Tuesday, November 8, 2011

7 days without power

I have experienced many power outages over the years. I live in Massachusetts and we get snowstorms every winter, and at least one of them knock out the power for a few hours to a day. On average we probably lost power for 1-2 days at most a winter, and that wasn't consecutive days either.
Then this year happened.
Last winter we had many, many snowstorms. We lost power only once for a few hours, completely normal and expected.
Then June came and brought along my first ever (and hopefully last ever) tornado. We were lucky and the damage was about a mile from our house. Madeline's preschool was ruined, as well as my mom's high school, among the many other neighborhoods that were damaged or demolished. From that we lost power for about 2 days. That felt like a long time. And I was grateful for our generator (that Jon insisted we buy 6 years ago.)
Then we had what my friend has nicknamed "Snotober." On October 29 we got over a foot of snow. The amount of snow wasn't the problem, the timing if it was. The leaves were still on the trees. And when you add heavy snow on top of trees that still have their leaves you have disaster. We lost power, most of our city was out. My parents town was 100% out. My grandparent's town was 100% out. The town Jon teaches in was over 75% out.
7 days later we got our power back. 7 LONG days.
7 days where our generator saved us. We had heat, hot water and our fridge and freezer worked. Heck, we even had television and a dvd player that worked.
For the most part our week continued as normal. We were able to stay warm. We kept the kids busy as I normally do. There were two extra people around during the weekday (Jon and Madeline had no school) but otherwise things were normal. We got creative with cooking- the crockpot was very useful, as well as the grill. We even were able to use our microwave a few times. Our generator won't power our stove and oven so we were not able to use them. but with the other appliances we ate more than just cereal and sandwiches.
What we almost ran out of was the gas to run the generator. Jon and I drove around for an hour on Sunday looking for gas. We didn't find any. On Monday Jon went out and found gas an hour later. After that, anytime we left the house we brought an empty gas can and filled it up if we could. As the week went on gas was easier to find as more people got their power back and more gas stations were able to open. But it was scary that day where we wondered if we could power our generator.
And I learned that I need to be more prepared for things like this.
I am working on what I need to keep in the house for times of no power again. Space is an issue so I am trying to think of ways to creatively keep emergency items on hand without losing valuable storage space. I am also trying to decide what things I need that we don't already have. But that is my project between now and the official start of winter.
And the next time the weatherman says that their is a large storm coming, you can bet I will be in line at the gas station filling up every gas can we have in the house. I won't be making fun of people who over-react to these things anymore. I learned my lesson!

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