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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Editorials A Power Outage

by Doug Harvey

Living through a long power outage is a rare ordeal that really tests how well a person has prepared for such an event. With so many things to consider like power outage duration, time of day, what season, outside temperatures expected, and how many people in your group to take care of. It doesn't take too long to figure out that not being prepared properly will end up being a losing battle against time.

Most people have a life that takes into consideration an arrangement of normal everyday activities such as eating, sleeping, keeping warm or cool. During a power outage most home appliances will simply not work at all and that could cause some major concerns if the power outage lasts too long. Time is the most crucial ingredient in your planning and any type of miscalculation on the amount or type of resources needed to endure a long power outage could have possible dire consequences.

Our reliance on utility companies to supply us with energy has created an almost total dependency for a supply chain that almost never breaks, but when it does are you prepared?

For outages that last for minutes, things like extra batteries for flashlights, or candles could be needed, and for most people that kind of outage would only be considered an inconvenience.

Outages that last for hours begin to test our planning skills, depending on the season heat or cooling in your home could suddenly disappear with your comfortable inside environment slowly changing to match the current outdoor environment. Your fridge or deep freeze would now begin to loose that cooling ability to keep your food safe. Simple things like trying to keep warm, or cool, a warm meal, a hot cup of coffee, or cool drinks in the heat could now become a problem depending on how long the power is off. If any these issues were considered and an alternate means to providing those basic needs was planned for, then now will be the time when you can actually put your planning to the test to see how well you measure up.

The real test begins for outages that last for days because this is when your home environment will most likely match outdoor temperatures if alternate heating or cooling means was not provided. Food in fridges will be warm, food in freezers will be thawing, soon a time will be reached when food not eaten will be spoiled, the only way to plan for this would be to provide a back-up power option. Cooking a warm meal is another issue that could be easily taken care of in warmer temperatures, but could be more difficult to achieve in extremely cold temperatures with an outside gas BBQ. This is also the time when you begin to really consider all the planning options that you may have done, and really wish that you should have made allowances in your plan to prepare for a really long power outage.

The funny thing in all this comes while your thinking about all the things you should have put into that power outage plan, and suddenly hear, and see indications that power has been restored. That feeling of despair instantly gets replaced with a smile on your face, and thoughts about a power outage plan get put into storage until the next time it happens.

Last Updated: Monday, 16 April 2018 12:25:22 PM EST

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