This afternoon, right after pulling dinner out of the oven, the lights flickered a couple of times and then went out. Put in calls to all the power company phone numbers and they were always busy. Called a friend in a town 15 miles away that has the same company and they didn't have power either. While eating our toasty warm supper in the dark, we realized that we are not very prepared for a loss of power and had no idea how long it would be out. There were no batteries in the radio or flash lights. With no power we have no pump for water. Once we run the water out of the lines that is all there is, which usually amounts to a toilet flush and one bucket. That means no water for our animals and in the winter we have to thaw the water that they did have to put new water in. Nothing to thaw the water with. Dancer was sick today with a stomach bug and kept throwing up - really want to be able to flush the toilets in that scenario (thankfully she was okay during the outage). We heat with fuel oil but to get the fan on the furnace to run we need electricity. We keep our house at a frugal 64 degrees and with the temps outside below zero it doesn't take long to cool down. Only one of our cell phones was charged, we meant to plug the other one in but never got around to it earlier in the day. Dinner had just been made, and we left the oven door open to take advantage of that heat, otherwise we have no way to cook in the winter with out electricity. We can grill, which we do in the winter, but not in the dark and with these temps. It also would have been mighty cold to go out and start a bonfire. It would have been jelly bread all around!
Two things we did have was the one cell phone and the computer. The computer would have only lasted for a couple of hours but it sure seemed like we weren't so cut off. Our house is also full of candles, I love to have one burning and therefore always get a ton of them for gifts. In fact, I had one already lit when the lights went out. How handy was that?!
The happy ending is that the lights came back on about an hour after they went out. Otherwise, we would have traveled to Grandma and Grandpa's house to darken their doorstep for the night. They only live about an hour away from us. We have learned our lesson and will getting somethings together to be more prepared should we find ourselves unexpectedly in the dark again.