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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/17/2021 in all areas

  1. re micro-level Individual Responsibility vs macro-level government responsibility It's not a binary choice, every homesteader for themselves vs full-on SOCIALISM. It's branded that way sometimes, but I really, really, really don't see it that way. Individuals can make very basic household-level emergency preparations -- enough shelf-stable food on hand to get through a week or so (even if non-favored food); sufficient water to drink and cook (even if toilets get a bit gross and dishes aren't washed as promptly or thoroughly as usual); flashlights and non-tip candles; a container or two of extra gas on hand in the event that evacuation is necessary and you own a car. Beyond that: there are limits even to household emergency preparedness. Some people live in apartments or rentals and do not "own" their own heating capacity; some people lack the space to store and the extra income to afford 3+ weeks' worth of provisions; some people have no practical means of assuring meaningful water supply; some people are precluded by multi-dwelling building codes from using wood-burning stoves/ oil based heaters... and etc. And individuals can't do anything at all to ensure buildings are built to withstand earthquakes or flooding or inhibit the spread of fire; or that sprinklers and alarm detectors are installed; or that walls are adequately insulated or windows are hurricane-proof. That is the business of building codes. Everyone (except, tellingly, insurance companies) hates building codes, they add cost and hassle and buyers don't *see* their benefit in the short term. But strong codes really do result in fewer buildings falling down. And individuals have no levers at all to influence whether or not -- as an example -- power generation companies in mostly-warm locations bother to invest in de-icing equipment; or whether or not -- as an example -- power generation companies bother to enter into, and pay for, connectivity and reciprocity agreements with adjacent grids in adjacent states. Only government can do that. Individual households have literally zero capacity to effect those kinds of intrinsically macro decisions. And yet they very much matter. This. Both / and. It's not binary. We're all in the same canoe, whether we like that or not and whether we'd choose that or not. And also: we each have a responsibility to use our own paddles.
    20 points
  2. Well, I’m a bit of a prepper (the kind that doomsday preppers laugh at) so I think individual planning is extremely important. I’m also a CERT (community emergency response team) member in a family of paid and volunteer emergency responders, so I believe in municipal-county-state-federal responsibly and planning. And I also believe in climate change, among other disaster causes. Combining personal and governmental responsibility is, IMO, the way to go and I can’t imagine what might change my mind. And that is, in part, due to a lack of equitable resources.
    20 points
  3. You keep going because the world keeps spinning, whether you want it to or not. A few thoughts (having also lost a loved one by suicide): 1. It's ok to be angry. It's even ok if some day you feel really angry at him. You get to feel whatever the heck you are feeling. You don't need to apologize for it, or explain it, or whatever. Feeling is a healthy part of grieving, and I think danger creeps in when we don't allow ourselves to feel. 2. People don't know how to handle others who are grieving. We do a crap job as a society at grieving and we no longer have the customs (like wearing mourning colors) to know how to deal with it all. When people don't know what to say or do, they ignore you because they don't want to feel uncomfortable themselves. It's not fair, it really sucks, and in my own experience, friendships have both been born and died on big turning points like this. You can either choose to say, "thanks" to SIL and let it go or you can choose to point out that you felt hurt by their neglect. "This has been so very painful. I have felt really alone because no one reached out to me in those early days and weeks." 3. My caveat to #1 and #2 is while we get to feel whatever we want to, it's not helpful to lash out at others. If you want support, taking out your negative feelings on others only drives them away. I am not saying that you have done that, would do that, or whatever....I'm just telling you what I had to tell myself daily to not implode a bunch of family situations on my own. I highly recommend baseball bats, breaking dishes, kickboxing, whatever you need to do physically to work through the hormones of anger. I used to throw ice at my back fence. You get the double joy of breaking the bag up into pieces with a knife or wooden spoon plus hurling it. 4. Expect to need a year to feel fully yourself again, at minimum. Seriously. 5. Counseling.
    20 points
  4. 1. This is traditional Texan flavor Republican rhetoric—everything is your responsibility. The government has none. This is why HEB, a grocery store, has disaster relief trucks and why a furniture store owner in Houston opens his stores to let people charge phones and sleep. 2. They are not pointing fingers at ERCOT, and should be. If the power had stayed on, very little damage would have occurred. ERCOT could have mandated insulating their wells and facilities and didn’t. Right now, elected Texan officials are pointing fingers at wind power (officials whose campaigns are funded by oil and gas) when the bulk of the failures happened on traditional sources. Ironically, when we saw all of the huge oil spills after hurricanes we did not see the same fingerpointing at the oil companies. 3. Is Texas going through some things right now? Yes, and it’s tragic. It’s seeing a lot of weather extremes at least partially tied to rising sea temperatures and it’s having a lot of impact from bad weather. Some measure of disaster response does need to improve at the local level to address the continued extreme events happening. 4. we left TX for earthquake and wildfire country. They flat out tell us here to be prepared for at least three weeks. If I were to poll my neighbors, I doubt anyone is. My friends in Austin say people are out of diapers and medications. We should have some personal responsibility in this area...but these impacts are difficult to address among the very poor where Medicaid limits how early you can refill and where you are already living paycheck to paycheck. TX has a LOT of poverty, and few resources for the poor.
    19 points
  5. I am so sorry. Because loss of a loved by suicide adds so many more layers to the grief and pain, it would really help if you could find a grief counselor skilled in this area who can help walk you through all this. Alliance for Hope is an organization of support for those suffering loss of someone close to them from suicide. This web page is where to start; click on the "new survivors" link to read suggestions of how to cope in these early days. Then there are links for books that may be of help; a community forum; a search engine to help find a local support group; and the ability of phone/skype consultations with professionals if there is no support nearby locally. May you be granted peace in the midst of this terrible storm. Warmest regards, Lori D.
    18 points
  6. Y’all- DD and I shoveled the driveway and walk with.... a dustpan. I feel like Hercules.
    13 points
  7. I was surprised to read this comment from the lead character in a book I just finished A Gentleman in Moscow. My "boys" are 17 now and raising teens is so different from raising the little guys. I know, duh. I've often said to my boys (jokingly), "I took better care of you than you take of yourself! You're ruining my project!!" Anyway, I love this paragraph (it gets better by the fourth sentence): A Gentleman in Moscow, p. 322. "Should we feel shortchanged by the notion that their experiences for the moment may be richer than ours? I think not. For it is hardly our purpose at this late stage to log a new portfolio of lasting memories. Rather, we should be dedicating ourselves to ensuring that they taste freely of experience. And we must do so without trepidation. Rather than tucking in blankets and buttoning up coats, we must have faith in them to tuck and button on their own. And if they fumble with their newfound liberty, we must remain composed, generous, judicious. We must encourage them to venture out from under our watchful gaze, and then sigh with pride when they pass at last through the revolving doors of life. . . ."
    12 points
  8. Californians prepare for earthquakes. Houstonians prepare for hurricanes (do they?). New Englanders plan for Nor'easters. I don't think they can *prevent* all damage from catastrophic events, but I believe they can greatly reduce their effects. As I said in the other thread, I do not feel that ERCoT has done their job, which is to keep the lights on. While I haven't seen any damage estimates, yet, I will almost guarantee it is in the BILLIONS of dollars. IMO, much of that loss could have been avoided by better planning.
    11 points
  9. I’ll be honest, whatever we considered six weeks of water became inadequate the minute we use water from buckets to flush our toilets. I'm trying to think how in the world we’d function with no heat. We have a wood burning fireplace I was seriously thinking of converting, and now I’m rethinking that. We have our own LP tank, but that’s not reasonable for the average family. Essentially, the post was in the spirit of, “I believe we have heavy need for personal responsibility, however, I’m not sure that’s even possible for Average Family...” Truly, four days was nothing... but it was eye opening. We had tanks of gas. We were able to drive away from storm areas and reach gas. With that resource, we were able to get potable water tanks and water from my parents. But, look what has to happen there - an unaffected area, enough gas to get there, a largely unaffected area nearby that can assist, and all this without heat needs. I can’t fathom sick and elderly...
    10 points
  10. The need for government regulations such as building codes, electrical codes, etc. is also because if they were not in place, builders (even the honest ones) would make dangerous mistakes which would cost us our properties or our lives. The things found in the National Electrical Code are NOT OBVIOUS THINGS TO DO. We only know to do things a certain way because many, many houses have burned down and many, many people have been electrocuted in the past, followed by investigations and improvements of those codes. I cannot stand bureaucrats, including the ones that enforce those codes because they can be a PITA, but I also don't think I can live without them.
    10 points
  11. Oh, wow. I love that. Thanks for sharing. My 20 year old college junior called me yesterday to excitedly share an anecdote from her Pediatric nursing simulation lab she had just completed. The professor pulled her aside afterward to congratulate her on doing an amazing job and ask if she had experience working in Peds (she does not) because it seemed like she was a pro. DD responded that she thinks her scenario was so smooth and natural because (1) she knew the material really well but maybe more importantly because (2) she was homeschooled with three sisters and spent MANY years playing pretend and providing child care, so she was just super comfortable role-playing with a 6-year old (sim dummy). It was really hard to see this same DD struggle through a rough freshman year filled with some unhealthy friendships, a bad boyfriend, gaining weight, and generally just failing to find her groove. At the time, I so wanted to jump in and solve all her problems for her, but luckily DH encouraged me to give her space to settle in and fix it herself. It is all the more gratifying to watch her flying now. The growth from freshman to junior year is astounding!
    10 points
  12. Respectfully, it’s because of the lives lost and the suffering that we should talk about this. The fight to make ERCOT take responsibility and make changes is an uphill battle. They have lined their pockets while refusing to invest in the infrastructure to protect lives. It’s going to take outrage to make the politicians hold ERCOT responsible.
    9 points
  13. re constraints of multi-household dwellings Or mid-rise buildings in many cities. Or townhouse / garden apartments in many inner circle suburbs. Or the ubiquitous duplex condos that many seniors in my area move into after they've raised their families and downsized. Or senior congregant living. There is a vast range of housing where the occupants don't control their HVAC systems. Not to mention everyone who rents, whose ability to install new systems is very limited; or folks who maybe do own but don't expect to stay there for very long and thus are limited in their ability to install expensive generator / alternate heat source / etc. A great many people do not have the practical ability to go off the grid for sustained periods of time, particularly in extreme weather. [Which is different from being a complain-o-head if there are a few hours without AC or wifi, or toilet paper supplies run low, or fresh produce is unavailable for a few days.] There is a lot of space between blithe expectations that everything we want should always be available instantly at the prices we've come to expect... and everyone should be prepared to sustain themselves for weeks on end without any meaningful government support. Somewhere in the middle range of that space is reasonable expectations for households to be somewhat-prepared for emergency conditions and be somewhat-tolerant of mild inconvenience... and reasonable expectations for government (local, state and federal levels) to provide more systemic responses to the specific problems that specific emergencies entail.
    9 points
  14. I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to do the best they can to be active participants in handling the crap life throws at us. No one can prepare for every possible disaster, but we can all do our best and have a roll-with-it- and a ready- to-pitch-in -and-help attitude.
    9 points
  15. I take issue with this. I have lived in both California and in Texas, and I promise you that the climate makes all the difference in the world. You can live in coastal California without air conditioning (not in the Central Valley, i.e., Bakersfield, Modesto, Fresno, Sacramento, etc.), but holy cow--life without AC in Texas would be miserable--not just uncomfortable, but life-threateningly miserable. I have all sympathy for the folks who lived here before AC (and whose economic status today makes AC not possible). We are not "wasteful." Six months of the year with temps in the 90s and above, even at night, with humidity almost that high...I will use my AC, TYVM.
    9 points
  16. That's what I'm talking about - you can't expect people to prepare when they are not given adequate information. The power company should have known what could happen, and warned their customers - AT A MINIMUM. Like, bare minimum. They should have communicated with local government emergency services as well. Nursing homes, etc should have been warned in time to make some preparations - this, like a hurricane - came with warning time, and it sounds like the power companies did not use that time wisely. And the government either didn't push for answers, or were given wrong info, I dont know which, since they also didn't warn people what to expect and do. Prepare for a rolling black out and turn thermostat down is VERY different from "have a week's worth of water to drink plus water to flush toilets, have a way to sterilize water, have a secondary heat source or move in with someone who does or seek shelter NOW, before roads are impassible, at one of these warming stations listed. Bring XYX items to shelter with you. Pet friendly shelters are available at ABC locations. We have lifted restrictions on prescription refills for the next week, and your insurance companies have been notified. After the storm, you can contact the emergency centers at these numbers for more information" That's how it is done for hurricanes, and Texas I assume does those things then. They should have with this, but either the power companies had NO ability to imagine worst case scenarios, or they lied to government people, or government never asked, etc etc. People need to prepare, but every single citizen is not an expert on every emergency. There are ACTUAL professionals whose entire job is emergency management and disaster preparation. THOSE people research all that, and should have been coordinating a message on what to do, where to go, etc well before roads were impassible. And if the power companies and government in Texas were not sure what to do it was their responsibility to reach out to those who do! As others said, if government can't do this, what is the point at all?
    8 points
  17. I think it's a bit elitist to assume most people own single family homes. Texas is a low regulation states and business owners enjoy the benefits of that and pass all of the risk on to their customers. They get away with it by peddling a bootstrap mentality but will be first in line for a government bailout. It's a stacked deck and people are way to happy to play with it. It would be different if this NEVER happened before and this conversation NEVER came up in Texas, but it has. The "we should do something" talk eventually died down and, with no laws mandating that businesses put protections in place, businesses DO NOT put protections in place. They will always pocket the savings. They will also pass on the bill for this season's damages onto their customers and spread a rhetoric that Texans can take care of themselves. This benefits the businesses who have Texans taking care of them too. Businesses gambled that THEY wouldn't pay the price and they will probably win again. I'm a homeowner. My first purchase was a kerosene heater "just in case" I was without a heat source for a while. I grew up expecting at least one winter power outage a year and my parents had a wood stove. I think I've used this heater maybe once in 20 years. Power lines are buried in my neighborhood. I'm prepared, but if I lived a few miles north or south in a city, this would be an impractical thing to own living in an apartment or condo. I expect occasional disasters to interrupt service and to make due until repairs are made, but massive system-wide failures that have happened in the past and will happen again in the future because a company would rather pocket the money is NOT okay and should not be the responsibility of the customer. They PAID their bills. They shouldn't have to pay more because the company was greedy and felt OK gambling with people's safety. It's one thing to feel great personal responsibility when you live off the grid, but when you contract your power out to a company, the responsibility is theirs along with the profit. Stuff like this is why we have government regulations. Consumers deserve protection and they can have it by voting for it.
    8 points
  18. Is it actually possible to stock up on Rx medications? My household has 5 regular Rxs, two of which are refilled for 90 days, and 3 for only 30. None can be refilled until within a week of being used up. These are not opiods or stimulants. Two diabetes meds, synthroid, an anti-convulsant, and a non-stim ADD med. I would need hospitalization within days without my diabetes medications, regardless of how I ate. Both my son’s and husband’s meds are ones that must be stepped down and sudden stoppage can be very dangerous. I would imagine that millions and millions of people have similar situations.
    8 points
  19. I see it as a both situation. I live in a rural area so people here are much more likely to err to the side of self-sufficiency than not. We have a fairly large generator as do many people we know. Dh makes sure to keep it maintained, we keep gas jugs filled. I keep a fair amount of food on hand, although not as much as I used to (I pulled out of the prepper stuff as I found it more stressful than helpful). We are more prepared than some, less than others. It is a luxury that we are able to do what we can. We have the space and the extra funds to afford these things. If we lived in an apartment in the city it would be much more difficult. I think the power company failed the people and should have to do their part, it is crap to say the people should prep but it is ok that the power company did not.
    8 points
  20. There is also an intersection where leadership/government have a responsibility to help and guide individuals in their preparation. Was there advance warning/preparation guidance on HOW to prepare for this? Specifically how much water to have on hand, ways to stay warm without power, what to do about pipes, where to go if you wouldn't be safe at home, transportation to warming shelters for those without a way to get there, a waiver on early refill prohibitions for medication, etc? And government reaching out to the private sector, working with power companies, finding out what they need and how to get it? I mean, okay, A texan company doesn't have de-icing equipment for its gas well - could thy feasibly have sources some kind of temporary way to de-ice from another state in a lease arrangement? This was known about ahead of time - they should have been preparing and government should have been facilitating that to some extent.
    8 points
  21. I look at it this way: the more people who are prepared for self-sufficiency (which differs by circumstance), the more resources available to those who are not.
    8 points
  22. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so very hard. And I'm sorry you're not getting the support that you need. Is this brother (the one who ghosted you for weeks) biologically related to the one who passed away? Was he overcome with his own grief that he couldn't manage, or was he just being thoughtless? I would recommend a therapist or a grief group. Likely there are some groups that are made of those who are left behind from suicide. Again, I'm so very sorry. And anger is super common in these situations. Good for you that you are able to be self aware enough to know that the anger is not everyone elses' fault and that this is an expression of your grief.
    8 points
  23. The missing stray cat showed up last night. He had been out all day with windchills ranging from -3 to 3 degrees. Not sure where he went but he seemed awfully glad to be let in the garage when he came back. I was a wreck worried about him. Today has been a better day since all the fur babies I care for are safe and warm.
    8 points
  24. Yes, everybody who is living in a city apartment. And if your piped in gas goes out or the electricity with which your apt is heated, you are screwed and there is nothing you could have done to prepare for that. And if you're living in a high rise in the inner city, you won't have a fireplace either.
    7 points
  25. I think city living contributes to this honestly. City utilities/services are fairly stable compared to more rural areas. Just because you are told to prepare doesn’t mean you really get it. Someone who lives more rurally is probably a bit more accustomed to being without a few days than someone who is doesn’t face the possibility of an extended outage every few months.
    7 points
  26. I simply don’t have storage space for that much water or food. I expect many others have similar circumstances. I do keep a few days worth of basic supplies and some extra things in my vehicle. I stock up a bit when bad weather is expected. Realistically, we could never be truly prepared for a catastrophic scale disaster. We do have camping and backpacking gear, so some short term water filtration, wood cutting tools, fire starting kits, tents, solar light sources etc. But it would be far too little in an emergency that lasted weeks rather than days.
    7 points
  27. I think it is denial. Again like you the poor I understand why they can't prepare. The government needs to be there for them. I talked about this in another thread, but last year before Covid shut down the US I was stocking up on supplies as was directed. All the adult friends of mine were laughing at me thinking it was insane. They had no stock of anything at home. They shopped for what they wanted to eat or needed everyday. These we educated with high degrees, well off, and people who work in health care. They would tell me that would never happen here. The shelves would never be empty. I said ok you don't think Covid is going to do anything, but what about a natural disaster that would prevent you getting to the store, or the store not having anything or being open. Flood, fire, tornado.... What if you needed 3 days worth of food and supplies. Nope they all told me that wouldn't ever happen. They just couldn't ever imagine that would happen to them. I was floored because all these people are smart, but it just wasn't even in their minds. I think a lot of people are so far away in their lives from living in that sort of way that it just isn't something that they can think of. You drive everywhere. You have 300 channels on tv. You go out to eat all the time. Life is instant and everything can be delivered, shopped from online. You don't cook your food on a open fire. You don't go get water at the stream. The fall from our life to a life where there is no power and water is a huge drop. When a hundred years ago it wasn't as big. We are as people very insulated from a harsh life.
    7 points
  28. Do you see people planning less rather than more? I feel this way though I’m not sure my feeling is representative of truth. More and more people think these things (catastrophes and major failures on the part of governing bodies) won’t happen, while they actually are occurring incredibly frequently. Is it denial? If I don’t prepare, it won’t happen to me? Is it an inability to prepare? I don’t see middle class families prepping a lot. The poor I understand - lack of adequate resources, places to store supplies, area like a yard to burn a fire or practice skills, etc. But I feel as though there is a trend in being less prepared rather than more?
    7 points
  29. I’m surprised that people aren’t prepared for at least a week without power. I mean it stinks and isn’t convenient for anyone (and after 3 weeks of super cold weather I don’t think we have 6 weeks of water on hand any more), but my goal is to handle 6 weeks without power generally.
    7 points
  30. Thank you to everyone who responded. I have sent an email request to find out more information about a suicide loss grief support group that is somewhat local to me. I feel less full of rage today, and more just irritable. I don't like who I am right now.
    7 points
  31. I was speaking of what I see from other Texans in my life and the comments from Texas congressmen and officials. The Texas agriculture commissioner refers to wind turbines as "unproductive, energy robbing, Obama Monuments", (the quote is in the article from the Texas tribune I posted). I prefer not to get into a hair splitting discussion over the differences between various types of turbines because it's a distraction. My point is that what I am seeing here, in Texas, among a certain political stripe that has ties to natural gas and oil, is the argument that wind turbines don't work in cold weather and are thus completely unreliable and should not be built in Texas again. If wind turbines can work in Antarctica, then they can absolutely work here, in a climate that is not near as cold. And as I said before, the turbines are only responsible for 13% of the total deficit. The other 87% is from all the other sources of energy that failed. But the blame is being shuffled off to the turbines. It's not green-washing to point out what elected and appointed state officials are saying about the matter and how they have also spoken out against green energy policies.
    7 points
  32. I’m so, so sorry. I agree with Lori D’s recommendation to seek assistance from people who truly understand the complications of this type of loss. Anger is also very common in grief and loss that is outside of the typical order of nature. I have been in that place and I was not a lovely person for a while. I understand your anger, too, at those who avoided you. I have experienced something similar and I don’t know that I really forgive that betrayal. I am not friends with those people anymore. The best I could do is look at them as immature people and so I see it as their deficit; I didn’t “deserve” that treatment.
    7 points
  33. I don't know if it's actually illegal, but I agree with @Katy that it's at least dishonest. People are no longer truly giving an impartial opinion if you're paying them money for it. I agree with telling Amazon, and suggest you also consider posting a negative review with a screen shot of the offer to let other shoppers know that this person's "positive" ratings might not be what they seem.
    7 points
  34. Oh I never meant to insinuate someone here said something. I told a few patrons I was leaving for another job but I never directly told anyone dh works with. My patrons can’t even get on his campus with Covid. So it’s just strange he claims someone from work came up to him at work and said I hear your wife is quitting the library and going FT with magazine. He could have bluffed, I do not know. The library job listing was online but I didn’t say anything on Facebook about the magazine. Another librarian knew but didn’t talk to him. Small towns, who knows. The library was 28 hours a week. Now I’m full time with the magazine and it’s more money than the previous PT gigs combined. The library didn’t want to lose me but even if they opened one more weekday I knew mathematically I couldn’t increase my wages anywhere near where I needed to work there alone (basically needed to double my salary). The magazine gives some wiggle room on where I live since I won’t go in the office daily. I will start going in a sometimes but our roads are icy now and we can’t go anywhere. The kids are home for bad weather til Wednesday. On the plus side, I don’t have to rub disinfectant wipes on surfaces all day or use hand sanitizer all day now. The home I’m supposed to move in is under construction and the landlord hasn’t been real solid on move-in-ready date. I told him I may have to look for another place because I need something before the hearing lined up. Dh said you are not coming back here after the hearing. Legally, I don’t think it’s his say. But practically, he’s right. We wouldn’t want that. I got on my own cell plan. New phone with the promotion. bought a laptop for my work. I’m trying to deal with something I don’t want to post on the public forum. Thanks for your positive thoughts.
    7 points
  35. A lot of my metro has been without power since Friday, so this is day 6. The gas stations are a mess in the worst hit areas because even if you had a generator, the gas station needs electricity to give you more gas to run it...and generators burn through gas like crazy. It is very difficult to be truly independent and self-sustaining for more than a few days outside of a farm situation.
    6 points
  36. Do you have bleach? You may already know this from past hurricanes, but you can use bleach to sanitize water - that's how I wash dishes post hurricanes. Just a few drops in the rinse water. We had enough stored clean water for drinking, but you CAN totally drink it if you use this method. 1/8 tsp to 1 gallon water. https://foodsafety.ces.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/CDC-What-to-Do-During-a-Boil-Water-Advisory-3.pdf?fwd=no Doesn't solve your misery, but if you have the bleach on hand already it is way easier than trying to get outside to a grill to boil water if power goes out. Also, if you have power right now, I'd start boiling up as much water as you can, to store in containers, in case the power goes out again. That will give you drinking water and then use bleach for washing dishes, etc.
    6 points
  37. I think it's safe to say the author wouldn't approve of helicopter parents.
    6 points
  38. No thermostats here in NZ. People heat a room when they are in it and turn off the heat when they leave. When my older boy got to college, he kept telling us stories about having to study under his covers, and then as fall turned to winter, told us about his room being quite literally freezing as in about 35 degrees. I kept saying 'there must be something wrong with your heat! *Please* talk to maintenance!" But he wouldn't because he didn't want to make a fuss. Finally, a friend came in his room in JANUARY in BOSTON, and said 'OMG, your room is freezing, do you mind if I turn your heat on.' That is when my son learned about thermostats. 🙂
    6 points
  39. The tricky part of this in my neighborhood was people did prepare...but perhaps for the wrong thing. I grew up rural in a trailer house in west Texas. It iced there many times. My home was not even set on a foundation but was still on the trailer and had corrugated tin around it as a skirt. So frozen pipes, lost power, septic pump gone, etc--I know how to handle things. When winter storms approached, we prepared for being without all utilities. Fortunately, the storms were short lived, and we could always go to grandma's house in town (but I don't remember ever needing to do that). All that to say that I did insist DH fill trucks with gasoline (no electric=no gas) (he raised suburban and likes to wing-it in general, I'm the prepper). We always have 2-3 flats of water bottles. I did NOT stock up the fridge (even though food can be set outside) because losing power with a fridge full of food seems very risky to me. I always have 7-10 days worth food in pantry. Not luxury meals. Not favorite foods. But definitely grab and go sustenance. The ONLY reason we had coats, hats, and gloves is because I bought them for a Chicago trip during Thanksgiving 2 years ago. When we moved from Dallas to Houston 8 years ago, I got rid of the coats as kids outgrew them. Never used one in Houston before this week. Hoodies and sweaters are MORE than enough every year. I would not have bought them for this week and can not find them in any stores near me at all. What I was absolutely NOT prepared for was losing ALL utilities and then for a long stretch of time. If water had stayed on, pipes would not have burst inside. Going without power was tough, but I think most people can kinda prepare for that. Although who is going to go buy a ton of blankets for a week event? Especially if you can't afford it? You won't find coats and gloves around. Plus that big $$$. I think most people could and would deal with personal discomforts and challenges. But when the walls start caving in and "hell" starts raining down inside...what do you do with that? We have been sitting ducks through this. You need water or electricity. You MUST have one of those to protect property. I'm a take care of myself, boot-strap girl. I grew up this way. I have the skills, knowledge, and now the money to be this way. I was a sitting duck. There was absolutely nothing more I could have done to protect from the damage. And I was lucky. No burst pipes (yet) and a giant pool to draw water for toilets from. (back in the day, we just went potty outdoors in the cold in a hole we dug when it came to that--DH would explode before he would drop a deuce in the cold in a hole in our yard-lol) The group that controls the power grid here is liable. Period.
    5 points
  40. We don't live in a high rise and also don't have a fireplace. SO without electricity our backup plan was layers of clothing, blankets and spending time close together.
    5 points
  41. We try to be prepared for a week or 2 unless we have advance warning that something worse is coming. But preparation is a privilege- I have space and money to buy more than today's needs. But we also need to see that climates are changing and "once in a lifetime" events are happening far more often than once in a lifetime. I think the duty is on governments and, by default the citizens who vote for and actually are the government, to change, recognize, and prepare for what's going on instead of endlessly being surprised. I saw some mayor's statement who said that nobody had any duty to help...that was disgusting. Isn't it the mayor's job to lead? And if you aren't leading in a disaster or crisis, what is your actual point of existence as a mayor?
    5 points
  42. I have linked this thread in THREE places in TWO pinned threads at the top of the High School Board: PAGE 2 of the pinned thread "High School Motherlode #1", under the "PSAT: Test Prep" section AND under the "SAT: Test Prep" section PAGE 5 of the pinned thread "High School Motherlode #2", under the "MATH" section 😄
    5 points
  43. I was referring more to Secretary Sid Miller’s comments “we should never build another wind turbine” and a lot of the rhetoric going on. TX press is handling this differently than National. Abbott has a history of calling for probes when under political pressure (see Harvey and aftermath) and then not holding ERCOT or oil companies or others to make the changes recommended. I am not necessarily anti-privatization of utilities. I am pro-regulation of utilities for health, safety, disaster recovery and performance.
    5 points
  44. Personally, left to myself, my chances of surviving or dying in an extreme emergency are probably 50/50, depending on which day it happens. I am a less-is-more person and far from a prepper, but others in my home have the opposite issue. I think this is a more complex topic than people are willing to admit. Maybe if we could take "blame" out of the discussion, it could be more rational. I think everyone should have blankets, layerable clothes, at least a small amount of drinkable water, and a basic plan in case of emergency. I think governments should have a basic plan for things that are reasonably possible and reasonably manageable. I don't expect a hot place to have enough resources to operate like Fairbanks Alaska though. Resources are scarce, and using a lot of resources on something that probably won't happen takes away from more pressing demands. IMO the most important thing during emergencies is people coming together to help each other out. Most likely, my neighbors all have different things than I have, but between all of us, we would be able to survive if we trusted each other to share resources in a crisis. TBH I don't really know my neighbors, but I've helped them out when they've needed it, so I guess they wouldn't stand there and watch me die if I needed something. I also think it's odd that people believe someone is responsible for making sure unexpected extreme events have no impact on themselves or others. I mean where does that mentality come from?
    5 points
  45. I think people don't often understand this if they haven't lived in a hot climate. Yes, insulation is important regardless of climate but in some place, such as here in Florida, houses are built to keep heat out, not in. Insulation can only do so much. Those cross breeze set-ups, high ceilings, etc. are needed. When the rare cold spell (or even rarer freeze) hits it IS hard to get the house warm and to keep it warm. In climates where heat is the issue it makes no sense to build for the rare cold weather.
    5 points
  46. I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a sibling is hard. A grief recovery support group might offer you some comfort and help. Is there a Grief Share group near you? If not, you might ask the funeral home or local churches if they know of a support group that might help. ETA: I looked, and some Grief Share groups are meeting online now. You might be able to join one even if it's not local. Regarding your BIL and wife, did either of them speak to your dh? If so, they may have felt like they did reach out, even if they didn't speak to you directly. Even if they didn't speak to your dh, though, it doesn't mean they don't care. Sometimes when there's a death, others who feel sad for you may not say anything because they genuinely don't know what to say, don't want to intrude, don't want to make you feel bad all over again by bringing it up, etc. I know it's hard, but I encourage you to try to give them some slack on this one, if you possibly can. When you are in a better place emotionally and feel you are able to discuss it with them calmly, you could let them know you wished they'd reached out sooner.
    5 points
  47. I saw a totally weird civil interaction on Facebook. It went like this: Friend: This article about (topic) is important and excellent news. Friend's Friend Who Is Clearly On The Other End of the Spectrum: Blah blah borderline offensive political rhetoric that clearly no one posting that article will listen to. Completely incorrect information. More totally incorrect information circulating on conspiracy sites. Friend: Hey, it's really good to hear from you. Actually, as you can see, according to this and this, the information in this article is factually correct. Also, I posted this because it impacts our family in this way. I hope you're doing well. Friend's Friend: I have no idea what you're talking about. Also, opposite side political rhetoric. Friend: So, I'm happy to explain. Explain explain, this is why this impacts my child and these are the ways that it impacts that child and the rest of our family and why we're happy and a two sentence history of topic from our point of view. You're a good person and I know you care about child and children in general. Friend's Friend: I have been educated and did not know that about child. This is all good to know and understand. Friend: Awesome. It's so nice to hear from you. I'm glad you're good. Friend's Friend: I'm glad you're well too. I was just like, what the heck did I just read. Did I just read that. On Facebook?!? WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING HERE. Of course, I could totally cite an opposite end experience by someone who just unfriended me and a bunch of other people I know. But... the above was very... nice.
    5 points
  48. I missed this when I read yesterday, but this was also a big issue for us. People often made assumptions about my child's intelligence when they met him, as if the things he couldn't do with his body were indicative of the capability of his mind. When he'd demonstrate his intelligence in some way, and their assumptions changed, their treatment of him would change too. It was very clear that there were many people, including people who had power over him in medical settings, who felt that his life was more valuable because he was "smart". I'm a special ed teacher, with a specialization in kids with significant cognitive disabilities. My student's lives don't have less value than my son's because he had more academic and intellectual skills.
    5 points
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