Earlier this evening it rained briefly when I got home from work. Thank heavens for the perfect timing as I was not dressed to deal with the rain at all. The brief downpour was followed by a five minute power outage which took me almost three minutes to figure out. At the time I had just powered my laptop and was waiting for my browser to let me onto WordPress so I could read the writings of others when my screen displayed a ‘you are not connected to the internet’ error message. Of course I assumed this was some kind of mistake so I reloaded the page. As you can imagine the same message was displayed on my screen and this time it appeared annoyingly faster than my initial attempt. I closed the browser and fired it up again convinced that whatever was going on should have now fixed itself. Alas! Another error message. And that’s when I heard it. The irritating beep! beep! beep! produced by the door alarm as a result of lost connection to power (or so I assume). Then I noticed the digital watch on the stove was blank and so was the one on the microwave. Huh!! My first thought was an electrical malfunction. Then I checked all other electrical devices; the TV, sound system and the fridge.Sigh! Who was going to go down to the basement in the dark to fix the malfunction (not that I even know where the thing-what is it called again?-is located). Standing there trying to decide my next cause of action, I realized the neighbours houses were awfully quiet and dark. Not to say I live in some wildly noisy area but a little music from neighbourhood houses is often carried across the picket fences by the winds. Plus normally there’s lighting on patios. And that’s when it hit me. A power outage!
Suddenly I could feel the anxiety building from within me. I knew I had a bunch of candles. But where? How was I going to make dinner? What would happen to all the food in the fridge and the freezer? How was I going to take a shower? My laptop was starting to get low on charge (I had about three quarter battery life left) and so was my phone at 50%. I was already envisioning calling in sick the following morning for lack of water to shower and ordering in as I could not leave the house for the same reason. I could not imagine how I was going to spend the night in total darkness but my jumbled thoughts did not permit me to remember the last place I stored the candles. Just then, when I was beginning to feel the temperature of the room increasing, I heard the sweetest sound of all times. That loud fridge noise that announced the return of electricity. Thank you Manitoba Hydro for saving me from a night of fear and starvation. The only thing I might have enjoyed was the warranted day off to save my coworkers from the stench of a full day of work and sleep.
It’s an unnerving thought; the possibility of an extended power outage. How do you prepare for this? How can I be prepared and function as close to normalcy as possible without power?