Idaho Liberty posting categories

power outage

Lightening fried the substation Thursday evening leaving Grangeville without electricity. Of course at first nobody in the neighborhoods knew what caused the outage, how widespread it was or how long we could expect to be without power.

That’s the first lesson we should have learned: we need a local radio station that is prepared for a disaster. Though this was a short-term problem, it should serve notice that we don’t have an effective way to get word out in a hurry unless KORT has the juice.

This is the first time in this house that we’ve had need for the oil lamps and candles. Thankfully the power failure was well before sunset, giving us plenty of time to get the oil lamps filled and everything we wanted to burn lit. As romantic as the Abe Lincoln tales are, hunched in front of the 2 candle – 2 oil lamp huddle to read my novel wasn’t a good solution. I’m suddenly in the market for one or two Aladdin lamps – they seem to be getting the best reviews from backwoods folks who know about such things.

I regularly have a couple of things that get me out after dinner. It took me a few blocks before I figured out what was different. The front yards and streets had PEOPLE in them. Kids were playing outside and adults were chatting on the porches and front yards.

The average American knows more tv characters than neighbors. They may not know the writers who invent the characters and couldn’t quote more than one of the first ten amendments to their Constitution, but they can quote verbatim dozens of lines these anonymous people have written. They know more about who plays tv roles than they do about who their kids play with. I’m wondering if Avista can arrange for regular evening failures..

As information about the cause of our power failure came in, I began to get concerned about the contents of our fridge and freezers – try to buy smart, then lose it all to an extended power failure. This time it was unlikely to come back on until morning. “Don’t open the doors and the food will probably be okay.” As it turned out, Avista was able to come up with a creative solution that got it back on around midnight. It could have been a lot worse. Ask people around Seattle where waiting for parts (poles in this case) from far away (Wisconsin, if I remember correctly) kept them without power for weeks.

My home wasn’t ready. I plan to fix that pretty soon. Gasoline formulated by our federal government has a very short shelf-life. Propane generators seem to be the backup power of choice for serious backlanders. I am shopping now.

If this had gone on for days, was Grangeville ready? Would the water tank on the hill have gone dry? What if it had been a problem that called for a ‘many hands’ solution? Willing I’d be, but would I have been invited? Now I’m ready to go to the ‘Community Preparedness Meetings’. When are they?