Tag Archives: Flashlight

A Lesson on Power Outages and Growing Up

Power outage in San Diego County, September 8th, 2011 by Sean M. Haffey

It began at the office when us employees thought we were losing our minds, having a seizure, or both. The lights flickered, then poof, we were in the dark. Considering that it was already 3:30 PM, we thought this was a perfect opportunity to wrap things up for the day and head home early.  Lucky for us, nearly 5 million other people thought the same thing, which made the drive home thrilling as we inched along in traffic (It took around 2 hours to drive 16 miles).

Recap of the outage

While everyone was sitting in traffic pondering their day or the beautiful weather, we realized that we may be in for an extended blackout. The San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) news conference didn’t  provide any positive news as they still had no idea what had happened; all they could tell us initially is that it was triggered in Arizona, a terrorist attack was very unlikely, and it could be 24-48 hours before the power was restored. Most people weren’t too concerned, as work and school would most likely be canceled on Friday, making for two 3-day weekends in a row and an opportunity to stay up and have some fun in the dark!
Once we arrived safe and sound at home, our feelings went from the relief from being off the road and not having to work the next day, to anxiety and a feeling of being unprepared for what could be a long few days. I had no cash and ATMs would be down, the gas light was on in my car, and my cell phone battery was on its last leg (not to mention, I couldn’t watch the NFL season opener). We were down to our last few drinks from our large jugs of purified water and already hearing about boil alerts in parts of the county. We only had two candles, but luckily, we bought a handy LED camping lantern a few days prior. Coming from someone who sells the Emergency Power Kit and wrote a blog about being prepared weeks ago, I was drastically under-prepared and kicking myself for not keeping one of those kits in my car or utility closet.
This outage proves to me how reliant we are on electricity and how lucky we are to have steady sources of power here in the States. Now, I could go without TV, cell phones, internet, and video games for as long as needed (and I’m sure most people could as well) but I take for granted other things that electricity provides. Fresh water, sewage treatment, smooth traffic, street lights, lighting at home, emergency services, and food storage are all things I can say I would miss greatly.
With that said, I am going to make a conscious effort to be more prepared and responsible when it comes to emergencies; I think it’s about time I invest in a good flashlight, candles, some sort of water purification device, maybe a small reserve of cash, first aid kit, and the Emergency Power Kit sitting in my office.
I know this looks bad; my mother probably thinks I can’t take care of myself and would be better off back in my parent’s basement.
This relatively small inconvenience has proven that I have grown too comfortable; and it takes a potentially catastrophic event, like this blackout, to bring me back to Earth and realize that something like this can happen at any moment.
Luckily, our good friends and neighbors provided us with the essentials – candles, chips and salsa, beer, and wine got us through the night!
For the real essentials to get you out of the dark click here. 
(A big thank you is in order for all of the power company workers, the police force, EMT staff, firefighters, and others for helping us through the outage and getting things back in order in no time!)

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Filed under Conservation, Department of Energy, Emergency, Energy Efficiency, Green Technology, Innovation, Natural disaster, Outdoor Adventure, Preparedness, Renewable Energy, Responsible Materials, Uncategorized

Be Prepared, Be Safe

As we begin rolling out our newest product, the Emergency Power Kit, I thought it would be appropriate to write about some small things we can do to prepare ourselves and our families for the worst;  because as they say “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” The recent natural disasters we have seen throughout the world in just the first half of 2011 have made us think twice about our safety in the face of Mother Nature.

One of the first resources I fell upon was Ready.gov. They guide people using these three steps:

  1. Get a Kit
  2. Make a Plan
  3. Be Informed

They also offer disaster specific and state specific resources so there is good information for everyone in the world. So go check Ready.gov out and start preparing now.

There are tons of emergency kits out there so do a little research before you invest to figure out your specific needs. If you are worried about being stranded with no food or water such as in a flood, hurricane, or earthquake you may only be interested in having reserve nourishment. Kits like the Readybox or this Deluxe Emergency Kit have essential items you may need in the event you will not be able to reach clean water or food.

Some of you may be more interested in staying connected in the event of a power outage; you may want to  get online, have light, or contact emergency medical services.  If this is the case you may need a kit that can meet you power needs. The Emergency Power Kit we offer is one option and I really like this small solar phone charger.

The Solarmonkey Portable Solar Charger

These are just a few suggestions and resources to help you get started when prepare for emergencies. Personally, I believe it is essential to always be aware of the environment around you and respect the dangers (and wonders) Mother Nature presents (heat, cold, wind, earthquakes, storms etc.).

Stay in touch with the Emergency Power Kit from PnS Energy.

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Filed under Emergency, Innovation, Natural disaster, Outdoor Adventure, Preparedness, Uncategorized