It’s been raining cats and dogs around here for the past couple of days, with severe thunderstorm watches and warnings, high winds, and all that good stuff. I’ve been telling the children to make sure they know where their flashlights are and be ready to use candles because storm season is here. And that means the very real possibility of power outages. We’ve actually weathered some pretty tough ones so far this year with no problems, but we just sat through about 3 hours with no power tonight.
Luckily, we were ready!
As soon as the electric flickered off, it immediately tried to come back on, but wound up just fading away. And that brought some things back to remembrance from about ten years ago…
We’d had a doozie of a winter ice storm and power was flickering. When it finally went out, we were without it for eleven days! Talk about getting creative with cooking and keeping the kids from getting bored! I think we pulled out every board game we had. Thank God we had a pretty good sized grilled so we were able to cook and heat water. We lost quite a bit of food though. From that, I’ve learned not to keep quite so much stockpiled in the freezer during storm season. I keep a lot of canned meats and such in the pantry for just such occasions.
Anyway, when they finally did start getting the electric back on in certain places, it would be on for a short time and then go right back out. This went on for well over a day, but into the second day, the electric company started sending out one simple message, over and over again, asking everyone to pass it along. They wanted everyone in their service area to make sure that everything in their home was turned off. Apparently, when the electric had gone off, everyone had just left light switches on, televisions and appliances, furnaces, etc., etc.
We who have never worked with electricity before had no idea what the big deal was and needed further explanation. Come to find out, when they attempt to turn the power back on, there is a huge surge created as everything in all the homes all over their service area try to come back on all at once. It was blowing transformers and not only causing our wait time to practically double, but it was putting the linemen at great risk as well.
So, sitting here in the dark tonight, waiting for the electricity to come back to us, we went all over the house making sure things were turned off. When it came back on, then we turned on what we needed to, and just left the rest off, but it got me to thinking, it just might be a good idea to share a few pointers, just to sum things up…
- As soon as you hear that bad weather is coming into your area, make sure you have your flashlights and/or candles close at hand. The last thing you want to have to do is go stumbling around your very dark house trying to find them. Oh, and don’t make the mistake I did – if you stock up on candles, make sure you have a few candle holders as well. There’s also nothing quite like trying to get a tapered candle to stand up in something it was never meant to stand up in!
- If you lose power, wait just a moment to see if it’s going to come right back on. If it does, great…then there’s nothing to worry about. For now. If it does stay off, go from room to room turning off everything you can. Leave at least one central light on, of course, for getting around when the power comes back on. Turn off coffee pots, televisions, radios, computers, and lamps. Turn off your air conditioning or furnace; believe me, it’s not going to matter until you have power again anyway.
- A special notice about COMPUTERS, LAPTOPS THAT ARE PLUGGED IN AND GAME SYSTEMS WITH HARD DRIVES AND INTERNET CONNECTIONS: if you don’t unplug these before the power comes back on, there is a very real chance they could be permanently damaged or fried all together. They should be plugged into a surge protector anyway, but sometimes even that doesn’t help.
- If you are going to call in and report your outage, remember that if it is a widespread outage, you aren’t going to be the only one calling. Emotions run high at this time, but try not to lose your patience. These linemen don’t want to be out there in the weather anymore than you want to be at home without power, so they are doing their level best to take care of the situation. Also, if possible, use a mobile phone instead of a land line to make the report. Lightening can carry through the line on rare occasions, resulting in serious injuries.
I hope you don’t have to be without power at all, but if you do wind up in that situation, I hope this might help just a bit. If you have any other tidbits of info on this subject that I failed to mentioned, please, post them in the comments below. We can all benefit from “been there, done that” knowledge, which is all this is.
As always, thanks for stopping by, have a blessed day, and don’t forget to smile!
See ya soon!