We had a power cut last night. It was quite full-on and came off the back of two other brief power cuts last week. On top of this, over the summer the other side of the street was without power for a whole day and then the West End had a four hour power cut over the weekend. So when the lights just cut out, blammo, at 7pm, I did sort of think “Christ… is this is? Is this how it’s going to be? Is this the beginning of the end?”
In fact I might have rather enjoyed the cut if it hadn’t been for our bastard burglar alarm going haywire going NEEEEEEEEEP NOP NEEEEEEEEP NOP at top goddamn volume every five minutes. This was to tell me that it was unable to connect to mains power – yes thank you I know there’s a power cut you stupid stupid bastard plastic piece of shrieking shit.
My children were hysterical (“What’s the bad sound mummy?? Are we going to die mummy?”) and the alarm people were unable to instruct me on how to silence the fucking thing. They got a rocket off me, I tell you.
Anyway I eventually managed to make the alarm emit a regular but much quieter neeep noise, muffled the alarm unit with loads of cushions, shut the living room door and went upstairs.
But the whole alarm/apocalypse thing didn’t half leave me a bit jangled and I realised, as I peered in the dim candlelight at my iPhone battery standing at 31% how woefully underprepared in this house for any power cut lasting longer then a few minutes.
So the next day (the power having come back on after three hours) I went to the shops and bought:
1. More pillar candles
2. 2 x battery operated camping lanterns. I was really after cool oil-powered hurricane lanterns but Homebase didn’t stock them
3 An ENORMOUS flashlight
4 More hot water bottles. Our boiler goes off during a power cut and we only have 1 hot water bottle, so I got more to keep our spirits up if it happens again on a chilly night.
5 A landline phone that doesn’t need to be plugged in. Because you feel like an absolute tool during a power cut when you cannot use your landline because it’s a stupid cordless set that needs an electricity source.
I was insanely grateful to find that I had an extra battery for my mobile, which was in my house from sheer dumb luck. It’s a fob thingy that I got free in a goodie bag over the summer. I had charged it up, intending to keep it in the car, but in fact found it lying in my bedside table drawer looking like a cross between a flashlight and an executive sex toy.
There are many extra battery options for mobiles available, from charging cases to devices in the manner of the executive sex-toy design and I recommend that you get one for emergencies such as these.
While we’re on the subject of “prepping”, *wipes foam off chin*, I also keep in my kitchen an empty plastic 4-pint milk tank. On a chilly morning such as the one I woke up to this morning you fill it with luke warm water (it doesn’t need to be at all hot) and a dash of screen wash, which contains anti-freeze, and glug it over your windows to clear them fast. Make sure you clear the driver’s side last otherwise it will have started to re-freeze by the time you’ve done the rest of the car and by the time you get in to drive away, you won’t be able to see out.
Once again, don’t forget that if you experience a power cut you dial 105 from any mobile or landline and it will connect you to your local national grid.
If you have any brilliant tips on shopping for the apocalypse, please leave them as a comment in the handy box below.