A third journal of personal musings
|On this day in history, North America had what is thought to have been the worst power outage. The weather channel is projecting record heat days above normal for the vast part of North America. Do you think we're better able to handle the demand for power? Your thoughts? How do you handle power outages in general? Some of us have experience from hurricanes, tornadoes,or winter storms that might have suggestions for those unfamiliar.
I remember I was at my sister, Cathie's, house when it happened. I was sixteen years old, getting ready to head into my senior year in less than a month. It wasn't a big deal at first, because I don't think any of us realized how widespread the outage was until like the next day? It was kinda still "the old days" back then when it came to the news getting out and the Internet not really being a place to spread stuff or to even look to to find out about things.
I remember they tried/attempted/succeeded? at fixing whatever the issue was, then. So it's entirely possible that we might be better able to handle the demand for power, but we're also in a very weird spot than we were 17 years ago. Then again, maybe some of the places (offices/restaurants/factories, etc) that are working less or closed all together, offset those who are home working or home without a job. I also won't even pretend to act as if I understand how our grid system works or even how they might've changed it. Like it's there in the back of my mind, but not enough that I can grasp at something to bring it back even fully enough for me to feel confident in it.
I think there are also a lot more people who are using green energy sources, especially solar, these days. That might also help alleviate the strain on the grid system.
Matt and I handle power outages pretty well. We haven't had anything in which it lasted any long stretch of time. The longest I ever didn't have power was waay back in 2004, the end of winter, around late March into early April? I remember the time only because March Madness was going on and Syracuse won it. And thanks to my sister, Cathie, and her husband, we had a generator that could power our TV so that we could watch the Championship game. We had a small battery operated black and white TV that we managed to watch like one game earlier on in the tournament, but the batteries didn't last long and we didn't have many. We used the rest for the radio in the kitchen and listened to the tournament on there.
BUT, back to how we handled it. It was an ice storm and we still had a lot of snow left (in Central NY, where I lived, snow could last into May sometimes. Giant snow banks could last into June). It ended up being incredibly helpful for us. We didn't have to worry about food as most people, and my parents (dad especially as he did the shopping) were no exception, to shopping for things they needed to last them a week or two weeks, sometimes a month, depending on how they shopped and probably how many kids they had. We always had food on hand that we, a family of four, could've survived without going to the store, for like two weeks, probably more with the way my dad could cook. He could make giant gallon jugs full of soup and tons of pasta sauce that could last us awhile easily (He had five kids in his first marriage, also was a chef apprentice in the Navy so he always cooked as if feeding a battalion.).
We had gas, so we were able to cook food and it helped heat the house a bit. We also melted ice and snow and used it to flush the toilet. We didn't shower. Though I guess we could've boiled water like in the old days and bathed, but that would've been a tremendous amount of work considering our only source of water was the snow and ice outside.
We had flash lights and a bunch of candles on hand. I think we spent a lot of time playing games/cards/reading/listening to the radio. My mom couldn't go to work as there were downed power lines one way and a downed tree on the other way, so we were essentially stuck. School had been cancelled. I think it was a week? Ten days? Something like that before the power came back on. We were lucky though. I couldn't imagine those who have gone through tornadoes or hurricanes and how they have to handle things.
Matt and I haven't had to deal with much power loss and only a few hours when we have. We would be fine for a couple of days I think. Depending on the spread of the power outage as we have an electrical stove here, so we would be screwed. Though I definitely plan on having a generator when we get a house as back up. Though I also do plan on having a gas stove then too.