Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.
While other storms have come to parts of the country since, the major winter storm has passed. Thankfully, it was not nearly as bad here as predicted. I hate to say this, but we may need to thank our mayor Boss Hogsbreath for that, since he said in advance it would be historic. As with almost everything he says or predicts, not so much.
Others were not so lucky, and sadly the death toll is still climbing. The worst area was also the one area that should have been the best prepared: western NY state. Rather than focus on the failure and/or incompetence of the governments state and local, let’s look at this more with a focus on the individual.
While the failure to pre-position equipment and supplies was one of the largest and most glaring failures of government, it raises a question: Did you have emergency stocks at work and in your vehicle(s)? It may not have been a huge amount, but I always had some things tucked away in the desk or cubicle when I worked office jobs. Same held true for non-office jobs as my locker usually held a few things.
When it comes to vehicles, there’s been a meme going around Twitter that points out that if your vehicle has weapons and magazines everywhere, but no food, water, etc., that basically you’re an idiot. I agree. Your vehicle should always have a bail-out bag, and when a winter storm is coming you should also have a bag with food, water, blankets, and anything else you can think of to help you stay warm and safe.
Which brings up another point. It’s not like this storm hit with no warning. Blizzard. Massive lows. Here’s a thought: stay home! I’ve worked a few jobs that were designated critical, where I had to go in as the job had to get done no matter what. Most jobs aren’t critical for all management would like people to think otherwise. I (and others) got a former manager mad a few years ago because during a winter storm we flat out told him the job was not worth our lives, and no we would not be in until conditions improved. He huffed and puffed, and we didn’t care. It literally wasn’t worth our lives, and they would have been in severe risk.
A blizzard or major winter storm is not the time to be out driving, and it is also most especially not the time to be out walking around. I don’t care how bad the craving for a candy bar may be, walking any distance in heavy falling snow with deep snow already on the ground and well-below-zero wind chills is a bit foolish. Life or death, layer up and do what you have to for the situation. If it is not literally a matter of life or death, just stay home.
While I know that some businesses count being out as a strike against you if there is no government no-travel order in place, again, is that job worth your life? Are they going to pay for your injuries or provide for your family if you are killed coming in to work (or at work for that matter)? If no, take the strike and you really should be looking around anyway IMO. Just look at how many died in NY because the no-travel order came criminally late.
All over the country there were a LOT of house fires. Most of them the result of improper (and sometimes impromptu) heaters. I will admit I need to up my heater game, but the time to do that is not during the storm. Make your choices in advance, ensure safety and proper ventilation, and be sure you have smoke/CO detectors and fire extinguishers. Also, if you use any form of electric heat, make sure the circuit can take the load.
That will do for a quick wash, and I hope that all of you survived the storm in comfort and safety! Here, the power flickered but did not go out and the local power company was on top of all the outages in the area. While literally tens of thousand did lose power around here, it was — for the most part — of short duration.
May all our emergencies be of short duration, and remember that preparedness always pays!