Gas fireplace kept us warm in a blackout

About three years ago, my entire state was hit hard by one of the worst ice storms in a century. Winter weather is always severe and wild in my state; it’s just a fact of life that goes hand in hand with living here. But while snow storms make folks groan in annoyance, ice storms a truly terrifying ordeal. With snow, you can luck out and have the precipitation be really light and fluffy. Light snow means you don’t really have to deal with power outages, just bad road for a few hours until the plows can clear it. But with ice storms, the damage is devastating. Instead of tree limbs snapping onto power lines, the immense weight of the frozen water clinging to everything can uproot entire enormous trees. Light poles snap like twigs, and the roads are skating rinks. Live power lines went down all over, trapping us in the house until repairs were made. We had to go back to radio, as none of the tv stations could even power on to report the news, let alone that no one could watch it. And no power meant no central heating. I was lucky that my parents were prepared. We used our old camp stove to cook meals, and our gas fireplace to stay warm. As weird as it sounds, the gas fireplace requires no electricity to work. I thought it did by the switch on the wall, but this just control the level of the gas. Thanks to my dad keeping the pilot light on, we were able to stay warm until the power came back on week later.

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