Around 6 pm tonight the power for me and many, many of my neighbors went out in the North Seattle and Shoreline area. It was out for around three and half hours. It has been over 10 years since I was in a power outage that lasted this long. I would like to think I was prepared for something like this. The thing is at best I give myself a passing grade. Problem number 1. The flashlights. I have a set of flashlights and I care them around in my car. The thing is that to get to my car I either have to open the garage door or crawl through my roommate’s car to get to mine. With a powered garage door I could release the clamp but then I need to at least have to crawl through my roommate’s car first. There then is the issue that the garage door does not spring open once you have release the clamp and it is a very, very heavy door so I went without my flashlights. We have a bunch of candles on the fireplace mantel and they were light to give us some light. There is lots of bottled water and can goods in the house. We actually tried to call a couple of pizza places to get dinner (I know in an disaster this really would not be an option) but they were closed with no power. This was done over the cell phones since all of the phones in the house are wireless and need power to work. Actually this is not entirely true in that we do have a wired phone in the garage but no one ever uses it and we actually forgot it was there for a couple of hours without power. There is a ton of firewood but of course with it raining today it was a bit wet but if push came to shove we could have made a fire. There was some charcoal and also over a half a propane tank so we were good on the grills and actually cooked a pork loin on the gas drill.
The lesson to be learned. Well keep a flashlight or two actually in the house in an easy to find place. Make sure you have a wired phone in the house in addition to the cell phones. We had cards and there actually a lot of board games to pass the time but you should have some of those on hand also. Actually we watched DVDs on my laptop until the battery died which was less than an hour (maybe the lesson here is to get a new laptop or at least a new battery with longer life ). Keep enough food on stock and a way to cook it! Kepp enought water on hand also. Oh and the last thing is to save your game often. I was in the middle of a great battle in Dungeon Siege II when the power went out and without a UPS I lost a lot of the game.