Whadya got when ya got no lights?

So two weeks ago we suffered through a major blackout caused by the storm through Downers Grove that was only later defined to be a Tornado. While we only lost a few tree branches, not even the worst storm damage our trees had suffered, parts of the village were ripped up pretty good. The park near us had so many downed braches being pushed to the sidewalk, it looked for a while like you could pretend to be walking along the tops of the trees in a rain forest. Until the leaves started to wither away, revealing the ugly torn branches underneath.
What we did have back at the ranch was a power outage that lasted just over 24 hours. This is longer than we’ve ever been without power in our Chicago area dwellings. For the most part, any storm usually knocked us out for an hour. So we just figured we wouldn’t need to take extraordinary measures to save our refigerator, like buying bagged ice, until it was too late. Besides, many of the nearest stores were also still without power.
Well, we mostly ended up tossing leftovers and opened packages. The guides we consulted said anything in a chest freezer was probably good for up to 48 hours, but I’m the one taking those chances here.
We did discover what resources we still had available while we had no electricity.

  • Landline Phones. Sure, the cordless sets in our house were knocked out. Luckily I still had one ole fashioned receiver plugged in, in the basement.
  • Cell Phones. We weren’t foolish enough to try and get a signal during the actual storm. But of course our cells had enough juice to take us to the next day, when we could still drive to work and plug in the phones to recharge there.
  • Hot water. You don’t think much about it, but a basic gas water heater depending on a pilot flame has no electrical components. Hot showers all around!

Of course we can only be happy about these amenities because it was not humid and in the 90s after the storm hit. Even after the power came on, we went out to eat until the refrigerator could be properly sorted through. I was surprised to find stores and eateries along the main drag on Ogden Ave. were still without power. I can imagine the seafood department workers at Jewel or Dominick’s getting called as soon as the power went off: "Get in here! If we don’t have power in 20 minutes, we have to start dumping the scallops! Then the clams!"
One thing we did discover, with a couple of kids in the house, was the need to keep kid drinks around with a longer shelf life. In fact, the power finally came back on while I was at Jewel, picking up juice boxes, cans of evaporated milk, and those asceptic containers of Horizon Organic Milk, and just for a change, some "Almond Milk." Plus a Sam Adams Summer variety pack for Daddy.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *