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Zeus testing us

lighteningLast night an electrical storm rolled over us. One really big flash woke me up, followed by a major thunderclap a second later. There was no electricity in our house immediately thereafter.

Still no juice at 0600 this morning. Think: “Good thing today is among the longest days of the year. Sunlight sure is convenient”.

No water from mutual water system confirms it is not just our home being affected and serves as reminder that there is no conserving the water pressure like we could if we were alone on the pressure tank.

Slide a stool in front of the refrigerator door so we don’t forget to keep it closed.

Turn the off-grid 2-meter ham radio on to scan. No traffic. (I do this nearly every morning anyway, and keep it on either scanning or on 146.580 simplex while our local rag-chewing pair pollute the airwaves via the area’s strongest repeater)

Job 1: COFFEE

Get out the 3-gallon potable-water jug. (glad we have 3 of these full at all times)
Fill the tea-kettle.
Light the stove with hand-held igniter as piezoelectrics aren’t working. (glad I converted to propane)
Track down Missy’s latest hiding place for my hand-operated coffee mill. (garage sale find three decades ago)
Make coffee much as I do every morning, poured through filter paper cone directly into thermos.
Make new home in My Studio for hand-operated coffee mill.

Sip my fresh coffee. Enjoy the view of the river going by. Mull the situation over. Hmmm. Might have to roast this week’s batch of green coffee beans outside today. Without the fan taking the smoke out the window, indoor roasting is out of the question. Wish I’d roasted yesterday. Glad I set up for roasting outdoors if needed.

Occasional car going by on the road eliminates EMP as cause…
confirms with 98% certainty that the lightening blew something nearby.
Therefore, localized and quite likely short-term power outage.

This is a handy reminder, refresher, opportunity to test our power-failure preparations.

Job 2: FLUSHING WATER

Round up 3-gallon and 5-gallon buckets.
Walk across front lawn to Bitterroot River.
Rinse and half-fill both buckets.
Haul non-potable water to house. Think: “Heavier than I thought. Glad I’m only 20 yards from the river.”
Bring one inside and refill toilet tank.
Refill first bucket from second and set it next to toilet.

Job 3: PHONE

Dig the old desktop phone out of storage.
Plug into wall. Glad we switched to land-line last month.
Missy calls electric company who is working on it, but has no good ETA for power.

She’s up now, so we share a cuppa Joe and consider adaptations for the day and improvements to our organization that would make grid-down transitions easier.

Grid power came up not too much later.
What a great reminder and inspiration to improve.

Speaking of reminders, go print these emergency radio cards now.
Print two-sided.
Cut into four post-cards.
Keep one by your two-way radio(s).
Give one to each person you know to keep with their two-way radio(s).

Don’t have a two-way radio!?!
Fix that.
Then keep a card with it.