A while back I wrote a series on emergency preparedness. I quit before I finished the series because I got totally overwhelmed with the work that was needed to be ready for any and all disasters. The thing about preparedness is that there is no end to the work you could do.
Which also means that’s there no end to the extreme panic you feel when you realize that come the end of the world as we know it (EOTWAWKI) your family will be the first to perish.
This morning we had a emergency preparedness dry run. Last night we had a wicked thunderstorm, I love a good storm, and the power went out. Losing power when it’s bedtime isn’t such a big deal. Getting up, making breakfast and coffee, and getting the kids to school without power is another thing entirely.
My first thought this morning was “Hooray for our gas stove, Ken will like the burner with a match and we will have coffee.” Then my 9yo came upstairs and told me that Daddy couldn’t find the ground coffee. He couldn’t find it because there wasn’t any. Curses. Our morning coffee thwarted by electricity.
But we didn’t give up that easily. Mortar and pestle to the rescue, caffeinated parents make happy parents. We used pool water to flush the toilets and wash our hands. We get water delivered so there was lots to drink. Lunch was packed and the kids got to the bus on time.
Look at us rocking the power outage.
The lesson here is that we can handle any emergency provided it lasts less than 12 hours. But is an overnight power failure actually classified as an emergency? I think it’s just called an inconvenience.
Our morning of headlamps and candlelit breakfast got me thinking about how we’d manage an extended power failure. Like say, The Great Ice Storm of 1988. (You need to say with an echo for emergency maximum effect)
- Water. We’ve got lots of water, our drinking water is delivered, we have the pool and we live on a creek. Also water leaks into the basement. Outside water sources would be trickier in the winter but we have an axe. We have a camping water purifier that could be employed if needed.
- Food. The freezer is full with meat and fruit. The pantry is also full.
- Cooking. The ignition is electric but we overcame that this morning so we could use the burners. We also have a fire pit, camping stove and BBQ.
- Heating/ Cooling. Once the fans went out last night we sweated our faces off so we slept with the doors open, which is an invitation for the cats to purr in our faces at 4 am. If it was winter we would be cold.
- Generator. The previous owner left us a massive generator in garage but we have no idea if it works. Would be handy for grinding coffee and keeping our freezer frozen.
Our weakest point is heating in the winter. The renovation plan for our house includes a wood fireplace but in the meantime we’ll have to hope for the snow to keep us insulated or for the neighbours to invite us over to warm up.
Have you lived through an power outage? How did you fare?