Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
Last night. The coldest night of the year for us. Single digit temperatures and way below zero with the wind chill factor. It was right after I finished eating my dinner. The sun was just about to set. The power goes out. At first I didn’t notice because I didn’t have anything on, like tv or cd player, that would have alerted me to it. I was reading a quilt book at the time and was about to turn on a light because it was getting to dark to read. A neighbor knocked on my door to ask if my power was out. I flick a switch. Um… yes, it’s out.
Was I prepared? Yes and no. I was already wearing long johns, thick socks, fuzzy house shoes, and a sweater because I keep my heat low to save money. I wasn’t sure how long we would be without power so I hurried to gather my emergency supplies. First thing I did was light the kitchen stove. Every time I use my gas stove I’m glad I got rid of the electric stove and bought this one a few years ago. No, I would not depend on it for constant heat. I just use the stove for short power outages or until I’m able to drag out the kerosene heater.
That picture shows how dark it is when the lights go out at night. Next I got a wind up flashlight so I could find my way around to get a kerosene lamp. I have four lamps and three wind up flashlights. Two flashlights have radios in them. I chose to light only one lamp for now.
Now to show you what things look like with the flash set on the camera. I had closed the doorway quilt to keep the heat in the kitchen area. If the power is out for more than a couple of hours this room would become my survival room.
The doorway quilt is not air tight but it does a whole lot to keep the heat in one room. I opened the cabinet under the kitchen sink so the pipes would stay warm. I don’t want frozen pipes from a power outage.
I was going to wash dishes and decided against it. I’m not sure how my gas water heater works. I don’t know if it has a pilot light or an electronic lighter. That’s something I’m going to have to find out before the next power outage. It took me about 20 minutes to find my emergency house phone. It wasn’t in the proper place.
I only have a house phone. No cell phone. This one works without electricity so it’s great during power outages. I could have done more to be prepared. I have grown a little lazy in keeping emergency supplies at the ready.
The power was out for a little over two hours. I’m not sure what happened. I sat snuggled with the furkid under a quilt to keep him warm and kept reading my quilt books. I also made a list of things I need to do before we have a much longer power outage.