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Monday, July 2, 2012

The Not-So-Perfect Storm: Surviving the unexpected loss of power

The last few days have been more than a little challenging for my family and me. Oh, and don’t forget the other 2.5 million people who lost power due to a very odd storm that happened late Friday night.
Losing electricity is a terrifying prospect for most people. Losing it for more than 48 hours is absolute misery! We are so used to our appliances, computers, televisions, and in 95 degree heat- AIR CONDITIONING!  We have become slaves to our modern conveniences.  I’m not ashamed to admit it! Life without electricity is beyond despair. Trying to find a way to do the most basic tasks is out of our sphere of knowledge or ability.

Friday morning, I woke with my usual set of expectations and a long list of things I had set out to accomplish on the weekend. When the power went out sometime around 10:00 p.m. on Friday night, those plans evaporated in a moment. I accomplished ZERO of the items on my list, AND a half dozen more suddenly were added! Not having power makes one feel POWERLESS!

We were very fortunate to have extremely generous and kind family members who shared their home with us. I have no idea what we would have done if they had not welcomed us into their home. We have a little dog that could have become very sick in the heat, and we would have had a very difficult time finding a hotel that accepted pets. Additionally, many of the hotels in our area were without power, and I sure many people had the same idea.
Aside from the personal discomfort and inconvenience, the safety aspect of an area without power can be quite frightening. When there is no power to the traffic signals, it is sad but most people don’t know how to drive safely. The idea that a very busy intersection can become a death trap because many motorists don’t know that in the event of a traffic signal being out, you are supposed to treat it as a four-way stop.  It can be life-threatening if someone blows through the intersection without a clue.

Another serious problem has to do with lack of access to gasoline and food. MANY businesses were forced to close due to the outage. I hate to think of all the food that has been wasted in the past few days!
Having lights to read once it is dark, television to watch to keep us entertained, and all of the appliances we rely on to wash and dry our clothes, just to name a few, are just about impossible to live without. We all should be ever mindful of how fortunate we are to have access to electricity, clean water, and many of the other amenities we have in our country. In many places in the world, and even within our own borders, there are people who live without the things we take for granted daily.

I am thankful and relieved to have the power back on, and all the wonderful things that comes with it- to include access to my computer and the ability to post this to my blog. I honestly felt quite lost the last few days without having a connection to the internet and the ability to do any work.

Spending some real quality time with my family and relaxing was a nice change of routine and pace.  But the anxiety and stress of not knowing WHEN the power would be restored cast a shadow on the otherwise peaceful and relaxing time we spent together. It was nice to catch up on conversation, reading books, and just sitting and doing nothing, but eventually, the desire to have normalcy and routine can become quite overwhelming. The CHOICE to do nothing is a wonderful thing. Choice involves having the option to do, OR not do. When the electricity goes out, choices go with it. There aren't any and you find yourself hot and in the dark.

I think it is important to be ever mindful and always thankful for the miracle of electricity and the resources and quality of life that comes with it. Nurturing an attitude of gratitude and respect for all the machines, devices, contraptions and gadgets that make our lives easier and simpler, and fully realizing and appreciating the country we live in and the blessings we have.

1 comment:

  1. I really agree with you on this. We all take for granted the wonders of today's society and are very unaware of just how lucky we are to have been born in an era of technology that makes life easy and comfortable. As a child in the 1960's we barely had a TV and computers were basically unheard of. Even still, I remember losing our power for a few days one time. It was winter and it became very cold. I can't remember what we did for heat but we survived. We had a gas stove so I believe we could still cook but when the sun went down it became pretty boring to sit around in the dark. We all went to bed fairly early.

    I'm surely grateful everyday for the power and all of the other things that technology has brought to us. Life would be a whole lot tougher without them. Thanks for sharing and reminding us of how much we have to be grateful for.