What the NSW Storms Taught Me About Old People

antique-radioMy 91 year old grandmother was more prepared than I was for the NSW Storms of 2015.

I cannot even express to you how shocking this was to me. We are constantly trying to get her to get with the times, you see she lives alone and so we worry about her safety.

Here’s how the storms went for her:

  • She had a finger dial phone plugged into the wall and it worked perfectly well with no electricity. She was able to contact whomever she wanted, whenever she wanted.
  • She used her battery powered radio (that she calls ‘the wireless’ which is ironic given I didn’t have any) providing her up-to-date news by the minute. This also availed her with enjoyable music to listen to while she was stuck indoors.
  • She cleaned her teeth with a regular toothbrush. A toothbrush she has to rotate herself with her 91 year old arthritic hands to get the job done.
  • She had practical long-burning candles and matches in her very old ‘spare cupboard.’
  • She had hot water bottles and used them at night to keep her warm after boiling water on her gas stove.

In contrast, we in all our technological glory could not use a phone due to mobile service being out, and our ‘landline’ being a cordless handset that needs power to work. We had no contact with anyone at all and could do nothing about it.

There was no enjoyable music or news updates because the the radio apps on our iphone, ipad and computers were not working due to internet being down. In the event the the internet was working we wouldn’t have had power to power them anyway. With no radio we had zero contact with the outside world. We literally would not have known if the world had imploded.

We had no ability to clean our teeth properly because the Sonicare electric toothbrush needs power to charge and work correctly and without its electric function it’s bristles are too soft and small to be of much use at all.

We had candles available (the pretty, smelly kind) with one of those lighter guns that ran out of gas the very first night. We had no backup matches to light our candles.

We were cold. We had no hot water bottles and no way of keeping warm other than blankets and body heat and given we had no showering facilities, body heat wasn’t appealing.

In a nutshell this storm turned our lives upside down for the 3 days we were impacted by it. She on the other hand seemed completely unfazed.

Food for thought: For all our technological advances, when the world goes to hell in a hand basket as it did for those of us in the hunter during the storms, you might want your great grandma around to help you out of a jam.

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  1. We finally got our power back on in Toronto last night 🙂 so happy I could have kissed the Ausgrid man LOL. We pulled out all our camping gear and just went camping in the house. I’m so glad the power is back on, my vision is bad enough in the best of times and i was so over the headaches every night from bad lighting. But we were lucky my headaches were nothing to what some people suffered 🙁 :-).

  2. I know there were so many people so much worse off than all of us, it certainly was a learning curve for me. No camping gear to be seen in our house, I think I might go get some for the next time this happens! Glad you are up and running, thanks for your comment!

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