Sunday, November 4, 2012

Quotable quotes about Hurricane Sandy

The weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth continues.  From someone in Staten Island, New York:

Domingo Isasi, waiting in a gas line on Staten Island, minced no words about the divide he perceived between Manhattan and the outer boroughs.

"The priorities are showing, simply by the fact that Manhattan got their power back," he said, adding that Staten Islanders are used to being lower on the list. "We're the bastard kids who keep getting slapped in the head and told to shut up," he said.

Clearly, he's never figured out that if you live on - wait for it - AN ISLAND, and you lack your own power station, then the power lines have to reach you from places off the island.  That means the neighborhoods through which those lines run will inevitably get power before you do, because the lines running to and through them will have to be fixed before repair crews can do your neighborhood any good.  That's not discrimination - it's geography.  However, I suspect Mr. Isasi's mind is made up, and he won't want to be confused with the facts . . .

I fear New Yorkers have a different definition of 'uninhabitable' to many of us.  Governor Cuomo is quoted as having said:

"People are in homes that are uninhabitable ... It's going to become increasingly clear that they're uninhabitable when the temperature drops and the heat doesn't come on."

Mr. Cuomo, I have news for you.  If your property becomes uninhabitable just because the power's out, it's not the fault of the power company;  it's the fault of whoever failed to properly build and insulate your home - plus, it's your fault for not rectifying those deficiencies long ago!  This isn't rocket science.  We've known for a very long time how to properly construct and insulate buildings.  If those standards are still not in common use in New York City, whose fault is that?  Even if the building is cold, you can still shelter in it.  Just bundle up to keep warm, huddle together in a single room to share body heat (and close off the other rooms to conserve the warmth in the shared one), improvise heat sources (always providing adequate ventilation if open flames are involved), and so on.  Shelters can be set up to provide warmth (even tents will do, if they have forced-draft ventilation).

Perhaps the quote of the week concerning Sandy comes from fellow blogger Acair Fearann:

"The blogosphere is apparently composed of an equal number of Manhattanites claiming the world ended and Midwesterners/Texans claiming the world didn’t end and anyway if it had they would have dealt with it better than those wimpy Yanks who are stupid enough to live in a city.  California is oddly silent."



Anonymous said...

For precisely the reasons Peter highlighted, I recently added a natural gas furnace to my 2-year-old house, replacing the resistance backup heat that comes on when it's cold enough the heat pump alone can't maintain indoor temps. Cost-$6,000. Who paid it? Me. Reason? NG is more reliable than electricity (we occasionally get ice storms here that kill power for 3-6 days), and I have the ability to run the NG furnace by itself with my portable generator which I can't do with the heat pump or resistance heat.

But the generator needs fuel, you say. Sure does, which is why I have a pair of 100 gallon propane tanks to fuel the gas fireplace AND run the generator. At .4 GPH that's 2.9 weeks of 24/7 generator time. If NG stops flowing, I can heat 60% of the house with the propane fireplace. Not enough? A Mr. Heater Big Buddy propane (uses 16 oz camping cylinders and can be hooked to a 20 lb tank), and as a last resort, a 23K BTU kerosene heater and 15 gallons of K-1.

Cooking? A propane grill with two 20 pound tanks and one 40 pound tank; small charcoal grill and 8 bags of charcoal; a Coleman dual fuel camping stove, and; the "recreational" fire pit on the patio.

Lights? Glad you asked. Maglite flashlites (1 per room, either D-cell or AA); 4 Rayovac LED battery lanterns; 3 Eveready LED battery lanterns; 4 Aladdin kerosene lamps; two BrytLyte all-fuel mantle lamps; one Coleman dual fuel mantle lantern; 4 boxes of a dozen candles each. Batteries? Amazon does "subscribe and save" on batteries, and the local Home Depot just put 36-pack AA batteries on sale for $12.99. Locally, Walgreens puts their D-cells on sale about every 10 weeks.

Food and water? Sorry, the list is too long.

The point is, these supplies were accumulated over a period of 15 years, a little at a time, and all of it was purchased on sale or a negotiated reduced price, as budget allowed. Each grocery trip includes 4-6 extra cans/packages of "on sale" food we like (one of the local chains frequently does "buy one, get one" events) to go into the "emergency closet" Each family camping trip (we do several hiking trips each year) produces an extra can or two of freeze dried or dehydrated food for the closet, more if it's on sale and/or the budget allows. For example, 2 months ago Lowes had two 20 lb bags of charcoal for $9.99. I bought 4 bags - $20 - to double what we had on hand.

If you're whining because you're freezing in the dark it's no one's fault but your own. Either you run your life or your life runs you. Pick one.

acairfearann said...

My inner snark escaped...
I am always baffled by houses that are built north of D.C. that don't have working fireplaces. I can empathize with the plight of people in apartments, it is astonishing how fast the temp. drops when the heat is turned off in a high-rise. But, in a house???
Of course, you may have to drain the pipes quicklike first, but you won't freeze.

Peter said...

Most of Staten Island's electricity is generated right on the island, at the gas-fired Arthur Kill plant.

trailbee said...

Great post and comments. Sorry about the silence from CA. Half of CA is still moving their lips, trying to figure out which propositions need which answer. The other half has become self-reliant, something acquired from constant shakers. It is not polite to brag. :)