My Six Days In Darkness & Hell
Downed trees can create a power outage.
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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