Opinion: Power outage a reminder for preparedness

Remember when power outages used to be fun? As a child I got so excited when the power went out.

It meant sitting by candlelight, playing games as a family and warming soup on the wood stove.

For some reason, canned soup always tasted better that way. The best was grilled cheese and tomato soup. If we were really lucky, we got to eat any ice-cream on the verge of melting.

My parents kept several oil lamps on hand to brighten any scary room and often we got to sleep in sleeping bags by the fire. There was almost something magical about power outages. Tuesday’s power outage wasn’t as I remember them being.

As an adult, when the power goes, out it’s just a hassle. That child-like wonder is gone.

Tuesday’s power outage was not as magical as I remember them being.

Thinking back to those childhood outages, I wonder how my parents viewed them.

They were probably thinking about the same things that come to my mind now. Worrying whether the week’s worth of groceries just bought are going to go bad, or whether or not the work you need to accomplish will get done on time.

The power went out just as production was starting for the newspaper.

Production is the time we actually design, build and edit pages for the week’s newspaper. It requires computers and electricity.

Having the power out for two hours when you have a deadline to meet in five hours isn’t fun.

But what can you do about it? Nothing but bust your behind and get it done.

Issues like this can encroach into your everyday life, and while I can’t really help losing time on a deadline, there are things I and you can do about the other stuff.

Being prepared for power outages and other natural disasters may just save your life.

There are many resources available online to help families make sure they have the tools and resources they need to weather a storm, natural disaster or the occasional power outage.

This week’s outage lasted mere hours. The next one could for be days.

Are you ready?

The Islands chapter of the American Red Cross is looking for groups to host “Safe in the Sound” disaster preparedness classes. The two-hour class focuses on three areas — what is needed in a disaster kit, how to make a plan and how to stay informed.

For information about the classes call 360-293-2911.


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