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Snow-mageddon post mortem

. Pete

The worst has passed, and you now have a story to annoy your kids and grandkids with.

“Hey you kids, this snowfall is ‘perilous,’ according to the artificial intelligence know-it-alls we have ‘predicting’ the weather today. But it’s pretty lame next to The Great Snow-mageddon of ‘11. Have I ever told you that story?”

“Only about a zillion times, Grandpa.”

“Well, sit yer ass down and listen again…”

Most of us in my social circle had this experience: Monday we heard stories of the local supermarkets being out of things like bread and milk. We were warned to leave work early Tuesday afternoon. By early Tuesday evening things were starting to “look kinda hairy,” and by Tuesday night people were abandoning their cars on Lake Shore Drive en masse, seeking shelter in Hoth-like conditions on foot without a tauntaun.

Wednesday was mostly spent trapped in your abode, though the intrepid, crazy, or very fortunate might have ventured out a bit. Shoveling a small place for the dog to pee. ComEd and Comcast fell down in lots of places. By Wednesday evening, the spark of normal connectedness started to show again. Some people still had no power, and thus no heat. But by Thursday life was mostly back to as close to normal as was normal for you. The power was probably back on, the internet back up, and the dogs had places to walk.

We had a few days heads-up, and we here at SHC had accommodating management encouraging preparation and safety.

So… what’s something you wished you had done better, or knew about, or learned? Or what’s something that surprised you in a good way?

My own answers: I’m kind of a wingnut, here; I was pretty well prepared. Even if the power had gone out, the internet dropped off, and gravity stopped working, I had redundancies. Something I could have done better was not head out with a few friends late Tuesday for White Castles; that was dumb. I was very lucky, and of course WC was closed.

Something that surprised me in a good way: I ran a shelter for the Red Cross in my area, for the first time evah, and I learned people come to disaster shelters for aid, for relief on one of the worst days of their year; but others also come out to be helpful. They bring toys for kids, and DVDs, laptops, and projectors for everyone to watch movies with. They bring things they’ve baked, blankets, cans of soup, and stuffed animals. They open their homes to strangers and say “you can come stay with us, so you don’t have to sleep in a gymnasium on a cot.”

In my corner of the world, it was the “best” kind of disaster; I had a heads up it was coming, it lasted a day or so, and was just rough enough to teach me some valuable lessons without anyone getting hurt.

How about you?

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At 2/09/2011 10:35:00 AM, Blogger Jackie Mitchell said...

There really is nothing like seeing the "Red Cross Movement" move. It's remarkable. We sheltered more than 360 people that night throughout "Bears Country." We also witnessed hundreds of spontaneous social media volunteers help us matchmake commuters who had been trapped in cars on Lake Shore Drive for hours with do-gooders who live along the Lake who could offer restrooms and warmth until the warming buses could take them to our shelters. Remarkable. A city of big shoulders and hearts, indeed.


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