Sunday, December 17, 2006

My newfound appreciation for electricity

OK, so we had it pretty cush. I mean, one house around the corner from us had their roof blown off, down to the rafters. A tree fell on someone else's car, and another tree stabbed a 2" branch through someone elses' roof. OUCH! Last Thursday's huge windstorm knocked out power for 700,000 homes in Western Washington, and ours was one of them. We were without some of the conveniences of the modern age from 5:30 p.m. Thursday night (about 5 minutes after Jerry arrived home from work) to midnight, Saturday night.

In the 10+ years we've lived in Olympia, this is the first time we've been without power this long. I believe the longest we lost power prior to this was during the Ice Storm of '96. Back then, we were living in a dumpy duplex rental. About the only thing positive about that place was that it was on the hospital grid, and even if the power did go out, it was never for very long.

Though we now have a gas furnace, it requires electricity to actually blow the warm air into the house, so it got mighty chilly mighty quick. The coldest it got in the house was during the day on Saturday, when it got down to 45 degrees. At least our gas stove and gas water heater still worked, so at least we had hot meals and showers.

Our neighbors on each side of the house, Mark and David, each had generators, and very kindly let us tap into them to power the fridge so we didn't lose any food, and Saturday afternoon, David came over and wired the furnace so we could hook *it* up to the generator as well, enabling us to heat the house again.

I tell you, this was a real wake-up call for us. We're fairly self-sufficient, but we realized that we're pretty haphazard about disaster preparedness. Not good, especially when children and animals are depending on us for their survival. eeeek.

Last night, by the flickering light of candles, Jerry and I sat down and made a list of what we need to consider for our Disaster Plan. The first thing we did was make a list of our needs. I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that getting a disaster preparedness kit ready is our new number one priority project.

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