Or…How Your Smartphone Could Stop You Having To Trade-In Your Rolex
The task for Day 16 is entitled Ccch Ccch Ccch Charge It (I pondered for a while but couldn’t work out if there was a significance to the David Bowie reference?). Players are invited to consider the resilience of their access to power with points available as follows:
1 Pt: What type of portable power do you keep around to keep your devices charged?
3 Pts: What’s in your kit to safely power portable lighting, heat sources and food preparation. How many days would your power supply last?
One of my favourite movies is Home Alone. Aside from being a brilliant Christmas/Get Will film, it’s full of examples about what the wider consequences of a power outage could be!
It perfectly illustrates, albeit metaphorically, that the impact goes far beyond the resetting the McCalisters alarm clock! Abandoning children at home, starting fights with French women on the phone, offering an old lady your dangly earings and having to endure polka music. Power cuts can be traumatic!
However, my smartphone guards me against all of that in the event of a short term power cut; its battery means my chances of oversleeping are reduced. (Although, the possibility of Apple introducing a bug which has the same consequence isn’t mitigated!)
Whilst that’s ok for the occasional power surge, how would I cope if the electricity was off for longer? It’s used not just to charge my phone, but also for heating, cooking, refrigeration, water pumping, security, and entertainment. So the consequences could be far-reaching.
I don’t have a generator, and I don’t think one is necessary. However, I do have a small supply of food that can be eaten without cooking, I know that if I keep my refrigerator door closed then the food in there should be fine for a little while, and I have a selection of books to meet my entertainment needs.This post though, has made me revisit the idea of investing in another way of charging my phone in the absence of mains power – that’s something for the Christmas list perhaps!
So, how long could I ‘survive’ without power? I don’t think it’s possible to be precise as it is dependant on factors like the extent, duration and time of year. The personal impact could range from being a mild inconvenience to an emergency, so I think the key to enduring a power cut is to have flexibility and options rather than a rigid plan, and an expensive generator that will inevitably fail when you most need it.