Before I left work the other night, we had a series of thunderstorms come through the area. As I approached the entrance to my subdivision, I could see the police lights and utility work lights just beyond the entrance, I figured a tree was down. In either case, the power was out in the surrounding area, including my subdivision. This had happened to me before a few years ago and I had to grab the kids and go to a store that had power to buy candles, lighters, and extra flashlights. However, I am much wiser now and accepted it for what it was and thought this would be a good opportunity to put a couple of contingency plans into operation. Here are the results of the exercise:
- Entering my subdivision, it was totally dark. All houses were dark except for one. Apparently this guy has an emergency generator for his whole house that kicks on in the event of an outage. Even though I can appreciate his solution, my first thought was that he stuck out like a sore thumb. If this were a true shtf situation and I was looking to acquire supplies, guess where I would go first. This train of thought sort of surprises me because a year ago, I would have been envious of his situation.
- I have a flashlight on my keychain and a flashlight in the truck, so I wasn’t worried about lighting getting into the house.
- Once inside, I went straight for the easily accessible emergency candles. They were right where I expected. The one thing that wasn’t there was the lighter that I had stashed with them. One of my kids is a smoker and had found my stash!
- So, I used the lighter that I carry in my pocket to light the candles. I also knew that I had other lighters accessible with my other emergency supplies, and I also had a couple stashed in my sock drawer.
- It was kind of nice just to sit back with ipod and listen to some music, no distractions, no TV, just good old fashioned listening and enjoying music.
So my lessons learned:
- The importance of operational security and not drawing undue attention to yourself.
- Prior planning reduces stress tremendously.
- Reinforcement of a backup plans.
- Need to be more vigilant in reviewing my supplies to make sure no one has borrowed anything.
- Even though I was perfectly happy listening to my music, I need additional options if more people or my kids around.
Even though this was a small event, it did reinforce that prior planning prevents poor performance.