Last Sunday morning at 5 am, my husband was rustling around in our room. I was hot, so I asked him to turn on the air conditioner. He did, but it didn’t. No power.
My first thought was, “Crap. Did I forget to pay the power bill?” I consulted my phone and determined that the power bill had, indeed, been paid. I called the power company and was told the power should be back on by 8 am. It was hot, but I was able to go back to sleep.
I woke up again around 8. Still no power. I called Rocky Mountain Power again. Sorry-no power-don’t know how long it will take to fix it…that’s what I was told. We have had 100 degree temps this week and it was already miserably hot. My four year old was whining. I wanted to whine.
Fortunately, my in-laws live nearby and they did have power! I am ashamed to say I was a wimp. My daughter and I headed for the in-laws’ house pronto.
It has always bothered me how much we rely on “the grid”, but this incident pointed out to me how ill-prepared I really am. I do have food storage and I do have some emergency supplies. This really should not have been a big deal.
But it was.
Inconvenient as it was, I learned some things. You might find them helpful, so here they are…
8 Things To Know When The Power Goes Out
- DO NOT think to yourself that you will charge your cell phone later! Charge your cell phone when you go to bed—if it has 1/2 to 3/4 charge at bedtime, it may be very low on power by morning!
- Do not loan your battery cell phone charger to your son (I did) and expect that you’re going to get it back without asking for it. Nev-ah gonna happen!
- Don’t always rely on mechanical things to do what you can do for yourself.
Example: I really should figure out which key is the key to my house. Let me explain. I have two key rings. One has probably 15 keys, most of which I have no idea what they do. The keychain that I use most of the time just has about 3 keys and the scannable rewards cards for the stores where I shop.
I have lived in my house for 10 years and I literally do not know which key lets me in my house. I am not kidding. I come in through the garage each and every time, even if I didn’t take my car. It’s just…easy. This brings me to my next point:
- Garage door openers do not work when you do not have power. That could be a real problem when trying to enter your house when you (I) don’t know which key unlocks the door!
- 4 year olds are hard to entertain without power. Mine was awake for all of ten minutes when she told me she didn’t think it was very fun to live like pioneers. Mind you, she is not a “use electronics all day” kind of kid…but first thing in the morning cartoons start our day. If your kiddos are like that too, be sure to have an alternate plan in place.
- Wi-fi does not work with no electricity for the router. Duh. Should have figured that out on my own.
- Don’t expect your husband to have put the lighter (for candles) back where he found it. (It was the day after Independence Day when we had our power outage and the lighter didn’t get put away after we did our fireworks.) Fortunately, for this one I was on the ball-I had several of those long-nosed lighters (like we use for the grill) in the food storage closet.
- Flashlights are good. Flashlights without working batteries are…not so good.
- It is hard to find things in the dark…batteries, for example.
All total our power was out for about 7 hours. We were awake for about 4 of those hours. I could have toughed it out. I chose not to do that…mostly because of the heat. But it gave me some things to think about.
I am prepared with all sorts of ways to keep warm if there is no heat, but preparing for no cooling system had never occurred to me. The pioneers hung wet sheets in their entryways to cool the air. I guess I could have tried that. Maybe next time.
Do you have any good tips for when the power goes out?
More Emergency Preparedness Tips
How prepared is your family? What do you do to prepare for emergency? Here are links to some more great emergency tips you should definitely check out!
See you next time, friend!