This past storm called “Sandy” has proven one thing we are a vulnerable Nation. We thought here especially on the Northeast coast were so invincible to anything Mother Nature can throw at us, as we did in the past, yet we experienced a very rude humbling awakening with this storm.
We were warned for over a week, by all those who predict the weather that “Frankenstorm” was coming our way, yet our government agencies and our utilities companies were so ill-prepared. The aftermath was so despicable it left us all defenseless in a disgraceful dreadful mess of substandard inefficiencies.
Parts of Jersey City, the second largest city in New Jersey and Hudson had sections remaining in the darkness, powerless for over (5) five days. This is an unacceptable (F) grade, “a total failure”. There were trees down for days, affecting electric poles, wires and power transformers, blocking streets, leaving hazardous situations to all residents, residing in the area.
We received messages from government officials before the storm, but after, communications and information were almost non-existent, even by any non-electrical methods. Sympathy, compassion and understanding were thrown out the window, by the same authorities we relied upon. We were not only victims of “Sandy”, but we were also exploited by numerous agencies, especially by Public Service Gas and Electric.
As always the first responders, Police, Fire, EMT’s were exceptional, and neighbor did help neighbor, thank you!
This is the 21st century, the age of instant information and technology, yet we found ourselves going backwards in time. Our cell phones were inoperative. We had no electric; heat, computers, internet, or television, food was dwindling or getting spoiled. We were forced into a wilderness of darkness and silence. Terrorist actions could have been administered and we would still have remained clueless. Any modern forms of communications came to an abrupt halt except for the radio.
PSE and G must update their system, with better organizational structure, networks and emergency procedures to combat any and all catastrophes. This will not only enhance efficiency but will also decrease hardship to their customers. They’re quick enough, with all their arrogance, to shut off your power if you don’t pay your bill on time, but what consequences are placed upon them when they experience unnecessary incompetence and fault? All they do is make excuses, blame others or: Acts of God. They obviously weren’t prepared to handle this situation; this was out of their league, why? Are they accountable to no one, but themselves? Hopefully this didn’t adversely affect anyone’s health?
They should not only take the high road of common decency by offering all resident that experienced loss of power credit, for the days lost including any additional reimbursement for all food spoilages or anything else lost through their malpractices?
My prayers and sorrow are extended to all those, everywhere, who lost their homes and property, especially for all those who lost family members and dear friends in this travesty. God Bless and protect us always.
William P. Frasca
Jersey City, N.J.