Electricity (or ‘current’, as the locals say) is our most expensive utility here on St John. We pay some of the highest Kw/hr rates in the country. Even so, it is not always reliable and we frequently have outages. Keep flashlights and batteries handy and try to keep your devices charged when you can. The power outages can last 20 mins or 20 hours, you just never know. During an outage try not to open the fridge so that it retains its cool temps and keeps your food safe. If you are lucky enough to have a generator on your property, then you will have no worries. We will come start it for you or give you specific instructions on starting and maintaining during an outage.
Water is our second prized commodity. We also use it sparingly. Most of our water for home and villa use is from a cistern below or beside the house. Rainwater is collected in gutters and fed to the cistern. It is then pumped to the house when you open the tap or flush. This pump takes electricity. So, when the power is out you can not use the faucets or toilets. If you flush the toilet while power is out your pump will need to be primed when the power comes on before it will work again. Cheese on bread – island life! If it’s daytime when the power goes out, head to the beach! If its night time, don your headlamp and grab a deck of cards. The bars and restaurants in town have generators so they will be open and busy. Live like an islander and make the best of it.
Most grills, stoves and ovens here run on propane. So if the power is out you can still cook (but can’t clean up!). If your stove or grill won’t light, make sure the valve is on and check the weight. There is usually a spare tank nearby but make sure you let us know if there is a tank that needs filling or if you need help switching out the tanks.