Power Lines Sunrise

After a week without power it was back to life as normal. But that time without power felt like much longer than a week. It was a lesson learned in humility and appreciation of the things we have and those which we take for granted. As a new resident to the Jersey shore community I near the hardest hit areas and consider myself fortunate to not have any damage to my property other than the loss of power.

In a way the storm started out as any other hurricane that many others have experienced with the rain and wind. But then the lights went out. In most circumstances this is not any cause for concern. It’s certainly not the first times the lights have gone out in Jersey and it certainly won’t be the last. This is when it’s time to bring out the board games, card games, turn on the radio and continue life as normal. Then there are some that go to the laptops and phones unknowning of how long the power will be out.

Then hours pass, days go by and the biggest problem most people will tell you was not the fact that we lost power because there are those that lost so much more. We were thankful to have a roof over our head and our health. The biggest problem that this storm taught us was how in today’s world of news as it happens, we had no information anywhere of when the power would come back on. Even with the radio, they were unaware. An old TV radio failed to work as the signals are now digital. Then, a more disturbing fact came to light. Despite the fact of what we had experienced over 10 years ago, we still had no way of adequately handling high volumes of cellular traffic, phone calls or 3g/4g networks. In some respects getting a signal was nearly as difficult as it was on 9/11 with signals hard to come by despite how many times we would charge our phone in our vehicles draining those batteries to keep some sense of normalcy and communication with the outside world risking the chance we would drain our car batteries and be stranded.

If we can take away anything from this storm, I think it is that we are too over-reliant on electricity. Thankfully I was in a home with a gas stove, gas water heater, and a propane grill. Despite what is heard on the news, not a lot of food was thrown out either. Most food was able to be salvaged and made into meals during this time. There is no reason to throw everything out and create waste just because something is defrosted. I think we forget sometimes that we don’t actually eat frozen food, that we defrost and cook our food. We also were fortunate to have some very cold nights with temperates in the 30s. I encourage everyone to put a thermometer in their refrigerators and see just out cold there refrigerator is and to find out is is just under 40 degrees. This isn’t to say nothing was thrown out, but to see the mass amounts of garbage and people in fast food restaurants as soon as they began to open up was disturbing that people in their homes had no food and were never prepared for any type of outage and were over-reliant on refrigerators and freezers to keep their food and stored nothing else {end rant}.

It makes you wonder what would happen if the power would be out for a longer period of time. For those that have not watch TV in awhile there is a new show on called Revolution. It’s a interesting look at a post-apocalyptic world with no power in the not too distant future. The premise of the show without going into spoilers is that they are all trying desperately to turn the power back on, but for the most part they have learned to be resourceful and live without the power. For some in Jersey the power is not turned on 14 days later and they are moving towards that reality.

It’s scary to think what could happen, but hopefully we can learn to not rely on electric for everything in our lives. As things get back to normal and we start watching on-demand programming since our DVRs stop recording, we should think about our purchases next time we want to read a book on an iPad or Kindle instead of buying the actual book, or when we pick up the latest video game. A lot to be ┬álearned and a lot still to learn.

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