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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Prepare for the upcoming summer hazards

Last week, I was working around the house. I had just put a roast in the crock pot and started a load of laundry. Suddenly, I heard a loud sound – a mix between and bang and hiss – and my power went out. “Uh oh,” I thought to myself. It was 9:15 in the morning and the temperature was supposed to reach 103 degrees.

I walked around my house turning switches off so the power didn’t surge when it came back on. I looked at the crock pot and I estimated I had about 10 minutes before I would need to decide what to do with the roast sitting inside.

I looked at my dog. She cocked her head to the side and wagged her tail. It was still cool in the house, but that wouldn’t last too long as it was already 91 outside.

Of course, I had just gone shopping and had a fridge full of food. I knew as long as I kept the doors closed, I had a while until I had to worry about the food.

Fifteen minutes passed and I needed to do something with the roast. I went outside and lit the grill. I’d cook it over a low heat for an hour and it should turn out great.
Arizona is known for its extreme summer temperatures, so we know how to keep cool. Of course, part of that “keeping cool” is sitting inside an air-conditioned house. As we didn’t have that option, I walked around closing all the blinds to keep the sun and heat out.

I called my elderly neighbors next door to see if they were ok and if they needed anything. They weren’t home, so I told them I would call them when the power came back.

Another 30 minutes passed. I decided it was time to cool off in another way. I took Bella (my dog) outside and we both swam in the pool to cool off.

As 30 more minutes ticked by, I knew I needed to think about what to do if the power stayed out. My daughter didn’t get out of school until 2:30 p.m., so I had plenty of time until she got home. I knew I could take Bella to a friend’s house if we started to get too hot.

My next thought was the food in the fridge. I went to the garage and realized I couldn’t drive anywhere as the garage door wouldn’t open. I went inside, put on sunscreen and a big hat, grabbed a bottled water and my bike, and rode to the store around the corner. I purchased two bags of ice. The clerk, after hearing about our lack of power, gave me a free popsicle. 

When I got back home, I put the ice in the fridge. An hour later, I heard the rumble of my A/C, and a ceiling fan began turning. I smiled as the power kicked back on.

While it wasn’t extreme heat, or an extended power outage, the morning reminded me to get ready and think about what I would do if the power went out this summer.

The Arizona Emergency Information Network (AzEIN) has many more tips of how to be prepared for extreme heat and what to do if the power does go out.

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