I know it is only October but our first winter storm is here. We have a thin layer of snow on the yard and roads and the thermometer is reading a cool -1ºC this morning. The sky is overcast and looks like it wants to drop another inch or two of snow sometime this afternoon. Overall, it is a good day to stay inside, clean the house, and maybe bake some fresh bread.
HydroOne, the local electric supplier, chose several years ago to stop trimming trees over and around the power lines. I'm sure some bean counter somewhere decided it would be cheaper to repair the "few" lines that are damaged each year by tree branches than it would be to pro-actively cut the overhanging tree branches away from the lines. Needless to say we lost power for a few hours last night. Considering how busy the service report line was last night, I'm guessing several communities were without power last night.
As I've said before, being without power isn't a problem for us. We have the wood stove for heat and cooking; we have lamps and candles for light; and we have a wind up/solar powered radio for news in a long term outage. We even managed to purchase a small generator to keep the sump pump and freezers going if the power is out for more than a few hours.
However, last night's power outage did help us find some gaps in our preparedness. It turns out we are out of tea lights, which we use in several of our candle lanterns. With cats around the candle lanterns are far safer than open flame candles. We have lost our replacement wicks for the kerosene lamps. In a long term outage they will be providing the majority of our light and the wicks will be used up pretty fast. And, it turns out we need a wind up alarm clock. If the power is out over night the alarm clock will be needed to get PeterC off to work on time.
So our next shopping trip will have to include a few non-food items, but in the long run they will bring security of mind and make our lives just a little more comfortable in an emergency.