February 6, 2011: Let Go, Let NStar

We had a power loss again last night. And although I’d been sleepy before the lights went out, suddenly I was wide awake and hyped-worried. So I got out of bed to look out the window—yes, indeedy; it was dark out there—and, stumbling around in the dark, smashed my baby toe against a wooden trunk. So I limped back to bed.

Really, I counseled myself, what else could I do except remain in my warm bed?  And just wait for someone to fix whatever power lines were broken.

So I tried simply going to sleep (almost immediately heard lots of sirens. That was reassuring. Until it wasn’t.) But my mind couldn’t help itself: Instead of letting me sleep, it insisted on obsessing about all the things that would now go terribly wrong because we’d lost electricity.

But, really, I scolded myself in my darkened, spookily quiet bedroom (Never realized how many things HUM in my house). Worrying is nuts. You are powerless. Get it?

The NStar truck rumbled past soon after that and, maybe a half hour later, my house hummed again.

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  1. i know your main point is about trust and not worrying.

    however, doing some basic emergency preparation planning can remove a whole bunch of your worries (or the worries of other people reading your blog). FEMA, red cross, etc, would be web sites to start looking for ideas for preparedness.

    some basic camping gear will let you survive without power in your house with a decent amount of comfort. even without electricity, your house will be an excellent “tent” keeping out rain and wind. so warm layered clothes and sleeping bags will go a long way, regardless of how long the power is off.

    a simple backpack stove will allow some basic cooking too (be very careful of carbon monoxide; crack a few windows, or go outside to a sheltered area.) (i know from one of your prior posts that you lit your gas stove with a match when the power was out. however, you might have other readers that don’t have that situation.)

    and stock up on some simple foods too, and store a bit of water (1 gallon per day per person for cooking.). basic camping gear, enough water and food for 3 days to a week, should be reasonable easy for many people to put together, and will cover quite a few disaster scenarios, and give a great deal of peace of mind.

    re: your house without power: with warm clothes you’ll do fine, but you do need to prepare to keep the pipes from freezing and flooding the house and causing damage. (let the faucets drip, or learn where the water shutoff valve is, or wrap the pipes, etc.) (also, for general emergency preparedness, you should know how and where to turn off the gas lines, and where the electrical circuit breakers are.)

    after prepping, some people then do a try run, intentionally turning off the power for a day, to test how good their preparation plans are, and discover any flaws. after that, then you can really rest snug in your bed when the power goes out! 🙂

    …we now return you to your regularly scheduled program …

  2. These are wonderful ideas, sgl; thank you. (and, yes, some of the whirring in my head had been about not being prepared and why didn’t I . . . )

    So I need to just do it!

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