Friday, September 9, 2011

The great San Diego blackout of 2011

For those of you wrapped up in the Packer's thrilling 42-34 victory over the Saints in the NFL's season opener, suffice to say we San Diegans are a tad jealous as a power grid domino effect that started at a substation in Yuma, Arizona, triggered the most extensive power outage in San Diego history knocking out power for the entire county and beyond from about 3:40 P.M. PDT on Thursday until about 3 A.M. this morning.

OK, some quick observations and reflections:

1. Sirens. That was the predominant sound all evening. With traffic lights out, the sound took on an ominous tone.

2. Radio stations: KOGO AM 600 was up and running and providing updates whenever possible the entire evening. ESPN San Diego (AM 1700, the worst radio station of all-time), however, straight static.

3. Who's laughing at HAM radio operaters now? Our internet as well as cell service (Sprint) was down hard. However, our neighbor was able to contact friends and family via email on his iPad.

4. So, how did you fare? No doubt it was time to put some contingency plans into place. How did that work out?

Upon facing the obvious, we immediately set up our command and control center out on the back patio...

... uhh, wait a minute... it's still like 90 degrees out there...

OK, much better.

How are we coming along with the perishables?

That's the beauty of canned food, folks... prioritize by keeping safe that which will go skunky upon exposure to heat and light.

5. Our grade: B- . We downgrade ourselves for not having a battery-operated or hand-cranked radio (we were getting our radio updates from periodic trips out to the truck). Also, we tried to make do without breaking into the emergency survival kit we keep stowed in a large plastic tub in the garage for what was, for all intents and purposes, a relatively minor 12 hour inconvenience. Our lighter went out immediately after deployment and the matches we had on hand to light candles kept flaming out.


Keep that iPod charged!

7. We predict a run on WalMart, Home Depot and Fry's Electronics this weekend to shore-up any deficiencies we San Diegans saw in our game yesterday.

In all seriousness, we hope everyone is safe and sound and did not spend too much time in gridlock hell out there on the freeways. And, as the post hopefully conveyed, it's a great time to self-assess to see where you and your family stands in way of preparation should we have to cope with a true emergency and lack of services like many of our fellow citizens are dealing with at this time on the East coast.

Thanks for staying with this entirely self-indulgent post. We will return to regular programming shortly.


Mutnodjmet said...

BwD: You were among the first people I thought of yesterday, recalling that the big games was about to be broadcast. I am sorry you missed it. I find it ironic that the Guru of Green Jobs was just about to go on the air with his jobs speech as millions in Southern California lost their power.

SarahB said...

You look as prepared as anyone would want to be! Other than the fact that it is a MAJOR pain in the ass to have a technology-obsessed 3 year-old during such an event, things generally were ok up here as Casa de Rattlesnake. That is until I found out that Valley Center was out of water and mommy wasn't going to get a shower after a long day of said cranky-preschooler. And it was creepy listening to the coyotes right outside the the normally closed windows all night. Could have used more candles. But the children enjoyed their dinner of Cheetos & marshmellows around a fire in the front yard. I'm grateful to have had a good excuse to miss the president defile the economy with another poinless speech. And another reminder that the wives of first responders are on their own during emergencies...brought back fond memories of evacuating 6 months pregnant by myself during the '06 fires. Good times.

Harrison said...

I KNEW beer would be involved!