On a windy day last week, I was unloading groceries from the car when I glanced down the road and saw fireworks falling. That's never good. “Uh oh,” I said to the car (there was no one else outside). “Power outage.” I pressed the garage door opener. Yep. No power.
I knew the kids would be terrified. They still recall, all too vividly the major storm from last October that left us stranded without power for five days. They remember having to repeatedly bail water from a sump pump that threatened to overflow. So, of course, the Boy was in a panic, his emotions still churning from an argument we’d just had minutes ago. My daughter grabbed the nearest teddy bear and made a beeline for the porch where there was still light.
I sighed, got the rest of the food from the car and mentally ran over my Power Outage checklist. Food? Check. Bottled water? Check. Flashlights and batteries? Check. Firewood? Check. I was more annoyed than alarmed because A) we had supplies B) it was 70 degrees outside (not freezing or snowy as it had been last October) C) it was still light out and would be for about an hour D) my cellphone was charged. Despite my son’s misgivings (“I wish Daddy was home, Mom. He’s better in a crisis.” Yeah - nice to know my tween is a chauvinist.), I knew everything was going to be okay.
What I didn’t know at the time, was that not only had one power line been taken down by a windy branch, but a second line followed minutes later. That’s two outages in one night! What I also didn’t know was that days later, a transformer would blow and there would be a third outage at about 8:45 Saturday night.
Three in one week?! Seriously PSEG?! I don’t remember moving to a remote section of the world where there’s one wire for an entire village! What also bothers me is that a month ago, our esteemed power company sent me a charming little card saying that they were going to have an independent contractor come around to trim the trees in our ‘hood. Had they come, at least one and possibly two of those outages could have been avoided.
I’ve already told the kids to be prepared for several power outages this winter. We always have provisions, but now we’ve made battery-operated candles part of our living room décor (Note to Moms out there: battery-operated tea lights are perfect for kids to carry around in a black out. They give off enough light to walk around by but pose no fire danger). And we’re readying Justin, our new generator, who is name for Just-In Case Our Inefficient Power Company is once more thwarted by a breeze from Mother Nature.
Three power outages in one week in Livingston, New Jersey? Unbelieveable!