My Six Days In Darkness & Hell

Downed trees can create a power outage.

This is a huge problem!
This is a huge problem!

It Could Happen To You Too!!

It was early in the morning when the storm blew in from the southwest. The wind plunged through the trees, and the sky grew dark and moody. I was out in the sheep barn, by the time I got to the back door of the house I heard the sound of continuous thunder and then a roar that sounded like an evil hungry beast ready to devour anything in its path. I have never heard anything like that before.

Just as I got inside the house the lights went out, and would stay out for the next 6 days and nights. The storm hit and took down several large trees in the yard. Within a half hour it was all over, except the lights were still out. As the day continued, we saw that there was no traffic on our road because trees were blocking it. It would take three days and the help of the local snow plows to clear the road of debris. By that time I was really grateful that I could get to town and get some much needed supplies.

I was lucky because there is a hand pumped well in the sheep barn, so there was plenty of water. In my mind I thought that I was “prepared” for anything because I had water. That was a huge mistake. I sat in the dark for 3 nights because I did not have any matches to light the oil lamp which was full of oil, but useless without matches.

I rounded up 13 flashlights, not one had live batteries. I also have at least 3 radios, of course no batteries in there either. Because of that, I had no idea what was going on. I sat there in the dark for three nights wondering what the hell happened. I knew we had a storm, but I did not know that it was extensive and many other people were also out of power. I could hear chain saws off in the distance, but none of the neighbors walked over, because you never know with downed power lines if they are alive or dead. I figured it would be best to just stay home and hope the roads were cleaned and the power restored in a timely fashion.

Because we live in a woods, by 4 pm, it is already dark inside. How people lived like this is beyond me. I am used to living in the country, but even so, without any yard lights, it is so dark at night that you cannot see your hand in front of your face. It was a weird experience. I laid there for hours and listened to the sounds of the night. I finally heard the bears that everyone says they see when they drive by our farm! Up until this point I thought they were making it up. I also heard what I thought was like a big cat! Days later when I went to the local gas station, there was a picture of a bobcat that someone killed just a half mile from my house! I never heard these kind of things when I have electricity, because of the TV, fans, vents fans, AC, the sound of the freezer and the refrigerator, even when the house is quiet at night, you don't really hear the wild life outside like you do when there is complete silence. Actually, that part of the experience was pretty awesome.

Food! Lots and lots of food was lost. All the food in 2 refrigerators and freezers had to be thrown away. What a waste. My mother and I were harvesting out of the garden all summer with many things being blanched and frozen. We help out my niece and nephew, they are always welcome to whatever we have in the freezer. They are young college kids working their way through college, so extra food comes in handy. If you are going to put up food, do yourself a favor and go back to the traditional canning. If we had done that, we would still have all that beautiful produce to eat this winter. Now we are going to have to buy what we can at the grocery store which is of lesser quality and costly. Lessons learned. Canning is more work, but in the end it is worth it.

If you type in “climate change” on youtube.com you will get thousands of hits. Lets face it, the earth is changing. In Iceland, the sun rose 2 days earlier this year. All across the Arctic, people claim the sun and the moon are not in their usual place. Scientists tell us that the axis of the earth has shifted because of massive earthquakes since 2004. It stands to reason that we could be seeing more and more violent storms until things settle back down again.

The first thing I did when the lights went on was take a hot shower and wash my hair. There is no way people were as clean years ago as we are today. One of the worse things of not having hot running water is that you can't get as clean as we are used to being. I heard other people talking and many said the same thing, they missed the hot showers.

Do yourself a favor, think ahead and get ready. Don't be an idiot like me.

The following is what you need if the lights go out for a long period of time....

WATER for drinking, and empty CLEAN GARBAGE PAILS for collecting rain water for bathing and dishes, and cleaning in general.

BLEACH, treat any water with bleach before using. In an emergency you can drink rainwater. Just strain it through a clean dish towel and add a drop or two of bleach. However, it is always best to have a big store of bottled water for drinking, especially when it comes to children and the elderly.

A RADIO with FRESH BATTERIES and EXTRA BATTERIES. We were cut off from the rest of the world because I had no radio with batteries. There were so many trees in the road that people could not get through. For 3 days we had no communication with the rest of the world. We had no idea what kind of storm had come through or how extensive it was. On the 4th day, after the snow plow cleared the roads of debris, I went into town and got batteries and matches, that night I was living large with a working radio and the glow of the oil lamp. I turned the lamp down low and let it burn all night, there was no way I was going to be in that endless darkness again. Also, if you have a high shelf on the wall, put your oil lamp up there, it will light the entire room. I slept like the dead that night! I went to sleep at 5pm and never woke up until I head the goats blaaaahhhhtting for me! LOL! At least I had plenty of food for the animals, I thank God for that or there would have been goats and sheep bleating and blahting to no end. They are supposed to eat grass, but they want the good stuff that I give them too.

MATCHES, CANDLES, and other sources of light such as FLASHLIGHTS and OIL LAMPS. Its no fun to be sitting in the dark, I don't recommend it to anyone. That kind of darkness can almost make you lose your mind, it can feel suffocating. Plus, without light there is NOTHING to do. I am an avid reader, and I could not even do that.

CANNED FOODS and a MANUAL CAN OPENER are also important although I can honestly say that all the chaos of not having power left me with not much of an appetite. Nevertheless, it is important to eat something. It would also be great to have a GAS STOVE in your home versus an electric stove. That way you can heat water for washing dishes and bathing. Also, if it is winter and the lights go out you will have to leave your home unless you have a way to stay warm. That's where a wood stove would come in handy. Sure, it requires some work, but in the end, you are at home instead of some shelter. I can't leave because I have hundreds of animals to take care of, so I always have to think of these things way ahead. Of course without matches, I would have been unable to light the wood burner! I have a fire stick, and if I were facing no heat for an extended period of time because I did not have matches to light the wood stove, I would try to start a fire with this. This is something that everyone should learn and practice. Right now, I don't know how to do it, but I am going online to find out more about it. I think it is an important skill and it could save your life one day.

I never thought the lights would go out and stay out for 6 days and nights. That has never happened before in my lifetime, but things are changing. It was a huge wake up call for me, and next time the lights go out, I am going to try to make sure I am better prepared. You just never know, the weather seems to be more violent. Everyday on the news we see people standing by there homes in tears with everything wrecked and ruined by massive storms.

We had at least a dozen huge old trees come down. Thank God none of the homes on the farm were damaged and no one was hurt. It could have been much worse. Of course I cried over the trees. To see a thing of beauty destroyed like that is very sad. They were my friends who sheltered our homes with their branches keeping us cool in the summer and a bit warmer in the winter. Now we are cutting up all the wood and will use it for the wood burners. It will take well into next summer before things get back to normal again, but that is life. What does not kill you will make you stronger, and adversity is the greatest of all teachers.

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Comments 19 comments

VENZKHVAM profile image

VENZKHVAM 5 years ago from Milk way galaxy, trying to find a more adventurous place in another galaxy with my great followers

Magnoliaz,

Very very useful information on consutruction of home poretable solar generator.

This will really give a good dimension ins saving lots of electric bills and also every home owner to become self dependent.

I had voted this beatiful and also usefull and interesting and voted up.


Ghost32 5 years ago

Poor baby!

Honestly, I'm sympathizing here.

Pam and I are set up "okay" because of living off grid in the first place. Our water is held in a 500 gallon batch storage tank, pumped as needed with power provided from a portable generator. For electricity, there's a much smaller generator that uses much less fuel--12 gallons of gas (in cans) will last about that many days if we limit usage to 14 hours a day. The fridge is propane-powered, etc.

So when the power goes out here, we don't even notice unless we see it on the news (Satellite TV & Internet, not cable) or go to town.

We chose not to install a yard light at all when we built the house. After-dark tours beyond the front door are lit by flashlight only. No matches, but plenty of lighters and strikers.

BUT you've done a lot of people a solid service with this Hub. It does extremely well at illustrating "what can happen" for those who (like you, as you said) "never thought it would happen".

Voted up and Across.

Why on Earth did they kill the bobcat? Bobcats are cool! (Or maybe this one wasn't; I wasn't there.)


magnoliazz profile image

magnoliazz 5 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Venzkhvam- Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate your support.

Ghost 32- I have no idea why they killed that bobcat either, it made me sad, the guys I know around here want to kill everything, they are idiots. I was surprised that there were no laws in place against killing a bobcat.

I always wanted to get off the grid, but then one thing or another would come along and I would forget all about it. Now I am wondering about a solar generator. With a gas generator you still have to get gas, with solar all you need is the sun, not that a gas generator is not a good idea too. I think its always good to have a couple of differnt ideas going at once.

Sounds to me like you are ready for just about anything, even Planet X and a pole shift.

Thanks for much for stopping by. I will check out your hub pages soon.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

Excellent topic and some great advice! :) Voted "up" and "interesting!" :)


dreamreachout 5 years ago

Magzz, you had told me briefly about it all but reading here I know how exactly it was and its nothing short of hell!! Deserts are getting flooded, forests are drying up, glaciers are diminishing in size .. where is the world headed to!!!!

Living in the countryside is more difficult during such calamities and your every suggestion needs to be followed for contingency!!

I just hope that you dont go through this hellish ordeal again!!

Cheers!!


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 5 years ago from Illinois

Mag, You have to be a Boyscout, always be prepared.

It's always a pleasure to see your pic. H


rwelton profile image

rwelton 5 years ago from Sacramento CA

Living in CA. makes it easier (except for an occasional earthquake or errant driver into a utility pole) ... than other parts of the US. I live near two large rivers - so flooding is the concern her and, as a result, all of our emergency supplies are in the attic... we swapped our battery powered emergency lanterns/radios/flashlights for the hand crank models...good work.

rlw


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 5 years ago from home

Magz,

Sounds bad i know that we need to get some things ready for outages- food will be the toughest i would sugest a "crank radio" - no batteries....

we lost power for a few hours in all the hub ub ... it was at night-so only i was up everyone else slept through it...

TH


gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 5 years ago from North Texas

Good advice. I'm a big radio listener, so I keep extra batteries on hand for my battery-operated radio (Costco is the cheapest place to buy batteries). I also have a supply of kitchen matches.

Sorry to hear about the loss of all your frozen produce. How tragic! Yes, I understand why home canning is the way to go (assuming I had enough to can- ha). With our drought in my state, there are some abnormal things going on.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

this is a great eye opener - we take things so much for granted in our modern society. Should a major disaster hit mother earth very few people would be ready.... great job - glad you made it through -- and think -- only 6 days... what if it took a month? WOW


warrioRR profile image

warrioRR 5 years ago from Rawalpindi Pakistan

@Neil

Well for a Month in our Country it is nothing and in Flood in our country there is no light for 3 consecutive months

and no one knows when it back on.

@magnoliazz Really Nice Hub and Appreciate your Nice work

God Bless You


dreamreachout 5 years ago

Magzz, where are you lost again?? Hope things are fine at your end!! Do let me know!!

Cheers :)


Lone Ranger 5 years ago

My Darling Edelweiss, was this a recent storm? In any case, I am just glad that you and your loved ones survived. I must say, my dove, you certainly do have your share of "close encounters" of every kind. My prayers and thoughts are with you. - L.R.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

Indeed, being prepared for emergencies seems so unnecessary so much of the time, and yet if one is prepared, it is so unbelievably welcome when the batteries and matches and candles and radio and water is all there. Great hub to remind us all to be prepared.


Lone Ranger 5 years ago

My darling Edelweiss:

It has been a little while since I last heard from you. Naturally, I am starting to worry a bit. I hope and pray you have not been hit by more storms. Say something soon, or my sons and I will have to assemble a search and rescue team in your honor. :0)

I have asked My Father in Heaven and His Son to look out for you, so I know you are in good hands. By the way, I will be leaving again for at least a month. I sure will miss you. Be faithful, be strong, and be good! - L.R.


Highvoltagewriter profile image

Highvoltagewriter 5 years ago from Savannah GA.

Hay L.R! I just thought I would drop in to ask Magzz if she had heard from you for I was wondering if you were still going to join HP. I have wrote another evolution hub called "Are we Blinded by Science?" and I was interested in getting feed back...anyhow, this was a really important article to write about being prepared Magzz and like L.R I hope you are Okay! Drop me a line to let me know how things are going!


blake4d profile image

blake4d 4 years ago from Now Rising Out of Phoenix Arizona Earthlings

Magnoliazz I think you need to get a generator, a tread mill and harness those goats of yours to chase each other. They could run that treadmill and create electricity for your next emergency. I am glad you made it through the six days safe and sound. Also stock up on lots of batteries. Or maybe you could run the treadmill. Thats all I can think of to say. Love to you dear. keep on Hubbing. Blake4d


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Shocking events can make, break, and even mold us.

Hello, magnoliazz,

In all honesty, this was a GREAT read! Amazing presentation. Marvelous lay-out. Informative and very helpful. I was glad to Vote Up, Useful and Interesting. I love your writing style and I am now honored to FOLLOW you. I appreciate your work so much.

Please keep these great hubs coming, and I Invite YOU to check out my hubs, that is if you need a good laugh.

And I would love for you to be My follower. That would make my day. With My Highest Regards,

Kenneth Avery,

from Hamilton, a small (but proud) town in northwest Alabama that Norman Rockwell would have been happy to put on a magazine cover. Much Peace and Success to you!


Mr. B. 4 years ago

Magnoliazz, we have 2 or 3 fairly long outages every year here in Ohio. I'm not asurvivalist really but nonetheless am more prepared than average for outages. For years we had a woodstove so heat was no problem. We have since replaced the woodstove with a propane ''woodstove'' that does the job during outages. I always keep batteries for my radios and police scanners. The scanners are handy in that I can recieve the power company frequencies on them and based on their conversasions I generally have an idea where they're at in the county and when they'll be heading our way. For outages in the summer heat I bought myself, my wife and two girls small 6'' battery operated fans.... they run on 2 D cell batteries. I have found if run on ''low'' they will last all night no problem. I'm miserable in the heat but setting one of these fans right by my head in bed makes it bearable. we have a small generator we run the fridge and a couple of lights with.

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