Even so, I'm struck by the number of conversations about the storm that I still hear. I am aware of the way some of the fear and anxiety of a week spent in the darkness and cold can linger. When I finally took the plunge and drove to get heat and a semblance of normalcy on day six after the storm, I was still seriously concerned about the gasoline shortages. My car was the only way I could charge my phone and our only sure way of getting warm, not to mention get out of the state should it come to that. To let the gas tank get below half seemed risky. Even six days after the storm, dozens of traffic lights remained down and most of my regular routes out of town were blocked off.
For days after the storm, I would see power crews from other states and the sight of these fleets of trucks would bring sudden tears to my eyes. I've written their names down, these strangers from states far away from New Jersey. I saw trucks from Ohio, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Iowa. A crew from Nebraska was responsible for re-connecting the wires at T's house. I'm not sure I can express how much hope the sight of these crews inspired in me. They were a welcome reminder that we weren't alone and that help was on the job. I know it sounds corny, but I wrote the names of the companies down and I've sent every one of them a note to say thank you.
I am more convinced than ever that extreme weather conditions like Sandy will be more common as we move forward. I have enduring hope that as New Jersey and the area resumes its new normal, we will take action to prepare ourselves for our changing planet. Updating the power grid, disaster preparedness, and responsible policies to curb global warming seem like such obvious policies to adopt. I've long-favored them, of course, but these days the issue has risen to the top of my political priorities. I suspect that I'm not alone.