Power Outages are Awesome (for those in Privileged Positions)


“Yay! The power’s out!” is not something many people say when the lights go out unexpectedly.

Power outages may be inconvenient for many in this digital age, but they provide us with an important opportunity to spend quality time off our screens and to be grateful for what we have.

With winter upon us in Truckee and skiers and snowboarders hoping for snow, losing power is to be expected. According to the Truckee Donner Public Utility District (TDPUD), power outages in our area are most commonly caused by blizzards in the winter. 

However, they can also occur due to “equipment failures in TDPUD’s electric distribution system, routine maintenance, or NV Energy transmission outages” along with possible problems due to “thunderstorms, animals, transmission, and necessary wildfire mitigation safety practices.”

Generators, alerts, and battery-operated gadgets can make the outages quite comfortable for those who have access to new technologies. However, where natural disasters (and, in turn, power outages) are more common, resources are often limited. 

According to The Wall Street Journal (WSG), hurricanes, fires, heat, freezes, and other extreme weather patterns highly influence the loss of electricity. WSG also says modern-day outages are the result of “aging power lines, a changing climate, and a power-plant fleet rapidly going green.”

Power outages can remind us here in Truckee that we are fortunate to see the milder impacts of global warming and can rely on electricity and other necessities.

Aside from the brutal truth, if we find ourselves in the dark or without our screens in our small, privileged community, it can be easy enough to plug in a generator. Because face it, we can’t live without our smartphones, TVs, video games, and other gadgets.

If you find yourself lucky enough to have said resources; don’t complain about the loss of WiFi. Help your family, play a game, or take a walk outside. Enjoy time face-to-face with loved ones, read a book by candlelight, or listen to the radio.

In first world countries or places where the effects of losing electricity aren’t as dire, be grateful. Take a break from the digital world and rather than waste time, use it wisely. The next time the TV or lights shut off have a new perspective. 

Soon enough you could find yourself exclaiming, “Yay! The power’s out!”