If you live in the states, you probably experience very little power outages.
Here in Sana’a, it can be a different story, but it really depends on where you live. In some areas the power goes off daily, sometimes twice or more. In some areas, it hardly ever goes off. So, when looking for a place, you may want to ask what the electricity is like.
It’s really just one of those things that you get used to over time.
In one area that I lived in, the electricity went off like clockwork—always after Maghrib. So you could basically adjust your schedule accordingly.–Get stuff done before Maghrib. And even then, it seemed like for months it would go off daily and then after that it was kind of sporadic. And then, it usually remained off for like about 1 – 1 1/2 hours so you could just about tell when it was about to come on and you could get on with your regular activities. A few times (masha Allah, only a few) the power went off for like 21-24 hours (yes, I was counting).
The main problem with the long outages is that you need electricity to run the water pumps. If your top of the roof tank was not full when the power went off for one of these long stints, well, you would be waterless (except what you stored). That’s one of the other benefits of cooking with gas tanks is that when the power goes off, you can still cook.
Just like storing water for water outages, its pretty simple to take measures to help you deal with power outages:
1. You can buy heavy duty flashlights that plug in and recharge. (These are the kind with the handles). I have one that has both an incandescent type bulb and a fluorescent bulb. It can go for months between charges and it gives off pretty good light, masha Allah.
2. You can buy a fluorescent light to mount. Same principle as the flashlight, it charges up but is like a regular fluorescent light that you might have anyway in the house and so of course provides the regular amount of light.
3. Buy a generator. They have small ones to great big ones. These run on gas and can be used when the power goes off. We had a small one when we were in Damaaj.
As I said, some areas experience less power outages then others and eventually you get used to it. One word of caution, if you have a computer, you will definitely want to have a converter (if you have a computer from the states, you will need one anyway), but I have one even though the computer was purchased here. The converter helps regulate the voltage, which really fluctuates here and I have heard of several smaller internet cafes having their computers fried because of this fluctuation.
You can buy a decent converter for about $50, maybe less.