With electrical usage way up and insufficient power generation to handle the demand, rolling power outages are the order of the day in Buenos Aires. Here are some tips to prepare yourself for the next outage:
– First of all, control your energy consumption. The hospital and elderly home down the street need the power a lot more then you need to run the air conditioner at 18 degrees.
-It’s not a bad idea to acclimate yourself in advance to using the stairs for when their is no elevator. If you live on the twelfth floor, take the stairs a couple of times a week and build up those great calf muscles.
– Security can be an issue when the power goes out. Be aware of your surroundings and be careful who you let in the building.
– Depending on the size of the tanks on the roof of your building. Once the power goes out you may soon run out of running water. Prepare yourself by keeping as many containers of water as possible handy. No need to generate more trash by buying bottled water if you are only going to use it for washing dishes, flushing toilet, etc. Just save any old plastic bottles, tupperware, old coffee jars, etc. and fill ’em up and put ’em under the sink.
– Fill the bidet in order to have water to flush the toilet
– A watering can for plants can provide a sorely-needed shower in desperate circumstances, especially if you have a friend to help you pour.
– Fill several tupperware containers with water and freeze them to preserve your food. Leave some in the freezer and move some to the fridge when the power goes out to keep your food cold.
– Put your flashlight with extra batteries in a specific place by the door and remember to put it back whenever you use it. Avoid candles, the fire department is busy enough this time of year.
-Plan on travel delays. Porteños are very vocal in their disapproval of power outages. Don’t be surprised to find burning piles of garbage piled up in intersections of affected areas.
-Don’t forget about any elderly or disabled people who may live in your building. Drop by and make sure they are ok. Offer to help carrying groceries or water up the stairs if you are able-bodied.
-Relax. Carry on. It should be back in a few hours.