Ready or Not…

While the calendar says winter is still nearly three weeks away, some reports say that winter may not wait that long to rear it’s ugly head.

Whether you dread the cold, snowy weather that winter brings, or say “bring it on” and are ready to play in the snow; whether you are ready or not here it comes. I personally prefer to be ready.

One of our greatest threats during the winter is a power outage. There is much information out there about how to be ready to survive a power outage and if you are not sure that you are ready for such an event you might want to check out these websites.

I’d like to offer just one suggestion that might make your life during a power outage easier and safer. Have flashlights ready. When I say flashlight, if you think “I have a flashlight – somewhere,” if you have to search for a flashlight when you need it, if you don’t know immediately where to reach for one, or if there is not one within about 5-10 steps from where you are at any given time, then you do not have your flashlight(s) ready.

Lets face it, during the winter the hours of darkness are greater than the hours of daylight, so chances are greater that the power will go out when it is already dark. When you are left in the dark a flashlight is your first line of defense. With flashlight in hand you can then go on to activate your other systems for providing light like lighting candles or oil lamps, or starting a generator .

My advice is to have at least one flashlight in every room. Place flashlights where you spend a lot of time and can naturally reach for them. In our case flashlights are located on a shelf near the main entrance of our home, on my bedside table, in the living room on the entertainment center and one in the drawer of the table between our recliners, and on the kitchen counter. I also carry a small flashlight in my purse and my husband wears one attached to his belt. When the kids were at home I gave them each a flashlight for their bedroom. They were told to put it somewhere in their room where they would automatically know where to reach for it if the power went out. It was to be kept in that spot and if they used it for something it needed to be returned to that spot. They knew the importance of having the flashlight at the ready.

With 100’s or perhaps thousands of types of flashlights on the market you may ask “what is the best flashlight?” If you want good quality, long lasting, bright light, or other such features I suggest you do some research and read some customer reviews. My answer, in this case, is simple, “one that works”. I do suggest that you check your flashlights periodically to make sure that they work, and while having extra batteries on hand is important, having another (working) flashlight near by is just as important. Another thing is to make sure that you know how to use the flashlight. This might sound silly but I have discovered over the past few years that not all flashlights can be turned on and off with a simple slide or click of the button. Figuring out how or where to twist a flashlight to get it to turn on can be tricky. I have actually taken battery covers and light covers off while twisting a flashlight trying to turn it on. So do become familiar with how to use the flashlight before you really need to use it.

Speaking from a previous experience I have one final thought on what type of flashlight(s) to have. It was an evening several years ago when my daughter and I were home and the power went out. We each grabbed flashlights near by and met in the kitchen. I then lit an oil lamp and got a fire going in the fire place. The next thing on my list was to bring in more firewood. I knew that carrying a flashlight and a bin  full of firewood was not going to work. I was thankful that I had a headlamp flashlight. I used it to light my path while having my hands free to carry firewood. I realize I  could have had my daughter hold a light for me that time, but if I had been home alone that would not have been the case. I don’t use my headlamp very often, but I do consider it a wise investment and I keep it ready for when I need it.

While you may find my advice extreme or think it is totally unnecessary to have that many flashlights sitting around, it is too late to change your mind when you are tripping over the cat, walking into furniture, or falling down the stairs while trying to find your flashlight in the dark.

Whatever this upcoming season brings your way, I do hope you are ready.


10 thoughts on “Ready or Not…

  1. Thanks for these tips Ruth. Funny about having to find the flashlight in the kitchen. I always have it by my bed – it is a fairly large hand flashlight and I just moved it to the kitchen last Sunday when I cleaned the house because I figured most of the time my power has gone out, I am in the kitchen. I had a canary and he was very scared if the lights suddenly went out – I always took him to his sleeping area, then covered him, so it scared him. I have a flash light at the kitchen table as well. My father had a headlamp flashlight as he used to build dioramas so he could see up close. I never thought of a headlamp flashlight before. What a great idea. I have a couple of battery-operated lanterns and they do throw off good light and I have two battery-operated fans which I kept for Buddy in case of a power outage in the Summer. I had him covered in the Winter for a furnace failure (heated lap robe) and a power outage (battery-operated polar-fleece neck scarves). And a hot water bottle to lay in the bottom of the cage, but covered with a towel. As long as the water heated up enough just by running the water until it got hot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think of flashlights as cheap insurance.
      After I wrote this my dad who uses either a walker or a cane, decided to mount mini light on both his walker and cane as he would have a hard time carrying a flash light while walking.
      I also convinced my daughter, who travels around the country for work, to carry a small flashlight with her, incase she ever ended up in a hotel or somewhere in a power outage. She said she could always use her phone as a source of light but I reminded her that when the power is out you don’t want to waste your phone battery using it as a flashlight.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ruth – I think you must have been a girl scout in your youth. Flashlights are always good to have … I have a ton of D batteries so I am prepared with the lanterns, but have to have a small flashlight to get to them (small house – everything is tucked away out of sight).

        Today I got a scare because I was in the kitchen having lunch, and the radio was on, and all of a sudden the lights flickered and the radio died and the digital clocks started flashing. My first thought was that I should not have loaded up too much in the fridge, but with a holiday weekend coming up, you won’t be able to move in the stores as we near the holiday and looking ahead on the Weather Channel, it seems every other day has rain. So, I bought enough refrigerated food that I didn’t have to go back til mid-July. It is just me eating it.
        But I had to reset the digital clocks again and I still don’t know what happened … didn’t like it though. I hope you got some rain … we had rain five different times today!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Not a girl scout but I have learned a lot from my hubby.
        I hope all is well with your power. We finally got a good rain storm this evening it came down really hard for about 45 minutes. We should have to water for at least a week. Now we can focus on other things. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I just wrote another reply – I lost power today but don’t know how long. I came home from walking and the clock radio was flickering and the stove was off. Annoyed as I hope they fixed the transformer problem since we are having a wicked hot spell the end of the week. Glad you get a break from watering.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, I have toyed with contacting them and asking if there should be concern, especially since I keep hearing about the end-of-the-week forecast. So far today, all good, so I have my fingers crossed as well.


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