Awakened knowing something was wrong. Too quiet. No buzz of refrigerator, no air conditioner’s low rumble. Could feel the sweat on my brow. Switched on the light. But it did not come on.
Peeked out front door. No lights up or down the street at 2 a.m. on this full moon morning of May 10th.
How far does this glowing moonlit electrical outage extend? Is this the big one, I wondered? I am totally unprepared.
What does one do when in need of information?
When electrical service is restored, check the internet. The checklists for power outages are numerous. One listed a generator as the number one item needed. Excuse me, but I am not one to purchase a piece of machinery which would seldom be used (I hope!) and for which extra funds are not available.
High on all lists: a gallon of water per person per day for a minimum of three days. With me, that would cause no difficulty. With large families, the mere problem of storing 15+ jugs of water might come into play.
If one has pets, their needs have to be taken into account, also. My dogs drink water profusely.
Bottled water has an expiration date. It is still good if unopened but the water may have absorbed some of the chemicals in the plastic containers. It will taste funny but still be potable.
Many lists warn against using candles because of fire hazard. This may be true if one has small children or cats who can climb. But our forefathers used candles and kerosene lanterns for many years, with our present presence to attest to their candle caution. Candles should be placed on or in fireproof containers. It felt good to light a few candles while the power was out.
One item on a few lists I especially thought handy. It was a camp stove. l have a homemade solar cooker which you may have read about in one of my columns years ago. It works great in the sun. But for a morning cup of coffee, I would never be able to wait for the sun’s intense radiant midday rays. If, indeed, the sun was shining at all!
Summertime, the camp stove can be used outside or in an open garage. I tend to forget that in the winter, a camp stove mistakenly used indoors would create carbon monoxide fumes. So, be careful in any season!
Food is an important item on all lists. Having canned or dried fruits and nuts handy is a good idea. Think trail mix. That peanut butter will be mighty tasty on saltines. Cereal could become a staple! Fresh fruits and veggies, like carrots, can keep you healthy. Dried milk and bottled juice will rank high in importance along with canned meats during a prolonged power outage.
Other items speak for themselves:
✅Cell phone car chargers (We can still use our cell phones!)
✅First aid kit
✅Manual can opener
✅Last but not least—Duct tape
There are detailed lists for any number of disasters including earthquake, floods, tornadoes and drought. Many power outage lists are more intensive than what I have shared.
By the time my research was finished, my unpreparedness was blatantly evident.
To think that a short power outage on a moonlit night could cause such research, consternation and complete feelings of inadequacy is probably a good thing. I don’t have to like it—only utilize the knowledge learned and pray the “big one” never happens.
©Ann Rains, May, 2017