We have become a society that depends on various forms of the power grid to give us light and heat, the ability to cook and bathe and live above the level of a caveman (apologies to the big hairy guy on the Geico commercials). To a certain extent, it doesn’t matter how far out of town you live, as long as you rely on someone else to deliver power to your dwelling.
Case in point: Friends of ours live at the end of a dirt road that has been carved through the dense Pacific Northwest rainforest. This is a wild and beautiful part of the country but when winter storms blow through, it’s not uncommon for the power to get knocked out, leaving folks fumbling around in the dark. Being a preparedness-minded individual, our friends bought a power generator capable of keeping the refrigerator and freezer cold and the lights glowing in the house. Proud as a new mama, our friend showed me her acquisition, tucked securely in the corner of the garage just waiting for the next power outage. Time went by, and the following winter a big storm came along and knocked trees down. Unfortunately, the trees fell across power lines, tearing them to the ground. The next thing I knew, there was a knock at the door. It was our friend with a gas can in her hands. “Can I borrow some gas for the generator? The gas stations in town are without power and can’t pump.”
It was a good learning experience — which means everybody lived through it and came away smarter than before. So it served its purpose. And the lesson learned was that no matter how much you do toward preparation, if you forget the little details, you might still be without the benefit of that preparation. This applies to all aspects of emergency preparedness — success or failure is in the details.