Originally Posted by AngieB
So why is it so different on the east coast? I'm not trying to be mean or snarky, I'm just kind of amazed and a little worried that a major part of our country seems so unprepared for a minor emergancy.
I'm not trying to be mean or snarky, but you sound like someone who lives comfortably in a one or two story single family dwelling in a small town with little commuter traffic. It's so easy to be smug about emergency preparedness when that's the case. How large is your city? How many people live in apartment buildings with limited storage for extra food and water supplies or bulky, rarely used items like a generator? Most apartment dwellers have no access to BBQs or camp stoves or fireplaces. They have the daunting prospect of climbing up and down 10 or 20 stories just to enter and exit their shelter.
How many people in your area have health problems and are dependent on home medical equipment?
How is sewage and water treatment handled in your area? Are you "lucky" enough to have your own septic system or do you rely on a public system that serves a few million other people?
How many traffic lights and how many people commute long distances on major arterial roads that require traffic signals for safe travel? How many electric-powered commuter trains, streetcars and subways? When the power goes out unexpectedly in my city, the streetcars are frozen in their tracks, blocking traffic and adding to the chaos.
How many airports, train stations, shipping docks, large hospitals, major factories and industrial works in your area that will be affected if the power is out for any length of time?
Oh, and what is your definition of "minor emergency"? It's one thing to cope with a heavy snowfall or even a blizzard for a few days, particularly if you don't have to leave your home. It's another to cope with high winds, falling trees and blowing debris causing property damage and personal injury/death and massive flooding. Really, the destructive force from something like Hurricane Sandy is more comparable to a forest fire rather than a snowstorm. If you had a forest fire blazing down around your house, would you consider it a "minor" problem?