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Power Outage Expensive
August 6, 2012 - Michael Palmer
Do you have a generator to keep your important power on when the electricity goes out?
Then you may want to invest after this year,
When the heat is high and the power goes out, it is expensive.
You can bank the freezer with ice, buy that only lasts so long.
Then all of your ice cream starts melting, followed by all the food stored in your freezer.
Then the budget takes a big hit. You have to replace the food you had stored and that is expensive.
If you are receiving a government food card, the local officials did a poor job of informing recipients that they could apply for re-issue or replacement of their benefits due to the power outages.
I even asked the director of Harrison County about West Virginia releaseing funds to replace food stamps, he said Ohio was considering a similar bill but never mentioned that his agency already had a system in place to deal wih such problems.
The deadline to apply for these benefits is 10 days from the outage, which in parts of the area was less time than the cliebts power was out.
I have a neighbor that a local church provided with some food, otherwise she would have been in dire straights for her food situtation.
With the push by the current administration to add families to their food stamp program, it seems a bit strange that there would be any hesitation to reissue the benefits. Indeed, it would seem to be a humanitarian gesture to provide the public with the information and even an extended deadline to apply for replacement of food lost in the power outages.
I feel for the residents of Shadyside. I have had three power outages of over 8 hours, one was for three days. I am thankful that it was not longer.
I spoke with residents of West Virginia at Jamboree in the Hills who went weeks without power in the heat wave.
Thankfully, I was raised with a farmers sense of resillience and the abilty to adapt, improvise and in most cases overcome such inconveniences.
I recall when with three small children in the house, our gas from the well on the property suddenly dried up. The well pumper said, "It happens." and we were stuck in the winter with no heat, no stove and no hot water. Call and ask for a propane tank on short notice and you will find out we spent most of that winter improvising with an anlectric skillet, hot plate and crock pot. Showers were out and we all had to bunk in the same room to survive.
But survive we did.
The loss of all our freezer meat, frozen vegetables and the strain on the budget of living without power hit my pocketbook hard this Summer. It could be a lean Christmas this year as we try and catch up on the bills we set aside to keep up our lavish Hillbilly lifestyle during the outages.
Now, I have an empty freezer, that makes me a bit uncomfortable in this economy. None of us are secure in our employment these days and without my freezer I have only canned goods to fall back on.
If you have a friend in Shadyside, you might want to check in on them. Ask if they need anything. Then follow up next month with another visit.
Where the government fails, charity prevails.
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