Monday, October 29, 2012

7 Things: The Powerless Edition

I lost power for several long hours last week, so fingers crossed am hoping I might make it through this historic hurricane thing without repeating that experience, but know that somebody, somewhere, is just going to lose power for some time.  (I knew that even before all the robocalls.)
Now, admittedly last week's experience was entirely different because it affected only part of my building (which was terribly annoying because I could see people with power, there was even power in the hallway right outside my door).  But my experiences in prior hurricanes and outages have offered up these tidbits.  For a more complete (ie, less frivolous list), please go somewhere like here. There is also a hurricane app. 
1. LED candles, camping lanterns, these types of things are your friends.  Real candles are pretty but require lots of vigilance.  If you like the flickery light, you can get LED flickery bits. 
2. Crank radios or radios that operate on a form of batteries you have a large stockpile of are a great idea.  Some of them even have attachments that will charge your other things. 
3. Crap food is your friend.  Seriously.  Food that requires little or no refrigeration or preparation is a great thing to have on hand.  Yes, you may still be able to order pizza.  As the friend of a former pizza deliverer, I'm going to ask you to not.  Or if you must, tip super well.  If you don't feel safe going out to get it, don't ask others to do that. 
4. Backlit devices are your friend.  If you have really good lanterns, you may be fine, but generally it's hard to read by flashlight.  Backlit devices work really well.  However, if your backlit device is also your phone, you may not want to use that too much.  Or have a battery extender, solar recharger, or some way to keep that available. Booklights are also good.  It makes it easier to angle the light and continue on.  They also work great with non-backlit devices, be they eink or paper. 
5. Card decks. Card games work well in low light.  And you can play solitaire or crazy eights or learn a new card game. 
6.  It helps if you are on city water, but stay hydrated.  (Especially if you are eating all that crap food.) 
7. Barring a compelling reason, stay inside during the storm.  Sure, you get to make choices about your safety, but things can change quickly in a storm and you don't want to be the person the rescue crews have to come rescue.