I don’t know about you. Climate change is freaking me out. Take these crazy weather patterns. Please. (Ha Ha! See what I did there? A bit of humor can help in times of crisis.)
Anyway, Mother Nature has gone completely bonkers. She threw us a real doozy of a thunderstorm this past week. One minute we were watching the six o’clock news as they’re flashing severe storm warnings. And the next we were watching 60 mile per hour wind gusts ripping limbs off our maple and javelining them into the ground. The thunder was loud enough to dislodge the fillings in your molars and the downpour of rain would have made Noah nervous. I had been fixing dinner but had only washed one potato when the storm knocked out our power. It was all just a bit unnerving.
As soon as it is safe after a storm, I like to cruise the neighborhood to see if other houses still have power. I take this as a sign that the world has not ended.
There were lights on at our neighborhood grocery, so I popped in to buy ice in case I needed to keep perishables from spoiling. I lined up at the checkout with my ice and a package of emergency cookies. Other customers were calmly buying their quinoa pilaf, marinated chicken breasts and spring mix from the salad bar. Here I was a refugee from our storm-torn, wind-ravaged, mini-Armageddon, gathering basic survival supplies and they’re buying their week’s worth of Fruit Loops? I couldn’t understand why these people weren’t totally panicked! Didn’t they know they were headed home to no air conditioning? Oh, the humanity!
That’s when I decided that I would perform a selfless public service and offer my tips on how to survive inconvenient weather events. If I can save just one person from needlessly suffering through a power outage, it will have all been worthwhile.
Tip #1: For gosh sakes, don’t use up what little remaining charge you have on your mobile device by playing Candy Crush Saga. Yes, it’s boring with no TV. Sure, you’re, missing America’s Got Talent. But if you only have 40% left on your iPhone, my advice is to save it for emergencies, as my husband pointed out to me. I waved off his warning and got preoccupied with a video of three groundhogs chewing on carrots (very cute, by the way.) I was soon down less than 20% and was sorry, because the next day I could not find my keys anywhere and had to phone Ken at work to come home with a key to the Subaru. He was in a meeting and I had to conserve my phone’s charge until he called back. I was LOST without Liking stuff on Facebook. So heed my advice. No Twitter until you can plug into the car outlet.
Tip #2: Keep your propane tank full. How you can tell if it is full, I have no idea. I mean, they can put a man on the moon, but nobody has come up with a way to put some kind of indicator on a propane tank to tell you that you will run out of gas midway through grilling dinner. Which is what happened to us! Things are tough enough and we run out of propane? Almost too much to bear. Ken had to go on an emergency run to Speedway to get a tank. It was 7:30 by the time we got our salmon, grilled potatoes and asparagus. No one should have to go through that.
Tip #3: Everyone says how romantic power failures can be. Just the two of you and a quiet candlelit dinner. Sure, if you can find some matches or the butane-filled BIC thingamawhoozy that you got in case you couldn’t locate your matches. Just try to get your hands on these items once evening’s shadows start to creep, because it gets dark. Ironic, isn’t it? Where is that flashlight? See? Keep the stuff in a spot that makes sense and where you won’t trip over the dog trying to get there.
I could go on, but I was just reading online about tornados and floods out west and thinking, my heavens, that is a whole level of scary that I have never experienced! Those poor people.
Tomorrow I ramp up the emergency kit.