Lights Out

power-outageLast night we had a small incident where the power had gone out for about 2 hours. Right away I retrieved our super bright LED flashlights and Emergency Radio. I still had a signal on my cellphone with Verizon and was able to reach out to other neighbors with the app Next-door.

I learned a few important things about being prepared during this two hour span. My furnace and gas fireplace have options to add a battery operated ignitor too that I need to look into. Even though I had a radio it was more than difficult to find any type of news updates locally and even thought I could still communicate with folks in the area through a cellphone app, it the local tower were to go out there would be no communication. Another problem was that I had no way of charging my cellphone other than plugging it into the power plug in my vehicle.

Like most homes we are an urban/suburban living household. While there are certain options that make this life comfortable like a short drive to and from work each day, their are also some things that make less than comfortable. Now I could get into all of the differences of living in the City, Suburb or the Country, but I will keep it pretty simple here.

In the event of a major incident does my home have what it takes to see us through it? Whether it is an Earthquake, a hurricane or just a major storm are we prepared to eat, drink (water), stay warm and communicate with others. We all have seen the kind of chaos and devastation that storms can reap I have been in a few small incidents like this myself.

I have made the decision to start working on becoming more prepared for a situation like this and will probably spending some writing time dedicated to it. I will set the stage in my mind where we just had a major earthquake in our area. Our home wasn’t damaged, but we have lost all power, gas and any form of communications other than the radio. We will have to survive for 30 long days in this current condition. I know that some of my reader may be bored with this subject, but I believe that it is important not only in my own life but in the lives of others.

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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27 Responses to Lights Out

  1. We lived in a tornado area for a few years, that’s when we learned to be prepared. We lost power often, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for days and weeks.

    We had water in the basement, enough dried and canned food for weeks and propane tanks, because I even made breakfast on our gas grill.

    It taught me a lot. This is a great post

  2. facetfully says:

    You have to do what you feel is the right thing. Just from reading your blog, I know you will be all set soon. Here’s to being prepared and also to not needing to make use of it! Happy New Year, btw.

  3. nexi says:

    Good post – we’ve sometimes been partially cut off by snow in the past (UK) & had boiler oil freeze – we keep a stock of tinned good & camping gear in the integral garage.

  4. suzewannabe says:

    I am a survivor of Hurricane Ike (2008). I thought I was prepared by making meals and freezing them and having sterno to heat and eat. Boy, was I wrong. Power was out 3 weeks. Here’s what I needed:
    *battery-powered radio
    *extra batteries
    *drinking water
    *a jetboil cooker
    *a can opener
    *a gas generator
    *gasoline
    *butane lighters
    *a gun (looters come out post storm and people act weird and are SCARY). I was alone with two geriatric dogs.
    *pool chemicals (*pool shock*)
    *full tank of gas (for A/C). TX hurricanes happen when the heat index is 115F

    It isn’t the storm. It’s the aftermath.

    • Yes, I will be asking questions about regional situations like yours. Here in Oregon our weather is more moderate. You list is interesting.It seems like I will take a great deal to have to deal with 30 days.

  5. rsweijo says:

    Great idea to simulate what it will be like after an earthquake. I will be reading your posts!

  6. webbermd says:

    We lived on the Oregon Coast for 5 years and every December a storm would knock out power for days, close highways, and cause shortages in stores for food water and basic necessities. We learned to be prepared for at least 2 weeks. I wrote a post about the storms that knocked power out for many in the Northwest recently. Many people had to leave there homes and stay in hotels where the grid was on because they had no heat or running water. Ultimately, living off grid is the answer to any grid issues, but with the frequency the grid goes down, a good emergency kit filled with your already purchased camping equipment will get you through most brown outs. Adding the battery option to your gas stove is a wise move.

    Since you mentioned living in Oregon, have you heard about the big earthquake that’s over due?
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/titanic-earthquake-tsunami-overdue-wipe-portions-pacific-northwest/

  7. Blimey. Over here we don’t know we are born where I live.
    A little snow every now and then and some high winds is the extent of it.
    Hardly anything to write about yet it still shuts down our infrastructure at the first flake or stiff breeze….

  8. Ariane says:

    after typhoon Haiyan people in my country started buying powerbanks. Those charged by electricity can fully charge your phone 4x. Read about mAH.

    If prolonged time without electricity try checking for solar powerbanks.

    My maternal grandparents bought a small generator since electricity in their town wont resume for 2 months.

  9. Lori Carlson says:

    This topic doesn’t bore me… I lived in OK for 13 years so I know how important it is to be prepared. I look forward to your posts on this topic 🙂 Cheers and Happy New Year to you and the family!

  10. Helen says:

    It would be interesting to read the kind of preparations you think of for an extended period of ‘lights out’. We haven’t had a power cut where I live during hours of darkness since I’ve lived here but reading your post reminds me I could do with keeping a stock of matches for candles and the gas stove. And making sure I know where the wind-up torches are.

  11. pobept says:

    A battery operated scanner will allow you to monitor local amateur radio operators. Many are involved with local emergency management agencies. Also you can in most cases monitor fire and some police departments and utility maintenance crews.
    Happy Gardening

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