Well, disaster struck Northwestern Oklahoma and the Panhandle. High-line poles are broken for miles and sparking wires have been draping homes, barns, and garages. People out here are being reminded that life does not revolve around things that plug into the outlet. The way people are reacting is varied but mostly they are loving and sympathetic, trying to help each other. There are a few unprepared individuals who are panicky or angry. If you are new to the area, that's understandable. Panic and anger do nothing but make things worse for yourself and everyone around you though. There are so many better ways to rise to the challenge of this situation. What we need is good old-fashioned pioneer spirit and determination.
For those who are able-bodied:
- Stay out of the way. Seriously. Let the utility crews and other personnel do their job. I know you are probably stir crazy but be courteous.
- Check on your neighbors. This is a good time to get to know them if you don't. It's a good time to mend relationships if things have been strained between you. Turn the other cheek and be the better person.
- Consider your resources. If you have a gas range and can cook, ask a neighbor with a deep-freezer if they would like for you to cook up thawing meat for them. If you are one of the blessed with electricity or a generator, offer to move food to your place to keep for a neighbor.
- Clean up. Refer to #1 before you do anything and make absolutely sure it's safe first! If you have a chain saw or a chipper, do whatever maintenance and get it ready.
Fire prevention. One big concern as things thaw and dry out is LOTS of DEAD WOOD piled up ready to CATCH fire. BAD. If you have a chipper, please chip as much as you can. If not, find out who does. Also, some houses had VERY LOW voltage which is bad on wires and circuits. Be very careful and watch for smoke around your neighborhood.
For those of you still angry. I'm going to rant here and probably not be very nice... If you are new to the area: we are Panhandle Pioneers and have lived through Dust Bowl, Devastating Droughts, Range Fires, Flash Floods, and Tornadoes. Buck up and help or Pack up and leave. We don't need bad attitudes telling us WE aren't doing enough for YOU. We are Pull-Together people and if you can't join us, just go away and leave us alone. We're better off without you here if that's how you insist on acting.
For the rest of my neighbors, community, and those coming from all over to help us. THANK YOU. You are awesome and so much appreciated!