I am NOT a news loving person! I find the news very depressing, insulting and tend to shy away from the craziness that is displayed on there. (Really? Do we care what Mayor Ford does on his spare time?) Instead, I live in my happy little bubble of Treehouse, Disneyland and the world of my kids. This drives my husband nuts! Occasionally, I’ll ask him what the weather is suppose to be like this week, but more often then not, I take each day as it comes. One day at a time!
Sounds like a great way to live right? I thought so! But unfortunately this happy go lucky life of cutting yourself off from the real world is NOT so handy when they predict an ice storm is coming!!
The week prior, I had caught a few mentions of the impending ice storm on the radio while delivering mail. I was happy to hear it was coming on a weekend when I didn’t have to work and could hid away from the storm in the bliss of my own home.
9:00am: DH yells in the house on his way to work that I have a flat tire. No problem! That big bad storm is about to hit, I’ll be safe indoors.
Noon: The kids have some friends come over. Updates on the storm front from their friend’s parents is it is not as bad as it seems….and by the way you have a flat tire.
5:00 pm: DH comes home from work. I stand freezing cold, holding a flashlight while he takes the tire off the car. The temperature is really dropping, but the roads are fine. We drive to Canadian Tire to get it fix and settle on Swiss Chalet for dinner.
10:00 pm: The storm began. I could hear the winds howling outside my bedroom and I could feel the temperature drop as I snuggled closer to my DH for warmth. All is calm, all is bright.
9:00 am: Kids are up and enjoying their cartoons, DH is cooking breakfast, while playing the computer. It is a perfectly normal Sunday morning. I look outside. Things look frosty, but not too bad.
9:04 am: I get a text from my parents say that they have been out of power since 3:00 am last night. We joke that I must live by the better nuclear power station as I still have power and they don’t.
9:10 am: I begin to follow Veridian on Twitter. I amazed at their updates and communication.
10:00 am: We leave for Costco to pick up a few last minute gifts. A neighbour jokes with us that we are going to drive all the way there and find out its closed due to lack of power. Laughing, we say we will take our chances. It was an eery drive to Costco. Roads that are usually lit up with street lights, traffic lights and store signs are black. Its seems like every other block is without power. We pull into Costco (with approximately a hundred other people!) to find they have power! Ha! The storm hasn’t stopped us!
11:02 am: Arrive home to find there is no power….and we are LOCKED OUT! We usually use our electric garage door to get in and out of the house. No power, means not electric garage door. For security reasons, the only emergency release handle can be accessed from inside the house. We have keys but both of our other doors have child locks on them as we have had some suspicious activity in our neighbourhood (i.e. foot prints in the snow up to windows etc). After exhausting all options, we head to Walmart to walk around, hoping the power will return soon. Walmart is packed!! The line up for coffee at McDonalds and Tim Hortons was at least 60 people deep. The mood was bright and everyone shared stories about being without power.
Noon: Kids are hungry so we head home. Power flickers on as we pull in the driveway. We make a mad dash to the power box and open our garage! Yeah! We can enter our house again!!
4:45 pm: I begin to make dinner and the lights start flickering. Once, twice then GONE! We are in the dark. It is only then that I realize EVERYTHING in my house runs on electricity! My stove, microwave, etc. I send DH out for take out for dinner!
6:00 pm: After waiting in an hour long line up at McDonalds! We have food!
7:00 pm: Showers by flashlight then off to bed. The kids are a little nervous as they usually sleep with the bathroom light on but all is well.
10:30 pm: House is getting cold. I can’t believe how fast the temperature dropped. I cover my kids with two blankets and make sure that they are warm enough. Then I check on my parents. They have been without power for 15 hours now. They have a gas fireplace so at least I know they are warm. My phone is almost dead and I begin to worry that my pipes may burst if the power didn’t come on soon.
11:00 pm: DD2 has a fever. I’m afraid she’s going to freeze, so I bring her into my bed. I know my older ones will come and get me if they are cold. After tossing and turning for a few hours, I fall asleep.
Some time during the night, the power comes back on and the house begins to warm up!
My experience with #ICESTORM2013 is mild compared to the stresses and struggles that many other people in the GTA suffered. I was very lucky!
Here is the top 5 things I learned from this #IceStorm2013:
1. I rely too much on electricity,
2. McDonalds will always be open!
3. NEVER leave the house without having another way to get in! The Garage is not always the best route!
4. If you are without power and heat for a prolonged period of time, be sure to crack a tap ever so slightly with COLD water to just let it constantly drizzle. This will help prevent your pipes from freezing!
5. I am very prepared with candles, batteries and flashlights, but time to put together an emergency kit!