Freak Situations

Freak Situations

In one of a number of freak situations, we recently endured a major power outage/failure/interruption caused by wild weather. Fingers are pointing, accusations are flying, and we’re ducking recriminations all round. More than half the state of Victoria was affected.

According to Harrison Tippet, six high-voltage transmission towers were downed by winds in excesss of 120 km/hr, and energy suppliers were forced to cut supply because there was nowhere for it to go.

Power generators and emergency services had prepared for the weather with extra crews rostered on, but were quickly overwhelmed by the demand.

At the local level, the storms front brought down trees, cutting the power lines, and therefore local supply.

We were without supply for twenty hours, but I know some others had to wait much longer.

Dealing with Freak Situations

Well, the first thing to say, is STAY CALM and carry on whatevering.

Chances are, with the climate changing, there’ll be more freaky weather and related fall out.

Things you can control

Ask youself what you can do about the situation right now.

Doesn’t matter how freaky the situation is, chances are, you can’t do anything. Aside from staying calm.

If the power’s gone off, you can go around the house and turn the bulk of your electrical appliances off so they don’t blow out when it comes back on. Leave one of your least favourite lights on, and if it does blow out, at least you’ve still got the ones that you use the most often.

Things you can’t control

  • The weather.
  • The power company.
  • The people who work for the power company.
  • The people who work in emergency services.
  • The amount of information that’s accessible to you.

I could go on, but I expect you get the picture. Whatever freakiness happens, you’ll most likely be on your own while you wait for repairs etc.

Preparing for Freak Situations

We’ve decided in the moment, there’s nothing much to do.

Pre-freaky, there’s a lot.

Pack an Evacuation Kit

The idea of the evacuation kit, is that if you have to leave your home, you have everything you, and your pets, need for the first few days handy. Put it somewhere easily accessible, so if there’s a fire or flood, you can just grab it and go.

Pack some clothes and sanitary supplies (e.g., toothbrush, soap etc.), identification, cash, important papers (e.g., insurances), a first aid kit, your regular medications, spare phone charger, battery radio, torch, spare batteries, important contacts, WOOL blanket (for last resort fire protection), and bottled water.

Pack a Stay at Home Kit

Like the evacuation kit, this one is for staying at home in circumstances that don’t require ecacuation, for example, the power goes out. This needs to be somewhere you can easily fish it out in the dark, in the middle of the night.

Pack sanitary supplies, a first aid kit, your regular medications, backup charger, battery radio, torch, spare batteries, water.

General Preparedness

If you know there’s potentially a freak situation on the horizon, do what you can to minimise the freak.

  • Fully charge your phones, along with a backup charger in case you need it.
  • Make sure you know where your candles, torches, and batteries are.
  • Keep some bottled water and non-perishable food such as tinned produce and other drinks.
  • Add some tissues and toilet paper
  • Keep a small amount of cash in the house (especially useful when the power is out)
  • Consider whether you might need a generator to power your fridge, etc.

Freak situations might still catch you out, but at least you will know where you’re emergency kits are, and can at least come up with something to eat and drink while you wait.


Photo of cable, power lines, and electric transmission tower by Agung Gunawan on Unsplash

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