Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Electricity restored. What I learned...

in the past 35 hours.

We had a very heavy wet snowfall a few days ago.  The snow was so heavy that many power lines were downed and we were without power for close to 30 hours.  Which is nothing compared to what our Spokane neighbors endured after a major wind storm a few weeks ago.  Many people, including friends of ours, were without power for up to eight days.

How prepared were we?
  • Our wood stove kept us warm, heated water to make drip coffee, and even allowed me to scramble eggs for breakfast.
  • Our radio, which can be run on batteries as well as plugged in was invaluable. If you don't have a radio that runs on batteries, get one.
  • My Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 Book Light  saved me from committing harikari.  There's not a lot to do when the power is off and it gets dark at 4:30 pm except read. 
  • We don't have a fancy iPhone.  We only keep a Tracfone for emergencies.  It was fully charged and enabled us to access the power company for updates. 
  • The ten pack of small aluminum flashlights I picked up at Walmart last year preformed admirably.  At less than a dollar per flashlight, it was a very good purchase. 
  • We have loads of batteries stored.  According to the Energizer Site:  When stored at room temperature (i.e. 70°F/ 21°C), cylindrical alkaline batteries have a shelf life of 5 to 10 years and cylindrical carbon zinc 3 to 5 years. Lithium Cylindrical types can be stored from 10 to 15 years. Prolonged storage at elevated temperatures will shorten storage life.
What we learned:
  • Don't store your lamp oil and your extra oil lamps in the furthest storage shed from the house.  If you do, get them out and ready before the snow starts. (Duh) 
  • Better yet - invest in several battery operated lanterns, which I plan to do post haste.  I used to think oil lamps were fun and romantic. Not any more.  Oh, and make sure they're not rechargeable.  No electricity means no way to recharge.
  • Stack up extra wood outside the back door.  Most of our wood is stored in our barn which is close to the house.  However, the snow was so heavy that shoveling became a necessity to access the barn. 
  • Have lots of books to read.
When I fired up the computer this morning my Feedly had over 1000 unread articles.  Guess what?  I didn't miss a thing.  It's the same 'ol, same 'ol going on out there.  Do I really need to be so "connected?"

I have never been one to take modern conveniences for granted.  I'm continually amazed that I can turn on the kitchen faucet and water runs out.  I ponder the miles and miles of pipes and all the rest of the stuff that goes into making that possible and am filled with awe at the ingenuity of the people who made this possible.

Likewise for electricity.  Our modern life depends on these two things.  People who bleat about global warming need to ponder life without these two things.  It's not a pretty picture.

Our world for awhile:

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