Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Day to Remember

In the years to come there will be all sorts of reasons to remember the events of yesterday and today.  Personally, I would rather not have the memory of snow covering my yard on November 7.  It's only the first week of November and we've already had a hurricane and a nor'easter.  And please keep in mind that this is officially not winter yet--it's fall.  Our area still has a mega gas shortage and thousands still without power.  Now with the nor'easter in play, the areas that were flooded last week are heading for flooding again.  Normal seems to only be a word in the dictionary, because it sure does not apply to daily living right now.

I'm sure that somewhere in this mess there is a lesson we are supposed to be learning, but frankly, other than hope for the best and expect the worse, I can't fathom what that lesson is supposed to be.  I'll leave further contemplation for later--just staring out the windows at the weather has given me the chills and I need a warm drink.

I hope that all of you have warm and liveable shelter and that you are weathering our current conditions in safety.  Oh well, a lot of J bloggers were hoping for something to blog about other than yeshiva tuition and the state of shidduch making, and here it is.

Monday, November 5, 2012

But the Memory Lingers On

Hurricane Sandy left a load of devastation as she passed over our area.  No, things are not back to normal, and not likely to be for some time, especially given that a nor'easter is also expected this week.  We've been on and off hosting people from some of the hardest hit areas since the storm hit, as we kept our power on.  One family has a flooded house and repairs to the house are going to mean months of not being able to live in it. 

Public transportation is still spotty, gas for cars is still only available in limited places and in limited quantities, fresh milk and produce is not available all over nor in large quantities. Some schools are opened and some are still closed.  People with simchas this week are truly wondering just who is going to be able to show up, and what kind of food the caterers are going to be able to prepare.

One thing, however, showed up in discussions time after time--our dependency on electronic communication devices.  Regular phones and cell phone towers made getting in touch with family and friends an impossibility, and some areas still don't have all phones working.  Computers were obviously out in many areas as power went down.  And then there was this--many people no longer keep a hardcopy phone book with everyone's regular and cellphone numbers in it.  The reasoning is that it is far simpler to have all that info right there on your cellphone.  The storm showed us otherwise.

So yes, a black and white printed list of everyone's contact information is something you might consider making now, if you have your power back.

And given the storm that is supposed to hit us this week, it might also be a good idea to have a plan in place if family members find they can't get home--where will they go, how will they get there, what is the contact information for the people where they might go.

Emergency planning needs to take place before an emergency arises, not during it.  Taking a few moments now can save huge amounts of trouble later.