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.
During a storm I could view the numbers in my phone's address book, no problem
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