About the time I’m feeling pretty smug about my prepping skills, I get slapped down a notch. Today I was finally making the tamales that will last us til about this time next year. I made 13 dozen! The first batch was done and all spread out on cookie sheets in the freezers to flash freeze and as soon as they were frozen solid, I was going to vacuum seal them in bags of 5 (3 for Vince and 2 for me).
The second batch of tamales was in the steamer and just beginning it’s 1 hour cycle. Then they would cool down and I’d put them on cookie sheets, and take out one cookie sheet at a time of the already frozen tamales and get those vacuum sealed. By bed time, all the tamales would be vacuum sealed, the kitchen would be clean and life would be grand.
Til . . the storms got a little worse and the lightning was a little too close and BAM! I knew it had struck somewhere way too close . . the power went out. It seemed so close that I kept expecting to smell smoke coming from my attic.
The power was out and all my plans were screwed up. The tamales on the stove kept cooking but . . what was I going to do with them. Vince said “Don’t worry . . the power will be back on soon!” He went ahead and got the generator set up in case we needed to run the freezers for a while. When the power is out, the main well pump is out and we only have water so long as the pressure tank has pressure. I had not even had a shower yet so I ran and jumped in the shower real quick . . and it was quick. I didn’t want to use all the water. Vince could turn on the generator that we have for the well but I didn’t want to go to that much trouble. Vince got out a couple of lanterns and I sat and knitted; he read his Kindle.
One hour led to two . . to three . . all that tamales from the second batch needed to go into a fridge or freezer but I didn’t want to open any of those.
Vince went out to take care of the chickens and he came in and said “I can hear the power company’s truck radio. They’re really close.” So, we went investigating. They were right at the end of the neighbor’s driveway. This is from our driveway looking south and the vehicle on the hill is the power company truck.
Lightning had struck a line, caused it to burn, fall to the ground and it had burned a line along where it fell. Thank goodness it wasn’t terribly dry or we could have had a big fire! What’s weird is that the only other time our power has been out for several hours was a couple of years ago when lightning struck just over that same hill, caused a grass fire and burned down an electric pole. The sky didn’t look too threatening to our south but it looked pretty scary to the north.
They got the power back on and within 10 minutes, another round of storms moved through and the electricity blinked . . I gasped but it didn’t go off.
I was telling Vince . . no matter how prepared we think we are, if we’re ever without power for an extended period of time, life is going to be really tough!
By the way, the next driveway you see to the right is ours. I never go this direction but looks like the trucks working on the shoulder have been cutting donuts over in the grass. 🙂
Dottie N. says
Glad the power is back on – Hope you don’t have to stay up too late to finish the tamales.
Rebecca in SoCal says
You can go back up a notch by looking at the western New York weather reports. Nature has provided a big “thunk” to the head on why to be prepared!
Diana in RR,TX says
You have a little bit of a ridge that goes through there. So the pole is sitting a little higher and wide open spaces. Doesn’t take much of a ridge. We sit on one here too. Except it is houses that get hit. In the almost 16 years we have been here there have 4 houses that have had bad fires from strikes on our ridge. We were the 5th, but ours was indirect, hit the something in the ground and came up through the house. No damage other than some outlets and a few nails popped out of the roof shingles. We had just had the roof reshingled. The roofer came back out, couldn’t get any of his crew so he climbed up in his cowboy boots and drove a few nails back in. We have a 12 degree pitch on our roof which is steep. Neither of us could believe he did that!
A couple of days ago, the head of the NSA mentioned that the Chinese, Russians, and “at least two other countries” had hacked our power and utility grids. So your post is a good reminder that overnight, we could go right back 130 years and have to do things the way our great-greats did. Everyone should be working on being prepared for a few weeks without power, just in case.
we always imagined a ppwer outage would come in the winter so all of our prep is for that… no fridge/freezer concerns there. then this past summer we had a rude awakening with three outages lasting several days each. we had just gotten a propane stove to replace our electric one so we were good there… had filled the tub with water to flush toilets with forecast of thunderstorms… but the food in the freezer after two days became a concern. thankful for neighbors with freezer space and a generator!
Wow, what an experience! Too bad those solar panels can’t hook up when the grid goes down. Seems like there ought to be something that collect a back up supply for you, at least you have the generators for short term, though. We’d all have to learn a different lifestyle if an EMP hit – even our cars wouldn’t work then unless you have an old farm truck with no computer parts! Friends of mine in south TX had a couple inches of rain. I hope you did, too.