Yesterday morning at about 5:30 am, I noticed there was no electricity functioning in the house. Usually if this happens in December in the mountains of Western North Carolina, there is cause for concern...typically it is very cold outside at night. This year though, the outside temperature was in the 50s. No big deal. Since the time changed recently, we still aren't quite used to how dark it still is early in the morning. No problem we thought, we have flashlights, candles, and oil lamps.
Right and wrong. Yes, we do have those things and the flashlights were fairly close at hand but the ones handiest to us both had weak batteries. How much duh should one have to face in a crisis? Yes, we do have candles (hello! we used to own a candle store!) but in the spirit of a recent house cleaning frenzy, the candles are stored in the basement. Yes, we do have several oil lamps and to our credit they did have some oil in them but not much.
We are looking at yesterday's 6 hour episode as a wake up call to be sure our emergency things are functioning so that when we need them they are easily accessible. I'll bet we have a dozen flashlights (hello! we used to own a camping and backpacking store!) but there wasn't a strong beam to be had. Luckily, daylight came about an hour and a half after we realized the power was out but we got a shopping list ready. We'll make sure there are spare bulbs, batteries, matches and lamp oil easy to get to.
The highest source of anxiety yesterday was making sure we could take care of our dog Wiggles. She requires a special diet for her failing kidneys. Her food is cooked and then put through a food processor. The cooking part we can deal with, lots of gas stoves at our disposal but the food processor isn't as easy to duplicate without electricity. We know we won't always absolutely have to have a food processor at our disposal 24 hours a day but it did make us thinks about the ability to plug in small appliances to some kind of generator. Such as small portable electric heaters, hair dryer, crockpot and of course...the food processor. Those aren't emergency items to be certain but they are "comfort" items.
How about you? Have you stored your flashlights in a convenient place and are they in good repair? Do you have spare batteries and bulbs? How about other sources of light? Do you have candles and oil lamps filled and ready to go? How about matches to make them work? What other items do you find essential to be ready to cope with power outages? Have you given any recent thought as to how well prepared are YOU in the event of an emergency?