Saturday, November 03, 2012

"After a Hurricane, there's a rainbow" - Katy Perry

What a week it has been! I keep thinking of how normal life was one week ago. Yes, there were news of impending storm, but we had Irene last year and made out ok. I can easily say, this was unexpected beyond imagination!

We are in PA so our area suffered slightly compared to others in NY and NJ. We have uprooted trees and power outages throughout the area. The uprooted trees that always stun me are the thick trunk ones with the roots that have gone deep into the earth.We were fortunate to have electricity (even though there was a tree branch precariously on a wire), and we could host friends seeking warmth, phone chargers and homemade corn soup.

When I woke up on Tuesday morning and just cried with relief that we were all safe. Monday night was rough listening to the winds and we woke up all night to make sure our power was still on. If we lost power, we'd lose our sump pump, which was running all day to extract water from our basement. With the howling high winds, we decided to stay away from windows and get blankets to sleep in the basement together. For me, social media was important - I kept checking all day to see updates from friends on weather conditions as well as their own power situations. A friend's husband was stuck out of state and she had to managing a midnight power outage and starting up the generator on her own. She and I were texting at wee hours of the morning.

Everyone has stories and this week has changed people. Before and during the storm, we ended good byes to friends with "Stay safe" message. Afterwards, when we meet each other, the first thing we say is "How did you make out from the storm? Is everyone ok?"

I have colleagues in NY & NJ who were hit pretty hard and we haven't heard too much except due to their limited power. Yesterday, a colleague in Staten Island was emailing me while waiting in line for gas. He said my emails kept up the spirits of "tired and frustrated man". He sent a note at 6pm saying that 8 hours waiting for gas and nothing. He has to try again tomorrow.

I'm reaching out to my network today to see how we could help (donate supplies or food). I'm in PA, but I'm a New Yorker and a Jersey Girl at heart. The fact that my FB news feed still has posts from friends without electricity and hot water and are displaced is disheartening.

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