I was busily getting ready to fix breakfast a couple days ago when the power went out. The bread was in the toaster ready to go, and the eggs were cracked and seasoned, ready to be scrambled. Additionally I had a 12 pound turkey in the roaster, ready to be popped into the oven once the breakfast dishes were washed. Fortunately, I had percolated the coffee and poured my first cup. Brilliant! At that moment the power went out, and I was overwhelmed by dead silence.
I felt the acid burn begin to upset my stomach. Having been educated on the potential devastations of an EMP, my heart sank. Was this it? Immediately I regretted not preparing more. After checking with the power company, my oldest son announced that power would be restored in about two hours. A wave of relief swept over me. Two hours. No problem. However, it got me thinking, and these are the lessons I learned.
1. Keep Maalox and/or Rolaids on hand at all times. Initial stress produced out-of-this-world heartburn.
2. Appreciate the power of ready-to-eat foods in your storage. Those thirty boxes of cereal will come in handy one day.
3. Sharp kitchen knives are essential because you never know when you will have to cut up a 12 pound turkey into manageable pieces to put into the solar cooker. If the power had not returned, the neighbors would have been blessed with turkey sandwiches.
4. Have an alternative to your washing machine. Two baskets of clothes waited patiently to be washed. I envisioned piling them into a wheelbarrow and heading down to the creek. My little washboard seemed woefully inadequate but my 25 bottles of laundry detergent gave me hope. Maybe, as a society, we are too hung up on personal hygiene.
5. Have diversionary activities available. No power=no computer, no radio, no TV, and on and on. I wished I had gone to the library and picked up a few books. Would I ever be able to get to the library again? Would I have to walk the eight miles to town? Remember, stock up on Rolaids.
6. Water storage is essential. We were fortunate a while back, during a 7 day outage that we never lost our water, but I cannot rely on past experience. I gave my Big Berkey a hug and a kiss.
7. Know your neighbors. We are all seniors out here with a few young un’s thrown in. Check on one another and offer help when needed. With age comes wisdom, resourcefulness and skills obtained from a lifetime of hard work and hard times. We are in this together.
My adventure was short lived but certainly thought provoking. Lessons learned are transformed into knowledge and the ability to survive. We can share our experiences and all become stronger as we prepare for the worst but pray it will not come.
This list was submitted by Sue in Alabama. Thanks, Sue!