People of Connecticut,
I know that right now, things are bleak, irritating, exhausting. I know that couch hopping is not ideal. I know that trucking your entire family to a shelter can seem distasteful to some. The fact of the matter is that things are moving along, but they’re moving slowly. It is not because people aren’t trying. Electricity is a dangerous profession and ensuring the safety of the work is essential to preventing further issues. A shoddy job that will just crap out again is waste of everyone’s time.
Some people have been venting through their smartphones on facebook as to how the power companies and their local legislature seem to only focus on the sections of town where businesses are located. It’s bordering conspiracy theory level.
The plan to bring power back to main streets has met a slight outcry about it being a heartless decision. It’s at times like this that you have to take a step back and think about things logically. Right now, legislature has had to make some very tough decisions. Tough, but logical. In order to feed power to the ancillary lines, primary lines have to be fixed first. Sadly, the primary lines are located on main streets where all of the businesses are. That is why they are the focus. Once the main streets have power returned, gas stations and grocery stores will have the ability to open again and people can restock to fill their generators and feed their families.
Yes, I know. People are freezing in their homes. Some are invalid, elderly or without transportation. It is horrible that this is happening, but 650,000 people without power will tend to bring out the worst in some people and the best in others. With every “Why haven’t you fixed MY street yet?” and “What about my frozen grandparents?” post, I have also seen an equal amount of “What can I do to help?”
Here are a few things you can do to help (please feel free to add more)
1. Your food is not going to keep for very long. Take the meat that has most defrosted and cook it on the grill. Feed yourself and your family and take a plate to an elderly neighbor that might need it.
2. Stop in and check on lonely neighbors. During times like this you have to think about how you would feel if you were left to your own devices for an extended period of time. Sometimes all someone needs is an hour of conversation.
3. If you know where a shelter is, tell EVERYONE you run in to. It is very possible that they don’t have a smartphone and don’t have the ability to look up warm locations. http://patch.com has been really great about posting shelter information when they have the ability to. If you know of a school offering a warm meal and a place to shower, share that info. Right now, word of mouth is all many people have to go by.
4. Once you have power, find a way to contact friends and if they need a place to stay offer them a patch of floor or a warm dinner and a place to charge their cell phones.
5. With all of the technology available in your hand, you’re very likely to make use of it. If you pass by a gas station that is open, make note of it so that your facebook friends can either pass it on or use that information.
6. Cell towers are being pummeled right now because that is the only communication tools most of us have. Don’t get discouraged if something times out. Wait an hour and try again.
6. DO NOT CALL ABOUT YOUR CABLE BEING OUT IF YOU DON’T HAVE POWER. I know that this seems like a stupid thing for me to write, but the increased call volumes at entertainment related call centers is pretty pointless.
7. If you work for a large corporation and they offer you and your family a place to stay and a place to shower, please choose that over a shelter and leave that space open for someone that doesn’t have such a luxury.
Guys I know it’s cold. It doesn’t help that we live in such an electricity hungry society that we’re all going batty. I know the little comforts are missed. I’m used to falling asleep with the TV on and sleep timer set. I have a load of towels that have just been gathering stank in the front loading washer because it won’t unlock without power.
Right now, morale is low. It’s going to be. This was unexpected and more people have lost power in this freak October snowstorm than with the contingency planned-to-death Irene. REMEMBER this time. When it happens again (which it will) and you are fortunate enough to have power, heat, and warm water offer a sanctuary to those without.