and I have a well.
of you are waiting for the addition to that thought. There isn’t
that’s not true. This essay is, in several ways and a with a few
layers, an addition to that thought. But it’s also not quite that
complex, as you’ll see.)
up, we both lived in houses that had water service from the city.
And that life was quite different than the joys of living in a
house that uses a well pump.
some type of emergency—say a storm, like a hurricane—you might
be told to fill the bathtub with water. In sweeping generalizations
though, that is more about having access to clean water and not
flushing the toilet. Well or no well, a supply of clean water.
concept expands with an approaching emergency and a well. Simple:
No power equals no water. One flush. Maybe two. (Maybe.) Then
you need some gallon jugs, five-gallon buckets, filled tubs, and/or
other sources of water available depending on how long the situation
lasts. Stretch it further… water for the toilet… water for consumption…
water for cleaning, cooking, showering… no electricity, no well
pump, no running water.
few years ago, a hurricane hit where we lived. Terry and I lost
power in the storm, and it was out for a bit of time. It was during
the stretch without it that we both became aware of how much things
had changed (and how much they hadn’t) since we were kids.
on the type of storm and where you live, chances are good you
have at least some kind of mental checklist of things to do when
a storm is forecast…
the tub with water
the phones and tablets
ideas there. There are twists and turns to them (and any others
you may add).
make fun of all the people going crazy while cleaning out grocery
store aisles in the days before a storm. Folks that have them
check their generators. Some will look at the propane supply for
their grill. Many will fill the gas tanks on their cars.
electronic devices idea… that’s a fun one. Wasn’t there when I
was growing up. These days, you have the tendency to think that
we’ve progressed in technology to unbelievable levels. Which,
we have. Except…
out the power in the house and see just how stable those networks
are, or, how perfect it truly is to not have a landline.
the power out and try to entertain the kids with a checkerboard
or a deck of cards as easily as the iPad or Kindle might.
the moments Terry and I had candles lit and the flashlights pulled
out, we also found ourselves searching for the right batteries
to power a radio. Now there was something that we hadn’t been
thinking about for years.
of a regular thing not so long ago… radios and batteries. When
I was growing up, it wasn’t uncommon at all to walk around the
neighborhood and hear the broadcast of a baseball game from several
different houses. Not so much today.
we like to consider ourselves in better situations now… more prepared
to handle an emergency or a problem. And we believe that. Until
the emergency arrives and we learn otherwise. (If a winter storm
knocks out the power to an entire city, but no one has enough
battery life left to post a status update on Facebook, is the
power really out?)
laugh when Sheldon Cooper has multiple disaster kits available,
just in case the disaster prevents access to his primary kit or
his escape route doesn’t pass the secondary kit. It’s funny, because
don’t we all have multiple disaster kits, evacuation plans, and
run emergency preparedness drills? (I’ll answer that by directing
your attention to many of my friends that were in their cars following
that hurricane… only because they needed to charge their phones.)
always figured that, with a healthy respect for the power of nature,
I would be ok in a severe emergency. And, so far, I have been.
But I’m willing to admit, I never for a moment had flushing a
toilet on my list of concerns (until it actually was).