Question about power outage.....help me understand. ***Updated post 63*** - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 06:44 AM
 
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Yeah, I was joking, making fun of ourselves for freaking out over some snowflakes. My up north friends make fun of us but I just claim the snow that falls here is different, more dangerous lol

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#62 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 06:53 AM
 
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Yeah, I was joking, making fun of ourselves for freaking out over some snowflakes. My up north friends make fun of us but I just claim the snow that falls here is different, more dangerous lol

I took you seriously bag.gif

 

I do think snow in places that are not used to snow is tricky - if even from the driving standpoint alone.  


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#63 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel like I owe everyone a huge apology. I in no way was making light of a terrible tragedy. The areas that have been destroyed and the homes and lives lost is of course a major emergency. I was not implying that the families who have lost homes didn't plan well enough or people trapped by flooding should have planned better. I obviously did not make myself clear with my question. I should have explained my thinking more clearly. My thought was that with such major emergancy going on in many places that the people who are not in harms way and struggling with a power outage should be able to care for themselves for a week or more so that all the help and add can be focused on the places and people who are truly in need. I understand that emotions are very high and I pick a poor time to pose the question. I was not trying to say I'm smarter or better, I was just sharing my experience so you might understand more where I was coming from.

I know that i have made a lot of people angry and I'm going to be slammed quit a bit but i hope you understand that I am a caring person who has feeling (even though my post makes it seem like I don't) and have been very upset that i hurt so many people. I have been a part of mothering for a long time and have always tried to be very careful of others feeling and hope that I can continue to be part of the community.

I am very sorry for anyone dealing with this tragedy and I hope you understand I was in no way trying to be mean, malice or smug. It was just poor timing and not great communication skills on my part.
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#64 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 07:11 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by beanma View Post

 

#2: How do MDC moms prepare for power outages?

 

answer: Here in NC where I am, we run to the grocery store and clear out all the milk and bread as fast as we can in case we get stuck at home and can't make it back out. I, personally, don't do this because I don't drink a lot of milk or eat a lot of bread, but many people do. You should see the store shelves after they predict a flake of snow. We do have power outages from time to time, but ours is rarely out for days at a time. Usually it's back up in a matter of hours if not minutes. We have had big power outages, though. We had a bad ice storm in Dec 2001 and a bad hurricane in '96 and the power was out for about a week both times. The hurricane did more damage, but it was Sept and not cold so a more convenient time for a power outage. We were unable to get out of our street for a week due to downed trees across the road. 

 

This made me laugh because people in PA do the same thing.  There is an absolute mad dash to the grocery store for bread and milk at the first mention of snow.  There was not a container of milk left on the shelf of my local grocery store by Sunday.  I don't understand why.  


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#65 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 07:23 AM
 
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ok...i make sure i have milk when it's going to snow so i can make hot cocoa! the kids play outside, then when they come in i make hot cocoa. i buy milk, marshmallows, and make sure i have cocoa and sugar and cinnamon. also bread so we can eat pb sammiches in case the power goes out. i always forget when people talk about getting milk and bread, but then i remember...hot cocoa. if the power goes out, there will be no hot cocoa, though. well, i guess you can use the propane grill outside!

 

i am really into all the post-apocolyptic movies so i am learning alot LOL


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#66 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 07:24 AM
 
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I'm not very good at joking through the keyboard, it makes things difficult sometimes.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I took you seriously bag.gif

 

I do think snow in places that are not used to snow is tricky - if even from the driving standpoint alone.  


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#67 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 07:31 AM
 
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A79E4D1A-CE64-468C-96BB-B9687AAEC56D-4411-000003A51F454D23.jpg
Seaside Heights, NJ.
About 15 miles from where I grew up.
Look like a minor emergency to anyone here?

 

And that pier had been there for a long time, through other hurricanes.  I walked on it as a kid.  I rode that roller coaster.  I'm 3000 miles away and my heart and thoughts are with everyone in the Northeast, but I am also mourning the loss of so many cherished places that were part of my childhood.


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#68 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 07:39 AM
 
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There are still people right now needing food and heat, no one is able to get in there and help them yet. And there is another bad winter storm coming :(


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#69 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 08:31 AM
 
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The Sandy devastation is breaking my heart. That mother on Statten Island... I have 2 little ones and the thought of them being ripped from my arms... bawling.gif

If anyone wants to help, Red Cross is in urgent need of monetary donations to provide aid to the victims.

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#70 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There are still people right now needing food and heat, no one is able to get in there and help them yet. And there is another bad winter storm coming greensad.gif

This was kind of why I posed my question in the first place. There was the big obvious tradegy going but in the back ground there seemed to be this other emergancy happening of the power outages. I was trying to understand the whole event. I guess I had just never thought about the fact that there would be large areas without a second source of heat or that large apartment building didn't have back-up generators. I know it was stupid on my part not to know these things. After a few moms gave me a better picture of what was going on and the why the power being out was a big problem I did have a better understanding. I am praying with everyone else that the power is restored quickly and everyone can stay safe.
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#71 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 08:54 AM
 
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it is easy to miss a concept when you've never been in the situation! i all the time am asking why something seems so extreme, then i feel like "duh" afterwards. katrina is still on my mind for the sandy aftermath so i do get it but there are other things i don't get.

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#72 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 09:18 AM
 
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I totally forgot this last night, but actually, most people here do have has stoves, which still work when the power goes out. So the only purpose of a camping stove is maximizing damage.

Food spoilage is the major issue. Restaurants give food away in these types of situations, when they know the power won't be back before it spoils.

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#73 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 09:19 AM
 
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Can't make edit work on the phone, GAS stoves.

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#74 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 09:24 AM
 
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Poorly timed, poorly worded, yes indeed!  I'll be honest and say I don't get why you were asking for help to understand. But obviously you meant no harm. I doubt you'll be banned from MDC.  smile.gif


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#75 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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I feel like I owe everyone a huge apology. I in no way was making light of a terrible tragedy. The areas that have been destroyed and the homes and lives lost is of course a major emergency. I was not implying that the families who have lost homes didn't plan well enough or people trapped by flooding should have planned better. I obviously did not make myself clear with my question. I should have explained my thinking more clearly. My thought was that with such major emergancy going on in many places that the people who are not in harms way and struggling with a power outage should be able to care for themselves for a week or more so that all the help and add can be focused on the places and people who are truly in need. I understand that emotions are very high and I pick a poor time to pose the question. I was not trying to say I'm smarter or better, I was just sharing my experience so you might understand more where I was coming from.
I know that i have made a lot of people angry and I'm going to be slammed quit a bit but i hope you understand that I am a caring person who has feeling (even though my post makes it seem like I don't) and have been very upset that i hurt so many people. I have been a part of mothering for a long time and have always tried to be very careful of others feeling and hope that I can continue to be part of the community.
I am very sorry for anyone dealing with this tragedy and I hope you understand I was in no way trying to be mean, malice or smug. It was just poor timing and not great communication skills on my part.

 

We all stick our feet in our mouths sometimes. Bad timing, but you get it now and it's clear you weren't trying to be offensive. Of course you can stick around. 

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#76 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 11:25 AM
 
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I feel like I owe everyone a huge apology. I in no way was making light of a terrible tragedy. The areas that have been destroyed and the homes and lives lost is of course a major emergency. I was not implying that the families who have lost homes didn't plan well enough or people trapped by flooding should have planned better. I obviously did not make myself clear with my question. I should have explained my thinking more clearly. My thought was that with such major emergancy going on in many places that the people who are not in harms way and struggling with a power outage should be able to care for themselves for a week or more so that all the help and add can be focused on the places and people who are truly in need. I understand that emotions are very high and I pick a poor time to pose the question. I was not trying to say I'm smarter or better, I was just sharing my experience so you might understand more where I was coming from.
I know that i have made a lot of people angry and I'm going to be slammed quit a bit but i hope you understand that I am a caring person who has feeling (even though my post makes it seem like I don't) and have been very upset that i hurt so many people. I have been a part of mothering for a long time and have always tried to be very careful of others feeling and hope that I can continue to be part of the community.
I am very sorry for anyone dealing with this tragedy and I hope you understand I was in no way trying to be mean, malice or smug. It was just poor timing and not great communication skills on my part.

 

 

AngieB, you may not have meant to offend but I've read comments elsewhere that explicitly or implicitly say that cityslickers are clueless and I'm tired of the sneering and mocking and eye-rolling from people who don't recognize how privileged they are. I imagine others have also come across this smug attitude. So questions about whether people are prepared for power failures will hit a nerve, even aside from any discussion about hurricane damage. 

 

It's fair to say that everyone should prepare for emergencies including power outages, just as every home should have a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit. That preparation is contingent on a lot of personal factors. 

 

I've heard the smug advice from so-called tough country folk who talk down to silly, weak, cityslickers on how to prepare for lengthy power failures. It's aggravating beyond words to be told how to cope by people who are privileged to live on a few acres with extensive storage space, their own well water supply and septic system, and who can still drive their personal vehicles on wide open roads with little, if any, traffic problems because let's face it, there is never is any other traffic in their tiny little one-stoplight town. 

 

The advice is always a list like store lots of extra food and water, fill jugs of water to take up extra space in your deep freezer to keep it cold, cook on BBQs or a camp stove, light up the woodstove or fireplace for heat, use a back-up generator and keep extra cash on hand. None of it is bad advice. Unless you're talking to someone who lives in a cramped apartment on the 10th floor of a highrise where they can't use a propane stove and there is no running water because you need electricity to pump it past 6 stories. 

 

Even if that silly cityslicker lives in a single-family house, it's a big assumption that they can afford deep freezers, BBQs and back-up generators. Let's assume that they do have these items. If there's a population of millions of homes and they all have generators, they will all need to re-fuel at some point. People waited all day in line-ups at gas stations in New York and New Jersey yesterday. One gas station sold over 10,000 gallons of gas before running out. There is a distribution problem now, even though there is sufficient gas available in the overall system. The storm knocked out refineries. Trucks to re-fuel gas stations are stuck in traffic. Many gas stations don't have back-up generators themselves so they can't pump the gas into or out of their storage tanks. 

 

Back up generators are not a solution if millions of people are also using them and you all need to re-fuel after a couple of days. Rural dwellers are privileged to be able store tanks of gas on their property or to live in a small town where the demand for gas doesn't exceed the immediate supply. 

 

If you live in the country, to understand the traffic gridlock because the traffic lights are out in the city imagine that every 1/4 mile there is a tree across the road that you have to navigate around somehow while dealing with oncoming cars from all other directions. That's assuming that a family is privileged to have a car. Lots of urban dwellers don't and they get stuck because the subways don't run and the buses are out of gas. 

 

Also if you live in the country with your own water supply and septic system, you are privileged because you don't have to worry about whether the power failure affected water treatment and there is still clean water available. 

 

Let's not forget that many of these people are on the edge as far as income and employment are concerned. A few days without work can be catastrophic. When major industries, factories, malls, schools, restaurants, tourist attractions and other employers are shut down because of power failures or if people can't get to their employment because they don't have transportation or emergency child care, it adds to the chaos level.  

 

Last night on ABC News, I watched Diane Sawyer take a camera crew into a New York highrise. They climbed 17 stories up darkened stairwells. She visited an elderly woman who hadn't been able to leave her apartment for days after the storm. The woman was out of food and water, her emergency candles were burned out, and she was cold and frightened. It seemed to me she had prepared as best as she could in the circumstances. I don't think she is capable of living on a country property with a bunker for food and water storage and her own generator. I don't know what a survivalist could tell her to do better. 

 

I dunno. This post has been all over the place and maybe I'm not making any sense. I just don't think someone living comfortably in a rural area can comprehend that even if a cityslicker prepares as much as they can, a lengthy power failure will probably have a greater impact on their life compared to someone living in a small town. 

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#77 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 11:44 AM
 
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^^ Great post, ollyoxenfree. I think it's good to remind yourself of your privilege at all times, especially when questioning the actions of others.

 

There was a great piece yesterday on Democracy Now about income disparity in Manhattan and the storm. It focused on a project home on the LES. People are getting water from fire hydrants, they are running out of food, etc., and rescue/aid has not yet come.


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#78 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 11:52 AM
 
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I'm a former city dweller turned country bumpkin. I was better prepared for an emergency in the city than I am out here in my no stoplight town. wink1.gif

I do have a generator if we need it. I have a gas stove and a wood burning stove so I can cook and heat now where I couldn't before. We aren't on a septic system. My water is city water but we do have a well and a pump we can use if we needed to.

I have quite a bit of food storage, eggs from the chickens, milk from the cows but if the power was out for a long time, my two freezers full of meat would be toast. You can only run a generator for so long before you run out of gas.

I guess I'm saying that we need to do more to prepare for an emergency than we have done so far.

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#79 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 11:53 AM
 
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I've been listening to all the news about the storm on the east coast and I feel so bad for all the storm damage people are dealing with but there is something I just don't understand. There is a lot of talk about power outages and how this is a major emergencies and people have no idea how to live without power. They have no heat or ways to cook and just seem completely unprepared for this.
I live in Northern California where we get lots of snow and weather in the winter and it's not uncommon for us to have no power for a week or more at a time numerous times throughout the winter. Yes, it's a pain in the butt but in now way is it an emergency. Everyone is prepared. We all have none electric heat, usually a wood stove. Most people have a generator to run the basics and we stock up on gas ahead of time. Most people has propane stoves and ovens, but if not they can cook on their wood stove. People even know to fill up the bath if the weather gets bad so we have water to flush toilets. It's just not a big deal.
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.

Angie, I'm just seeing your post for the first time today and I appreciate your updates.  I understand the inability to comprehend the logistics of rural and semi-rural vs. urban living and preparedness.  I grew up in rural West Virginia but have lived in NYC for over twenty years.  Living here, where I live now, is so opposite to how I grew up, for lack of a better phrase.  There are probably 25 million people in the NY/NJ metro area.  A great majority of these people live in apartment buildings and little tiny row houses.  Space is a big issue.  I schlepped down the street on Sunday and bought two gallons of water.  I couldn't carry any more than that.  I'm a typical NYer.  Fire codes prevent a lot of us from having generators and live fires in our apartment buildings. I can't even store paint in my building because it is a fire hazard.  I haven't been able to get to work all week because I rely on public transportation.  It is taking many people three to four hours just to get into Manhattan.  The lifestyle here is totally different from where I grew up in rural West Virginia.  My parents could store huge amounts of wood and they had an actual fireplace.  Their basement was bigger than my entire apartment.  

 

I'm not trying to be critical and I know a lot of others here have commented.  It sort of takes a shift in thinking to understand how people live differently.  I've seen A LOT of criticism on the internet directed to people from NY and NJ.  It's disheartening that everyone is on this judgmental trip about what should have been done.  Anyway, I know you meant no malice but I just wanted to throw in my two cents.  


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#80 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 12:18 PM
 
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I live in Staten Island. Con Ed estimates that they will get my power back on Nov 9th. I actually do have a generator. But there are gas shortages in Staten Island because the gas stations don't have electricity to pump the gas they have. As quickly as Con Ed restores power to a gas station a line a mile long, an actual, literal mile long line of cars appears. Fist fights are breaking out in those lines. Weapons are being brandished. And the gas is gone in a matter of hours. The gas stations aren't getting more gas because the pumping stations, where the gas trucks go to get gas also lost power. There are things it is impossible to be prepared for. This thread has me on the verge of a rage stroke.
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#81 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 12:24 PM
 
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I'm a former city dweller turned country bumpkin. I was better prepared for an emergency in the city than I am out here in my no stoplight town. wink1.gif
I do have a generator if we need it. I have a gas stove and a wood burning stove so I can cook and heat now where I couldn't before. We aren't on a septic system. My water is city water but we do have a well and a pump we can use if we needed to.
I have quite a bit of food storage, eggs from the chickens, milk from the cows but if the power was out for a long time, my two freezers full of meat would be toast. You can only run a generator for so long before you run out of gas.
I guess I'm saying that we need to do more to prepare for an emergency than we have done so far.

There is a lot of assumptions being tossed around here on this thread, for sure.  

 

Outbuildings cost money--lots of money, if you don't have them, and they cost to maintain.  A lot of local folks lost their barns and sheds to the 16" of snow we got dumped on us overnight last January.  Takes money to rebuild, if insurance doesn't cover it.  Freezers cost money and you need a place to put them (see previous statement.)  Generators cost money.  

 

When the power goes out, it is out for a long time because being in the country you are bottom priority for reconnection of electricity and road maintenance (last year's minor flooding put our road out of power for 9 days.  Makes perfect sense of course: begin where a single action affects the most people.  Many people have woodstoves here, but many don't (especially in the PNW where winter temps are usually mild), and you need to have a supply of wood, which can cost money unless you have woods.  If you have woods you need to have the skill and strength to process it, or else it costs money.  You need to store it under cover (at least in the rainy PNW) and you need a structure for that.  Wells, unless you have a cistern or two, take electricity to run.  You are not immune to well contamination just because you live in the country.  And the store is MILES away and the roads are littered with trees even if you can walk and if you are infirm, good luck.  Maybe your stove is propane, but to operate it (if you can--some stoves can't) you need to open the windows and there goes the heat.  (Unless you have a woodstove.)

 

I hope I didn't come across as snarky, or too snarky, but lumping country residents as "privileged" is a major assumption by anybody.  Our immediate area has pockets of extreme poverty, just as surely as cities do, though the numbers are exponentially smaller.  I do feel pretty privileged, for sure, but I know that is not necessarily the case.  

 

People can only prepare so far.  Many, if not most people, cannot reasonably afford to relocate.  (Local homeowners devastated by flood waters are desperate to sell their property which is now worthless because the 100-year flood is fresh in everyone's minds and the market sucks.)  City or country or suburbs, you make trade-offs, ones you can live with.  

 

If a snowstorm comes here (once in a few years here) nobody but nobody is coming to plow our private road, except perhaps our excellent neighbors.  Nobody is coming to clear off the trees, either, except our excellent neighbors, most of whom have chainsaws (a common but not universal tool in this area--they cost money!)

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#82 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 12:51 PM
 
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I think the problem, and hence the mention of privilege in the first place, was the assumption that everyone has access to exactly what you have access to, and the only possible difference could be being too stoopid. I do regular day-to-day life without a car, and I carry or push by hand back to my home pretty much everything I need. Having to do that could be a crisis in a different environment (what was that about being so awesomely 'not dependent on the system'? Yeah). Because different types of places to live offer different advantages and disadvantages, and different catastrophes present different challenges - and ultimately while nothing is a 100% guarantee against disaster, money and resources offer more protection than anything else.
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#83 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 01:32 PM
 
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What offended me in this thread and offends me in life in general was and is my perception of an anti-NY/NJ sentiment, not an anti-"city people" sentiment (although that does also exist).  I'm always amazed by how perfectly OK it is to absolutely HATE NYers and NJians in other areas of the USA, frequently without ever having met a single one.  I'm told, often, that I'm not typical for a NYer.  But I am.  It's meant as a compliment, to say:  "Oh gosh, you're not a raving, overly-highlighted track-suit wearing asshole.", because that's the idea that many people seem to have about us. 

 

I moved away from the area about 8 years ago.  I never understood how very "from there" I was until I left.  I grew up not too far north of the city, in a tangle of valleys and towns that never seems to end, and every little hollow is filled to bursting with Irish and Dutch and Italians and Polish, and all kinds of other people, all contributing to this insane mix of old and country and yet still urbane and cultured and complex.

 

Well, I'm trying to help my family from 2,000 miles away, and it's wearing on me a little.  I want to be there, physically, helping them find the resources they need, helping keep my young nephews calm and safe, helping my sister-in-law deal with the menfolk's fraying tempers.  My brother is still without power, and is now having trouble finding gas to run his generator.  This week it will be too cold ever for such Northern people to be OK at night without some source of heat. 

 

 

 

Hang in there NYers and NJians!   


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#84 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 02:30 PM
 
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I just don't think someone living comfortably in a rural area can comprehend that even if a cityslicker prepares as much as they can, a lengthy power failure will probably have a greater impact on their life compared to someone living in a small town. 

 

 

You're being too nice.  Why shouldn't they comprehend it?  I think people, when they're being honest with themselves and have cleared their insecurities and their pettiness away, should easily feel a little sympathy for a mom who, regardless of her otherwise non life threatening situation (just a power outage), is struggling with an unfamiliar, unnerving scenario.  

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#85 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 02:33 PM
 
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My semi-rural hometown in NJ has been told that they will likely have power restored in 7-14 days from today.  So some people might be without power for almost 3 weeks, and a lot of that area uses well water, which poses another risk and major inconvenience.


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#86 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 03:11 PM
 
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I feel like I owe everyone a huge apology. I in no way was making light of a terrible tragedy. The areas that have been destroyed and the homes and lives lost is of course a major emergency. I was not implying that the families who have lost homes didn't plan well enough or people trapped by flooding should have planned better. I obviously did not make myself clear with my question. I should have explained my thinking more clearly. My thought was that with such major emergency going on in many places that the people who are not in harms way and struggling with a power outage should be able to care for themselves for a week or more so that all the help and add can be focused on the places and people who are truly in need. I understand that emotions are very high and I pick a poor time to pose the question. I was not trying to say I'm smarter or better, I was just sharing my experience so you might understand more where I was coming from.
I know that i have made a lot of people angry and I'm going to be slammed quit a bit but i hope you understand that I am a caring person who has feeling (even though my post makes it seem like I don't) and have been very upset that i hurt so many people. I have been a part of mothering for a long time and have always tried to be very careful of others feeling and hope that I can continue to be part of the community.
I am very sorry for anyone dealing with this tragedy and I hope you understand I was in no way trying to be mean, malice or smug. It was just poor timing and not great communication skills on my part.

I'm going to say that I thought you were clear. You kept referencing people who had lost power and that was it.

 

There were large areas affected by Sandy and the worst that some people are dealing with is power outages that aren't getting repaired as quick as they would if there weren't more serious damage elsewhere to attend to first. I'm also from a rural Midwest area and some stuff like power outages are really only inconveniences to me. I've been a little shocked by how hard you are getting beat up over your question. The timing of the question may have been better. But I don't think you are deserving of the harshness you are getting. 


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#87 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 03:39 PM
 
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I'm going to say that I thought you were clear. You kept referencing people who had lost power and that was it.

 

There were large areas affected by Sandy and the worst that some people are dealing with is power outages that aren't getting repaired as quick as they would if there weren't more serious damage elsewhere to attend to first. I'm also from a rural Midwest area and some stuff like power outages are really only inconveniences to me. I've been a little shocked by how hard you are getting beat up over your question. The timing of the question may have been better. But I don't think you are deserving of the harshness you are getting. 

Agreed (bolded part).  I think it is easy to not understand situations.  Angie was asking an honest question from her perspective.  The beauty, being, we've been able to discuss the realities.  I think this is good for everyone.  

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#88 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 03:42 PM
 
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What offended me in this thread and offends me in life in general was and is my perception of an anti-NY/NJ sentiment, not an anti-"city people" sentiment (although that does also exist).  I'm always amazed by how perfectly OK it is to absolutely HATE NYers and NJians in other areas of the USA, frequently without ever having met a single one.  I'm told, often, that I'm not typical for a NYer.  But I am.  It's meant as a compliment, to say:  "Oh gosh, you're not a raving, overly-highlighted track-suit wearing asshole.", because that's the idea that many people seem to have about us. ly

 

I didnt get that there was an anti- NY/NJ sentiment at all, but maybe Im just clueless. I've never thought of NYers as "overly-highlighted track suit wearing" either. Is that something having to do with Jersey Shore? I've seen that show one time and I could see how people would think that was "all NY/NJers" if they'd never met one in real life.

 

Most of the people Ive ever met from NY arent like that at all. 


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#89 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 03:46 PM
 
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nm
 
probably not worth sayin'

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#90 of 135 Old 11-02-2012, 06:10 PM
 
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We lucked out & weren't hit too hard where I live... this time. Last year during Irene it was horrible -- trees down every few feet, no power for a week, no food in the stores, etc. Honestly, I am still traumatized by even just the power loss, it was incredibly scary & now every time the lights blink I panic.

I do understand your question, agree the timing is bad... but anyway. As far as the "minor" power outage issue (in areas otherwise not severely damaged)... we live in a suburban/rural area:

Many people around here have electric stoves. Some have camp stoves or grills, but as was already mentioned, you can't use them inside, and outside was way too dangerous. Converting to gas is expensive & unattainable for many, and even wood stoves aren't cost-attainable for most. Many have oil or gas heat but the furnace still requires some electricity to run. Luckily it wasn't too cold this time.

The shelf-stable goods in the grocery stores were nearly completely sold out when I went shopping to prepare for this storm. Of course you could buy milk & eggs, no one was touching them since we knew we might lose everything in our fridges like we did with Irene. Canned goods were sold out. Chips, peanut butter, etc... gone. There was nothing on the shelves. Sure, we had a few days to prepare but I guess that is not enough time for the grocery stores to stock up.

Generators were sold out. Many people have them already after a few bad storms in recent years, but certainly not everyone. You go to the store a few days before the storm hits, thinking this year you'll be ready? No such luck... no generators left. Without a generator, how exactly do you protect the 100oz of breastmilk in your freezer or the stockpile of meat you bought cheaper in bulk in hopes of feeding your family for the next year? It was at least 50F outside, and ice in the stores was sold out. Even the gas stations ran out of gas before the storm hit.

Anyway, this is all in advance of the storm. Once it hits (and after it hit), even in the relatively unaffected areas, there were a couple days where everything was shut down. They had to remove trees from the roads. Some roads were flooded & closed. Winds were still high. All state offices were closed and so were stores. Resources were stretched thin. If you weren't lucky enough to have the time, money, and actual ability to be really well-prepared, you were definitely out of luck after the fact. And again, this is NOT in an area that was hit badly. The overall destruction here was very minimal.

The other thing that's tough about a power outage is the sense of isolation. If you don't live in a more populated area... and don't have things like an ipad, smart phone, etc. -- you can't access the news or even check in with friends. You can't keep tabs on what's going on and how long the outage is likely to last and where you can go for help or a shower or safe water. Your cell phone battery dies after a couple of days and you're completely, totally alone. You can't call for help if you need it. You can't call family & friends to make sure they survived the storm.

***

I also want to point out something about the cost of living out here. It's high. The local economy is terrible... many are without jobs and resources, and many of those that do have jobs are still not making enough to survive. My family is one of them. We have cut back everywhere we can but we still can't make ends meet on a good month. We do not have even an extra $10 to buy camping equipment or tons of batteries for flashlights or extra shelf-stable convenience food (aka things you don't need to cook or refrigerate). We certainly can't afford a generator. This area is already suffering, and any extra stresses on top of it -- like storms! -- can break some of us.

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