Monday, June 1, 2009

And Then There Was Darkness

We had a power outage over the weekend.

What it proved is that we are completely unprepared for an emergency.

While we faired better than most as far as lots of extra water for things like flushing the toilet (we are on a well, which means if there is no power there is also no water), cooking and drinking, we also had a battery, which powered a radio and a light, as well as candles and flashlights.

However, the flashlights, we discovered, weren’t where we thought they were and when we eventually found them, the batteries were either dying or dead, and we did have to search around for the candles. And we don’t have any matches.

While we have a generator, which powered the freezer and the sump pump, we wouldn’t have had enough gas to last the entire outage if the outage wasn’t just on our street. That would have meant questionable food and a flooded basement.

In time for the next power outage, we require:
* Flashlights with working batteries
* The rain barrel attached and working properly
* A battery-operated backup sump pump
* Candles and matches in a secure location
* Gas for the generator

The Canadian Government also suggests people have the following in case of an emergency:

* Two litres of water per person per day, plus water for pets
* Three-day supply of food (including pet food) that will not spoil (remember to replace the food and water at least once a year)
* Manual can opener
* Battery-powered or windup radio, plus extra batteries
* First aid kit
* A "grab and go" bag with a two-week supply of medications
* Cash (or travellers cheques) in small bills, change for telephones
* Contact information and other important documents (license, birth certificate, passport, etc.) stored in a waterproof container
* Change of clothing and footwear for each family member

Visit to learn more about preparing for an emergency.

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