Well, I'm back from my annual vacation, this year spending it with friends and family in Germany and Switzerland. Though the weather wasn't the best - sun, rain, fog, wind, snow - we nevertheless enjoyed the "Kuchen" (cake) with relatives, hikes through the alpine forests and local specialties that brought back culinary memories. While the time together was (always) too short, it is nice to be back home.
Arriving at my house, I was quickly challenged with the prospects of a power outage and preparations. The messages on my voicemail were from PG&E, explaining the probability of a blackout. The lights in our garage blew out as I first turned them on, leaving me scrambling to find a flashlight to do my four loads of wash. Our car had a flat and the bin of mail, held at the post office, sat by the doorstep, loaded with bills (which I pay online.) The reality of life and the possibility of not having electricity hit and I had to immediately turn my thoughts to "what do I need if the electricity goes out?"
For some of you, you may not be reading this until your power comes back on, but for those who can, you may want to consider the following:
1. Locate your flashlights AND make sure the batteries are working. Place them where they are easy to locate and where you need them most.
2. Charge, charge, charge those batteries of smart phones, laptops, and any other device (hearing aid powering stations) that you may need. Check your emergency alert devices as well to understand if they will respond without electricity (landline vs. internet connection)
3. Make sure you have gas in your car. Don't let it go below ½ full.
4. Have water on hand. If you have glass dispensers, fill and chill them now.
5. Review your individual emergency plan. These are important for major emergencies, but having your power out for a few days, could cause other unplanned issues. Where can you go if the power is out for a while? What do you need if you want to stay at home? (See some resources below.)
6. If your phone goes down when the electricity goes out, is there someone who will check in on you? Call a friend or family member now and decide upon a plan.
7. Have some cash on hand - make sure some are lower denominations ($1, $5, $10's)
I know there are many more things to think about, but this is just a start.
If you would like Marin Villages to set up a "check in" call, let us know. While we cannot respond to immediate emergencies, we are working through processes that can help members stay and feel safe.
Lisa Brinkmann, Executive Director, Marin Villages
This Month's Village Activities