When the Lights go out (Part 2)

A couple of years ago we had a terrible storm come in and most of the west coast was brought to a standstill. Nothing worked, schools were closed; trees were blown like discarded matchsticks across freeways and streets. There was no electricity and it didn’t look as if there would be for quite some time to come.

This didn’t faze my friend in the least. He has a wife and five children and they told me themselves that they ate as good, if not better than they did when there was electricity.

They ate well-cooked food, drank hot drinks and kept themselves warm. Best of all though, without TVs, DVD players, sounds surround systems or the Internet, they actually had time for family bonding. They talked and they played cards and had a wonderful evening as the storm battled on without regard somewhere beyond the confines of their lovely home.

I sat in the dark, listening to the wind as it raged outside like a steaming train without breaks, until edging my way toward the candles and lighting them up. Had I been prepared, as my friend always is, I would have been able to deal with the lack of electricity. Instead, I did the one thing you shouldn’t really do in such conditions, I went outside, met a friend and together, we drove several miles inland to another friend who actually had electricity.

My self-sufficient friend is still laughing at me even today, has had a lot of fun at my expense. He has offered me many tips though, given me guidelines on how to get by without electricity and heating.

Perhaps his survival tips can help you.

1        Keep one small light on so you know when the electricity is back on.

2        Keep emergency supplies on hand. If you have a fireplace, keep a store of wood close by for emergencies. Flashlights, candles, matches, batteries and a well-stocked first aid kid should always be placed where you can find them easily, even in the dark. Extra blankets and clothing are also important if you live in a cold climate.

3        Keep food safe and remember to eat perishables first.

4        Keep warm and occupy as few rooms as possible. Close off the rooms you don’t need to use.

5        Buy a good Billy Can set for cooking. Never use gas or propane indoors. Such products use oxygen and release carbon monoxide.

The third part will be with you in just two days

Gavin

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