The San Fernando Valley in California where I live experienced a blackout last night beginning at about 8:15.  All the power in my house went off as I was watching Jeopardy.  I have a flashlight nearby so I thought I was prepared.  But not for the annoyance and discomfort.  I have little lights plugged in, in both my living room and bedroom, to come on if the power goes off.   Neither came on.  I picked up my flashlight, made sure it was working and looked for a substitute light.  Nothing was available except candles.  I didn’t really want to use candles, but I had no other choice.  But then my matches seemed to disappear.  I could not find any. Just try to find something when it’s pitch dark.  Not very easy.

By now, it is too dark to see without the flashlight.  I found a second flashlight to carry just in case the batteries in the first went dead on me.

My phone was also not in service.

Thank goodness for my daughter, Circe, who takes care of me and my computer.  She had provided me with a back-up telephone that I could take when I go out so that if I had to call the auto club I would have a phone.  I also use it to call her since she lives out of my phone number area.

By now, it is pitch black dark in my house. I need the flashlight to go one step.  Every single appliance in my house requires an electric connection.  I cannot have even a cup of coffee.  And it’s too early to go to bed, too dark to read, and no computer or television.  I cannot read by the flashlight and I am bored, and annoyed.

Finally, after talking with my daughter and learning that the power outage is in a huge area, caused by a fire in a DWP facility, it is not going to be restored anytime soon, I decided to just go to bed.

Consequently, I woke up very early this morning.  I am going to search for matches, find them and put them in a place where I can see them and also try to figure out why the devices I had plugged in to give me light in an emergency didn’t work.

This was my first experience with a black-out, but it could happen again.  I need to be better prepared.