Don't turn out the light

The power went out again last night. What is it with Sunday's and underground electrical transformers dying? Another one bit the dust last night and the power was out from 5:00pm to 11:00pm in our tiny corner of Glen Allan. The weather is currently really mild, so there was no fear of us freezing to death like the last time. In fact the roast in the oven was done, so we even had a nice warm meal to enjoy (minus gravy and yorkshire pudding - boo).

A few things I've learned from our recent power outages.
  • Power outages always seem to strike at night. Murphy's law I guess.
  • Make sure you have a usable phone hooked up in the house. That usually means the corded, no battery required kind. Those lovely portable ones we all have don't work in a power outage. Cell phones are great, but our neighbors rarely have our cell numbers, so a working home phone line is very helpful, as I had 3 calls from my neighbor last night about the outage.
  • Know where you keep your flashlights and batteries. Try to have a working flashlight in a place that is easily accessible in a power outage, it can at least help you get to the rest. Those wind up flashlights and radios are great, but they require maintenance. You have to wind them up on a bi-monthly basis to keep the battery alive. Regardless, I recommend you have one flashlight per person as a minimum.
  • Wind-up radio/flashlight combos rock. Get one and know a good local radio station you can tune in to for information regarding your outage.
  • Have the local number for your electrical provider handy (or at least in place you can access with your handy flashlight) so you can phone for information on the length of the outage in your area, as well as the cause.
  • Watches and battery operated clocks are helpful if only for maintaining the regular order of things like bedtimes.
  • Food that doesn't require cooking - in our last outage we had a great little feast of peanut butter and honey sandwiches - sadly their was no roast in the oven that time. Water and also plans for maintaining a cold fridge and freezer are a must.
  • BIGGEST TIP - Unscented candles that provide a nice steady flame are a MUST. The smells of the scented candle can be overwhelming. Also the flicker of most candles can be really annoying. I've had great luck with 24 packs of candles from HomeSense. ZODAX being my current favorite brand in the tall 10" style. It's a fantastic candle that burns with a steady light, no dripping wax and no scent. Now all you need are candle holders - I have two wall sconces which rock - each holds 4 candles, but I would like some stand alone holders as well.
There is my public service announcement for the day. I think we're all a little more mindful these days regarding our personal preparedness in the face of natural disasters and emergencies, so I hope you don't mind me sharing some of the lessons I've learned in our tiny little emergencies. I don't think I've said anything you don't already know but maybe it's a good time to ask yourselves, "do I know where our flashlights are, are they working, do we have batteries?" I know there are some things I need to pick up.

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