NewsCovering Colorado


Personal lessons learned after 96 hours without power

Power lines
Posted at 10:56 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 22:09:20-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — "We thought we were prepared, I mean we try to be prepared for contingencies," said Colorado Springs resident Tiffany Harris.

There is an assessment going on right now of lessons learned in the wake of the deadly and damaging windstorm that hit Colorado. Harris and her husband stayed in their home for four days without power and figured out some weak spots in their emergency preparedness plan--also appreciation for everyday conveniences.

Harris who is in the real estate business was out dropping off holiday gifts to clients when the wind started. Her husband called to tell her it knocked-out power to their house. "My husband had candles lit and I'm like this is kind of romantic, it's kind of fun, but the longer it goes on the more you realize candles don't provide great light."

They had a lot of flashlights to supplement the candles. They pointed some up to reflect light off the ceiling. After a couple of days, they ended up buying some battery powered lanterns for more adequate lighting.

Leaving the door shut on their extra storage freezer to prevent thawing did work. “Rock solid 72 hours later,” said Harris. The food in their fridge turned to questionable status after 24 hours.

Overnight temperatures proved too challenging for their heating alternative. "We had a little heater that we used camping and we thought we could use that, and it didn't do a thing, doesn't even warm up the bathroom really,” said Harris, “So we ended up going and buying some indoor propane heaters that worked a little better." Sharing the story is not for sympathy. Rather, it is to offer perspective and possibly some motivation for others to evaluate their own emergency preparedness plan.

The experience also generated appreciation for the people in their lives. They had family, friends, and some people they know just casually, offer a place to stay, supplies, and freezer space for their food.

Harris also points to the many, many people in states like Kentucky where just days earlier, tornadoes wiped out everything. It puts a few days of discomfort and inconvenience in perspective. "It really made us stop and think about the things we take for granted and what a gift they are, how blessed we really are in our everyday lives."