I live in Austin, Tx, which is known for having a very stable power grid. I've been here for 5 years and the power has gone out 3 times that I can recall (last night being the forth). We've had some nice rain the last few days. Last night I was watching TV and the power flickered. I walked over and grabbed the closests flashlight and put it on the table next to me, just in case. Few minutes later the power flickered and went out entirely. Ok cool, prepper mode. Step one. Pull the last cold beer out of the fridge I go to my storage room and pull out some of my ultra bright white glowsticks. Last time I had a power outage in Orlando I hung one from the ceiling fan and it was bright enough to light up the room enough to walk around without holding a flashlight. This time, I was very disappointed. So given that experience, I'd tend to agree that glowsticks loose their brightness with age, because these things are normally awesome.. I went into the bathroom and tested the water, to make sure I still had it! Water pressure was fine. (I have water stores anyway but i wanted to check) Then I started looking around for my candles. Counldn't find them (ooooop). Candles get a bad rap, for good reason (house fires) but since I live alone and I'm in a small apt, I figured I could handle it. (kids + candles = bad) Ok no biggie I've stated for several years that I own a Xantrex 1500 power pack. I really like this thing. It's come in handy MANY times. Part of my prep gear is one of those $8 metal funnel shop lights and a CF bulb. Break those out, clip it onto a floor lap, plug it into my xantrex, and I've got as much light in my apt as I normally do. The draw on the CF bulb is so low it doesn't even register on the meter. It was a relatively cool night, but I don't get a lot of cross breeze at my apt. I have a 8" battery powered camping fan that I got at walmart. I pulled that out and set it in the corner of the room to get some air flowing Then I pulled out my Ham radio, which is programmed to local repeaters, FRS, GMRS, OEM, Biz Band, CB and a bunch of other stuff. I turned it on and let it scan. Suprisingly, I didn't hear virtually anything. I keyed up on the local Austin repeater and called out, didn't get any replies. I ventured outside a bit and walked around. I still don't know what happened, since the Apt complex next door had exterior lights lit (I think they were on battery back up, since all of the apt windows were dark) I texted a couple of friends in various parts of the city and found out that it was isolated to just my area. I did notice how DARK my complex was with no lights. There was some ambient city light, but overall it was DARK. I didn't pull my guns out this time, since I live in a pretty good area and I didn't notice anyone outside walking around. I was going to take the opportinity to break out my camping gas grill and test out some survival food, but didn't find myself to be hungry. Mostly, I was bored. I played around with my ham radios a bit, trying to pick up intel from the city, traded some text messages with friends, and went to bed. I could have read a book, but I wasn't really in the mood. So, recap! Know where your flashlights/candles are, and test them! I just bought a 50 pack of tea lights at walgreens for $4. I think that more, smaller lights spread out are better than one big one. battery powered fan helps air flow in a still room. Comm gear is nice, but only helps if people are talking! My HT didn't get very good reception in the house, so I tried the radio in my car.. which has more power but also exposes me Xantrex power pack gives AC power to charge phones, lights, and other small AC devices. I think it's an awesome option for urban dwellers (dont have to deal with fuel) Boredom sucks. Cold beer is nice. Wanna kill these ads? We can help!