The electricity went out in the middle of the night. The problem with lack of power throughout the town is that the power is cut to the pump where the town water comes from on the Arriba side. When the power is out on our side of town only (Abajo) we can still get water from the town through the bypass of our water tank. (Eventually there is supposed to be a generator put in place so that during power outages the generator can be fired up and the town won’t be without water.) We could solve the lack of water by installing our own generator to supply electricity to our tank but so far we only think about it when the power actually goes out. We’ve managed thus far with our sporadic outages by having extra drinking water on hand, both in the refrigerators and in large bottles and a very large covered garbage can beside the house that stores water for heating for dishes and toilet flushing. If we needed to we could also dip into our supplementary storage tank but that entails pulling out the ladder.
As I was sitting this morning pondering the beginning of hour six of a full town power outage I began to think about the other things that we have in the house that makes the lack of electricity a mere inconvenience instead of a tragedy. Here is my list:
- I always have a pack of baby wipes and a supply of hand gel in the house. We can use these for hand washing when there is no water. Baby wipes also work well when water is lacking and we’re feeling a little “skunky”. I also keep some Lysol wipes on hand for quick clean ups without water.
- We have plenty of nice smelling candles in the house. Although we also have a large amount of rechargeable lights and flashlights which help to make our house the best lit in the pueblo and I’m sure the district; the ambience and smell of having a few candles burning makes the lack of electricity easier to bear.
- We love our battery operated all-weather radio. We keep this out on the back porch and use it constantly, electricity or no electricity.
- It’s convenient to have a mobile internet stick that can be removed from the router. As long as it will connect with a cell tower we still have internet. The laptops are usually fully charged as are our Kindle e readers.
- We’re very lucky to have a house that has big screened windows and doors and good air circulation. We don’t use a lot of air-conditioning and when the fans shut down in the middle of the night we still had a nice breeze when the rain storm rolled in. I’d hate to be trying to sleep in a house that needs constant air conditioning when the temperatures are still in the high 20’s or low 30’s.
- I’m so glad that we have a gas stove and barbecue with a side burner. The stove does have an electric starter but we’re still able to use it by manually lighting it and we can use the barbecue if it’s too hot in the house to use the stove. We also have a stove top coffee maker and recently we found a Melitta single cup manual drip like we had in Canada. It’s now easy to boil water and make a cup at a time. We used to have a French Press but I’m a little clumsy when it comes to glass items and I’ve broken my fair share of the glass vessels.
Thankfully power outages aren’t as frequent as they were the first year that we lived in Panama but they still occur. I’m just glad that I have Mr. Preparedness for a spouse and we are able to muddle through without too many problems now. And I have to admit that I do enjoy the quietness of no hay luz in the campo every once in a while, even with the thunder rumbling in the distance and the rain pouring down.Just in case you think only in Panama: http://fox6now.com/2014/08/01/heavy-rain-causes-scattered-power-outages-throughout-southeast-wisconsin/ http://ksn.com/2014/07/31/westar-crews-investigating-power-outage-in-west-wichita/ http://whotv.com/2014/07/30/power-outage-as-car-hits-pole-near-downtown/ http://seattle.cbslocal.com/2014/07/29/washington-ferry-with-hundreds-aboard-loses-power/ http://livingpartoflife.com/2014/07/29/weekend-storms-and-power-outages/ http://clepublicpower.com/2014/07/28/what-to-do-if-your-power-goes-out/ http://agraciouslife.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/power-out/ http://globalnews.ca/news/1472942/big-storm-leaves-lingering-effects/