Hard Times with a Soft Side

Guest Post by Michael Chambers (guest posts are moderated, but not approved or endorsed by the CCA Steering Committee)
Snowstorm Nemo, like Hurricane Sandy, left many residents of Charlestown in the dark and without water and heat. Those people fortunate enough to have generators were able to shower and cook hot meals in the aftermath of these storms, but the majority of the population either had to make do with their own ingenuity or move in with friends and relatives who had power.

The opportunities for people to help their neighbors through these hard times were many. Listening to WPRO on my transistor radio, I heard of several instances where neighbors helped neighbors by sharing their homes, their hot meals, their showers and toilet facilities so their neighbors and friends could have some comfort during these hard times. During both storms nerves were frayed due to the length of time people had to wait for their electricity to return. However, this snowstorm added the inconvenience of freezing temperatures to the mix. So those people who shared their homes were even more of a godsend. It is good to know that we have neighbors so willing to help.

There were many other ways people helped, like shoveling or snow blowing driveways, or delivering wood, or just calling people to see if there was anything that could be done. Reaching out during the storms was so much more preferable than to listening to people complain about what the power company was not doing. It was also encouraging that the elderly and infirm were on the top of the list to get assistance. The town of Charlestown has to be commended for its dedication and Herculean efforts in keeping the residents from being further inconvenienced.

If there is one thing that I would like to see happen, it would be that the State and National Grid adjust their emergency plans to give higher priority to areas that do not have city water. Potable water is even more important than electric power over the short term.