is implementing the "Map Your Neighborhood" program. In it, small neighborhoods (15-25 houses) organize and among other activities inventory their skills and resources. One of these resources is identifying who has a generator. During our rare Nor'easter winter storm in Oct. where most in my town lost power for 7 days or more, we were thankful that our neighbor had a 5 Kw generator and offered to run extension cords to neighbors to keep the refrigerator cold, run a hot plat for soup, or a small heater and lamp at night. Since then I now have a 3 Kw generator so I'll all set and willing to help my neighbors the next time.
    in Jan 2012
  2. I Like the idea, But as to the funding, this should be a function of the local zoning and building codes, and the cost should be assigned to the PUD, not funded by the taxpayers.
    in Jan 2012
  3. The concept is good in principle. The government should be funding life safety issues, not "headaches". It is the responsibility of the community association to determine if a generator is a priority and purchase it if they see a benefit. But to ask me to pay for your generator (via taxpayer funded grants), is somewhat flawed.
    in Jan 2012
    1. I agree, overall. In some cases, like diabetics who need to keep insulin refrigerated, or areas where cold weather can be lethal if heating is not available, it's more than a "headache." However, I think a better approach would be for the zoning board to require all PUDs (I believe that's "Planned Unit Development:" when I was in real estate back in nineteen-mumble-mumble we called them "Planned Unit Residential Developments") to include a generator in their build process. If there's some kind of association fee, it could include money to fuel, maintain, and test-run the generator.
      in Jan 2012
  4. I think this is a good idea but will require additional assets, funding, and groundwork, than just purchasing and installing generators, to make it close to viable. Besides the generators, you will need fuel to run the generator along with the electrical lines to transfer power from the generator. Upkeep and maintenance are other concerns as well a continued cost.
    If when a new apartment complex is built, maybe the owners can purchased a generator for that building, and the cost of purchase, as well as maintenance, to the tenant's rent.
    in Jan 2012

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