Sandy was Kind Here
I am glad to report that Hurricane Sandy was very mild here in Fredericksburg. Aside from constant light rain and light winds, we have no damage, no flooding, no snow and no downed trees. It appears all the damage went further north to New Jersey and New York. I am still catching up on all that seems to have occurred there.
With every emergency situation, we learn more. One thing the DC area seemed to have done right with Hurricane Sandy is to take early action to close schools, the federal government, businesses, etc. Although in hindsight the storm in this area was milder than expected, I imagine it made it much easier for emergency personnel to respond to storm disasters with the roads cleared. It was easier for schools and employers to communicate closures before power outages and disruption of communication networks made communication more difficult. It was also easier for parents also to plan logistics such as work commutes, child care, etc. with more notice. While we might have squeezed in one more day of work or school by resuming normal schedules today, all in all I think officials made the right decision.
It is always amazing to me to see how many people refuse to evacuate during these types of disasters. I hope that someone will study this issue and figure out what is needed to get people to heed instructions. The story from CNN about a fire in Queens (who was expecting fire during a hurricane?) showed how people who insist on staying put are asking emergency personnel to take incredible risks with their lives. We ask enough of firefighters and police on a regular basis, why make them take extra risk?
Thinking of those who were severely affected and hoping you are in a good situation very soon. Any of us could be one disaster away from losing everything. Here’s hoping Sandy will help us remember to value what is truly important in our lives and to find the positives even in adversity.