Monday, November 12, 2012
Posted by Chandeen Santos
I live in NY and I really feel that I have to write about Hurricane Sandy. My home is in the Hudson Valley (pretty far up north) so we were not affected more than the inconvienance of having no electricty for three days. But many people in my state and nearby were affected greatly. My heart goes out to these families and I pray that they will be able to build their lives back again soon.
Last year around this time the upstate area was hit pretty hard. With Hurricane Irene we had no power for eight days and my town was flooded with many families loosing their homes. I understand what it is like to go through such hardship.
I don't mean to compare my problems to those who lost their homes, cars, or even loved ones. I just thought I would tell my story.
We take our electricity for granted in this country. My time living in India has shown me that not everybody knows what it is like to have power twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In Goa, we used to have brown outs and loss of electricty all the time. We would sigh, unplug the t.v (I didn't have a computer yet) and pick up and candle and a book.
But here, in the US, my husband and I rely on the electric, and the internet, for everything. We have internet phone, and only watch streaming t.v. So when our power went out we had no phone, no t.v. and no internet. We didn't even have a battery operated radio. My husband had to drive ten minutes away just to find out if we had to go to work on Tuesday and Wednesday. We have no cell phone reception.
We also had no water because our well pump runs on ... you guessed it...electricity. Oh, and our heat is started with electric too, so no heat either.
Everything in our refrigerator went bad.
The good thing about my house in a storm, is that it is a stucco house with cinderblock walls. The only way we could even tell that the wind was strong was by looking at the trees out our window. The house did not creek, move, or make any sounds at all. In fact, last year for Irene, I literally slept though the whole storm, and this year, Jeff slept through Sandy.
For three days my husband and I hung around the house reading books and magazines. I got really tired of my magazines. At first, I was all excited. I got my big stack of unread magazines and climbed into my warm bed. But after about three hours of that I got bored. There are only so many food recipes you can read before you get hungry and want more than warm yogurt or cold soup.
My husband was sick. The poor guy had a fever and chills. I tried to get him some cold medicine but it was too late when I went to the pharmacy (they sell the cold medicine only behind the pharmacy counter and the pharmacy was closed). He also does not believe in anything herbal, so my family home remedies were strictly rejected. I bundled him up and left him alone. Once in a while I would make him a cup of tea to try to get some liquids in him.
This is what our living room looked like:
Wednesday morning was the worst. We had work (we both work in the same district) and had to get up at 4:45 AM in the dark. We still had no electricity. Lucky for me, I had gone to the gym the day before and taken a shower, but my husband was not so lucky. He boiled a pot of water and took a sponge bath.
When we got home from work the electricity was back. We were soooo happy. It took a little longer to get the internet back but it was nice to have heat, water, you know, all the stuff us privileged Americans are used to.
What was your experience of hurricane Sandy? (Or any other hurricane for that matter.) I do plan to do a little more prep for the next one. I need a battery operated radio, another flashlight (we only had one), more water jugs, more canned soup and other non-perishables, and maybe a couple of lamps (and a lot less yogurt). What do you buy when inclement weather is predicted?