Monday, August 12, 2013


With high summer temperatures and even higher heat indexes, this icy sparkle is more than tempting.

In reality, however, ice can be quite dangerous.  I learned that firsthand during the winter of 1991.  I jolted awake to the sound of repeated gunfire.  Disturbing in any neighborhood, it was totally foreign to my peaceful residential street.  Standing to the side of the window, I cautiously ventured a peak outside.  There was no sign of guns, but the world outside had been transformed into a brilliant wonderland with trees covered in sparkling ice.  Soon I realized that the gunfire sound was caused by huge tree limbs that were breaking under the weight of the ice.  The limbs were everywhere.  They blocked the street, brought down electrical wires and one had even fallen through an enclosed porch at the side of my house.    I didn’t know it then, but it would be over two weeks before electrical power would be restored to my home.

Prior to that ice storm, I had never given much thought to emergency preparedness.  When I was finally able to reach a store, the battery, candle and flashlight aisles were empty.  So were many of the food aisles, particularly the bread and canned good sections.   It seemed that a lot of people weren’t prepared.  In many ways, I was lucky.  My gas furnace could be manually started, so I didn’t have to join the huge crowds that slept on floors in the designated shelters.  After three days, I was able to travel to the hospital where I worked.  The hospital had emergency generators and the cafeteria served warm food.  When local restaurants had their power restored, I ate my dinner there.  Friends with several children could not afford to do that and cooked their dinner on a grill despite freezing outdoor temperatures.

It pays to think about emergency preparedness ahead of time.  If you don’t have the time or inclination to research all that is needed to be prepared, consider purchasing disaster survival kits!  These have been assembled by folks, who know what is needed and assembled in waterproof packs.  You can even buy emergency food packs.    We never know what a new day will bring, but basic preparations insure that we have tools to face a disaster and offer peace of mind.

No comments :

Post a Comment