The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Marty Pay

Blackouts can end in a blink, but what if they don't?


August 29, 2020

We’ve all gotten used to the dreaded blackout whether planned or not, the lights are off and life as we know it dramatically changes! Some of us run to the candles or the portable lights to light up a room. Some of us have even prepared by keeping ice packs in the refrigerator to keep food cold, buying a few hours. But, what do we do if a few hours runs into a day or a day runs into two days? How do we prepare?

The answers are as varied and complex as is the problem. Living in earthquake and fire country, there are some basics we shouldn’t ignore. Water is a primary concern. Depending on who you talk to, we should have at least three to seven days of the precious liquid. If stored in a pantry bottled water will last for over 2 years, according to the FDA.

Rotating food in our pantries seem to be one way to keep a week’s supply of food. So much of what we eat is canned or powdered, so by refilling the pantry as we go it’s possible to keep nutritious meals on hand for an emergency. There is also the dry food promoted online that has a greater shelf life than many of us do. The idea that my hidden food in the pantry has a 25-year shelf life is reassuring.

Of course, we need to keep a huge supply of batteries and other items to keep our accessories powered. Many people are going the direction of generators. There is a wide variety of generators, some that can handle just one or two items in the home, and entire systems that come on at the flip of a switch when the power goes out.

Another important item we need to think about in case of a blackout is our cell phones. Texts have a much better chance of getting through since they are sent on networks separate from phone lines and tend not to get overloaded as easy. Texting also uses less battery power since the phone is connected to the network for seconds not minutes, as in the case of a phone call.

Just a few precautions like these can make our blackouts easier to live with. While government and utility companies are doing their best, there is a certain amount of preparation we should do ourselves just to be on the safe side, as it appears this may be something we’ll have to contend with for the foreseeable future.

Marty Pay has been a local Farmers Agent for over 30 years! He and his staff are at 212 West F St. They can be reached at 661 822-3737.


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