In the area where I live, we tend to experience severe storms throughout the year. Along with extreme temperatures and either a great deal of snow or rain, there is typically very high winds. The winds knock down branches, trees and powerlines. We are often left without electricity for an hour or two and sometimes for days at a time. Power outages are disruptive and sometimes damaging. We go without running water, lights, internet and our sump pump. We often end up with a flooded basement. If we lose power during the summer, getting along without air conditioning and refrigeration is a problem The house becomes overheated and sticky and the food stored in the refrigerator and freezer spoils. Losing access to electricity in the winter is downright dangerous. When the temperature drops into the negative digits, we can’t stay in the house without a working heating system. There’s also the concern of pipes freezing and bursting. A few years ago, there was a nasty January blizzard and we were without power for over a week. Since the furnace wasn’t working, we couldn’t stay in the house. The conditions were simply too cold for my small children. However, bundling them up and driving over icy roads through heavy snowfall was also a risk. We were fortunate that a nearby neighbor has a backup generator that powers their whole house. When the power failed, their generator automatically took over, allowing them to operate their household like normal. They still had a working heater, lights, television, coffee maker and everything else. They were kind enough to invite us to stay with them. Just about everyone from the neighborhood was packed into their home.