Friday, August 26, 2011

Remembering Hurricane

While living in Miami, I'd experienced many hurricanes. 
Most damaging were Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

Both times, the south Florida region was without electricity for weeks.

What struck me the hardest was the realization of how we relied on electricity for everything.
  • No more microwaves or electric stoves. We had to go back to fire and charcoal to cook food or boil water.
  • Without refrigerators, storing fresh food became impossible. (Oh, how we craved for refreshing ice cold drinks.)
  • The cordless phones and cell phones stopped working.
  • No more television, internet, e-mails, or texting. Radio lasted as long as your battery lasted.
  • Stores couldn’t open because they couldn’t operate cash registers and security systems.
  • Without the machines to process them, the credit cards were useless. Banks and ATMs didn’t work, so cash in hand was all you’ve got. (And nobody accepted bills larger than 20 dollars.)
  • The supply of gasoline stopped, so we could not drive anywhere.
  • Hospitals couldn’t operate any of the medical equipments.
  • And all the time, we had the unsettling, helpless feeling that if anything bad happened, the chance of getting help in time - police, fire fighters, or ambulances, was very slim.
 Without electricity, everything our civilization built in the last two centuries just crumbled away.

It is absolutely mind boggling to think that such precious power that our entire civilization stands upon is built on such fragile infrastructure.

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