Technology (surge protectors) and planning (keeping things charged) are the keys to staying productive in a blackout. But just how likely are you to be affected by one? According to a recent study, there were 112 reported outages in Australia and New Zealand in 2011, which collectively impacted the power supply for one million people.
The Blackout Tracker report from power management company Eaton identified some wacky causes for blackouts, including rogue seagulls and rampant Rugby World Cup flagpoles. But what we're noticing is that if one million people across both countries, more than 26 million were not. On a generous estimate, only four per cent of the population was affected by a blackout.
Of course, that figure varies depending on where you live. NSW topped the list with 27 outages, followed by NZ's South Island (20), Queensland (20), New Zealand North Island (15), Western Australia (12), Victoria (10), South Australia (5) and the Northern Territory (2). Given NZ's much lower population, the risk there does seem demonstrably higher, though any location is only one natural disaster away from similar numbers.
If you do get a full-scale blackout, don't expect it to be fixed in a hurry. The average duration? Seven hours. So that backup power supply might come in handy.