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As I write this, we’ve just had power restored after a 37 hour outage due to the Jan 2012 Snow/Ice storm that has hit Seattle and the suburbs and made the national news.  Talked and emailed with another artist over the past 2 days who is now thinking they will miss their first show of the year in AZ because they didn’t leave the NW before this stupid winter storm hit.  They confided they were freezing in their house without  power, needed to get to the store for a few staples and all I could think was what is wrong with you????  Sorry, I know this is  a bigger than usual storm for us, but the weather people have been hyping it for days.  Did you not stock up? Did you not think about candles, batteries, etc?   And for heaven’s sake, if you were headed to AZ from WA, why wouldn’t you want to leave a little early just to see the sun??   Then she complained about not getting a refund from a show that she’s cancelling at the last minute and they are also re-evaluating whether they should travel that far if they are eliminating one show from their schedule which means they might be forfeiting more booth fees.  When I asked her why she didn’t leave a day or two earlier she said it was because hotels were so expensive.  Hmm, not sure that 1 or 2 additional nights in a hotel would be so expensive that forfeiting booth fees and all the potential income makes sense.


So that got me to thinking about contingency planning which we do all the time.  Remembering times when we left for “spring” shows 24 or 48 hours early due to the weather forecast and the desire to not have to chain up crossing the passes, yes we have a generator, flashlights, candles, extra food and now with the deep cycle marine battery/inverter and LED  lights that are normally used for our booth, we’re more prepared than ever to weather out a storm at home or on the road in our RV.  And yes, we’ve used all of those contingency items as well as discussed the fact that one way or another it would be really nice to be in AZ the next time a snow/ice storm hit Seattle, we know realistically that we need to take care of ourselves, our home and our silly little Tazzy Kat.  The day after power was restored and the roads were once again clear enough to drive around safely, what did we do?  Stocked up at the grocery store, refilled the gas tanks, refilled the propane tanks and went out to lunch just for fun.  Looking around us as we left our neighborhood, seeing all the downed trees and power lines, we realized that while we have power now, there’s still a chance that yet another tree or branch could take it away at any given moment and we felt we needed to be prepared.


Yet today I’ve seen way too many friends, work colleagues, artists, etc. posting on email, Facebook, etc. that they just weren’t prepared.  I understand not being prepared when an unexpected storm hits, but this one, really?  Our local news media has been warning about this for more than a week before it hit and it isn’t even as bad as predicted although I’m a bit disgruntled that it seems to be lasting longer than predicted, but we’re okay.  We’re warm, dry and safe even though there  are a few of life’s normal things, like turning on a light switch and having a room remain dark, that kept me a bit frustrated, I know we’ll weather this and be glad when it’s over.  One colleague was complaining about the fact that they ended up in a hotel for 2 nights, meals out for 3 days for a family of 5 and now she was heading home to throw away any food or supplies that were no longer safe to eat in her fridge and freezer.  When she asked how we were coping and I mentioned we were using our generator, she said, oh they are so expensive.  Hmm, more expensive than 2 nights at hotel for a family of 5 plus all those meals out and the cost of replacing all the groceries in your freezer and fridge?


All this has got me to thinking about contingency planning, when we’re on the road, when we’re home with a show scheduled and weather is not cooperating, etc.  Being a “Type A” personality, I’m always watching out for these things, planning for bad scenarios although I don’t think we’re ever 100% prepared for the “worse case” scenarios, but after seeing the silliness on friends FB pages, co-workers emails, etc. I’m wondering what happened to common sense?  Am I the only one?  Has common sense disappeared?  In my mind it’s common sense and our responsibility to take care  of yourself, your family, home and business.

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Comment by Claire Hendrickson on January 21, 2012 at 9:59pm

My husband and I talk about the common sense issue from time to time...well...all the time!  Glad to see we are not the only ones confused at the lack of it in so many people.  Living in Wisconsin can be a challenge anytime of the year and being prepared for the weather is a must.  We have two generators just in case one doesn't start for some reason, two chain saws because we have wood heat, extra fresh gas, propane stove, extra canned and dry food and the most important item...toilet paper.  If the power goes out here in winter our food won't go bad....we just take it outside.  You have to have a sense of adventure and a sense of humor when it comes to weather.   One day is will be 50 degrees and sunny and the next day it will be 30 below with a wind chill of 45 below and then back to the 20's...oh wait...we just had that weather!

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