Our sojourn into nature ended much too soon and the demands of modern life beckoned. So we set about running the lines to various appliances and fired up the generator. We cycled running both refrigerators, the chest freezer and charging our small electronics (phones, tablet and laptop). We didn't run our generator all night because it is very loud, smelly and honestly there was enough of a cool breeze we thought we would enjoy having the windows open overnight.
What really happened... one of our neighbors ran their generator ALL night. The echoing roar of a combustion engine several yards from our house. So that was lovely-not! By 4:15 am the power had not been restored, so I grudgingly forced myself out of bed. After getting ready to work, I went to the garage to wheel out the generator and quite nearly suffocated from the smell of gas fumes. I had to run outside to breathe from coughing and gagging. It took me several minutes and a few deep breaths then I ran into the big bay of the garage and flung open the garage door. I made such a clatter the hubbs really did look to see what was the matter. Hahaha, not the night before Christmas.
The hubbs in his hastiness (and fatigue) FAILED to shut the valve to the gas on the generator.
All night, while we slept, the gas leaked out of the tank puddling into a pool on the concrete and built up fumes in the garage. Think about that for a minute. IF the cat been in the garage he would have been asphyxiated. IF the power surged back on, a spark could have detonated our garage into a explosive fireball.
We are truly lucky, blessed and perhaps even charmed to have averted such a PREVENTABLE, POTENTIAL tragedy.
Always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, be careful and think about your sequence of actions.
Safety is of the utmost importance.
Once we managed to get over our shock of WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED, we sprang into action. The hubbs poured kitty litter on the gas puddle. Not sawdust, because no additional combustible materials were needed. I made a quick trip to Kroger's and bought lots and lots of ice (and a new coleman cooler).
Upon returning home, I used the principles of thermal mass--err... I shoved all the frozen junk into the chest freezer and placed bags of ice on top. All the refrigerated items were sorted into the ice filled coolers to keep and things deemed not necessary were pitched. I had one 22 bag of ice remaining, I placed the non perishable beverages in the now empty refrigerator freezer with the bag of ice, utilizing it as a cooler.
Power was restored midday Thursday and life is "normal" again. We didn't lose our food supply, a pet didn't die, and our garage didn't explode. But we most definitely learned a very, VERY important lesson in safety.