Posted by: TheAuthor | 29/06/2011

The Power of Life

The other day there was a power cut after an electrical storm in Banff, Alberta. The town came to a total stand still.

It struck me, as I sat playing monopoly on my own in the dark (I won just incase you are wondering), that the entire world depends on electricity to survive. Third world nations aside that is.

I realised that I was not prepared for life without electricity. I have a number of torches, sure, but other than that nothing. The evening was closing in and I needed to cook food for supper, however my electric oven; microwave; hob; and kettle were all unserviceable. Nothing doing, which is bad considering the fridge and freezer were off and losing their cool. Fortunately the heating didn’t work and it was cold outside, so the food wouldn’t go off in a short space of time.

I decided to drive into town, to search for food. However my car had run extremely low on fuel so I was unable to drive in with safe knowledge that I would return without pushing my own car along. As it turned out, the garages were closed because the cash registers and the pumps were off-line. I should have known, electricity rules all.

The traffic lights were out along the quiet streets of downtown Banff. Cars dodged each other when they braved to dart across junctions, pedestrians jolting out-of-the-way. As I ventured further into town, I noticed that everything was closed. No lights, no TV’s, no people, nothing. Safeway was open, but for cash only and you needed to bring a torch to be able to see anything on the shelves. No hot food was available anywhere, nor was the ability to spend money utilising your credit/debit card.

It really struck home to me how harsh life is without electricity, especially when you are so reliant on it being at your beck and call 24/7. I have lived without electricity, but I was prepared for that eventuality. This time, everyone was lost. We knew the power would come back on eventually, as it transpired the outage lasted for a little under five hours.

What will happen to the world if this happens on a larger scale and for longer, chaos would reign. I had better make sure I have a gas burner handy.

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