Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Being prepared - not just for disasters

It doesn't take a big disaster like an earthquake to give you a reason to use your survival kit, just a simple loss of power - due to a computer problem, no less.


Hundreds of Genesis customers lost power to their homes when the computer system that runs Genesis' pre-pay power plan broke down, leaving people with no way to top up their accounts on one of the coldest weekends so far this year.

The problems began on Saturday, when customers running low on credit tried to pay for their power in advance, but a computer fault meant they could not pay and the power went out for hundreds of customers over the next 24 hours. The payment system was fixed about 2pm yesterday, but Genesis could not say how many customers were still without power last night.

You need to have some way of cooking food that doesn't involve electricity - a gas burner, or a BBQ. Food that you can eat that doesn't require heating is also a great plan.

Warm clothing - layer up with wool jerseys - I found some really nice merino tops at SaveMart for about $5 each the other day.

Candles aren't the safest way to provide lighting, so a gas lantern, or the nifty battery-powered LED lanterns you can get these days are good for if you need to stay up during the evening. And of course, have a torch handy for moving around in the dark.

A battery-powered radio so you can keep up with what's happening in the world, and have something to listen to other than the kids complaining that they can't watch TV.

And of course, enough spare batteries to keep everything going.

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