A Special Thanks to First Responders
by: Davis Yancy Clegg
Today, thanks are in order. It is incredibly easy to become so lost in your day-to-day grind that you begin to take certain things for granted. Who knows how any of us ever survived without all the GPS and cell phone technology we are now using for nearly everything. Well, that’s all fine and grand. Without the handymen that have taken on the trade of working for companies like Florida Public Utilities, there would be none of that electricity, on which we desperately depend. It takes a certain mindset and demeanor to work in such hazardous conditions. A skill set not easily attained and practiced. Only a few weeks ago, residents of Amelia Island were pummeled by the winds whipping around the eye of Hurricane Matthew. Granted, living on an island off the eastern coast of the United States is an assured way to experience diversity in weather.
When Matthew made its’ rounds and the storm came through, most residents of the island and surrounding areas had enthusiastically evacuated to a shelter safe from the storm. Many packed and drove to western parts of Florida. Some went to safe havens in the northern regions of Georgia. Though Mayor Johnny Miller called for evacuation, some stayed to experience the impact of gale force winds. Glued to the screens of mobile devices, residents for the next screen refresh to see what news may come. It was an awe-inspiring thing to see the first responders jump to the scene, restoring power to the most of the island in less than 24 hours. Once the islands’ access bridge – stretching across the intra-coastal waterway – had been inspected, the first responders were on the spot. With their own homes littered and smashed with debris, the men and women of Florida Public Utilities and other responders put aside their personal concerns, coming to the rescue of citizens in distress. A great deal of gratitude and hearty “Thank you” goes out to all those who played a role involved in the relief of Matthews’ aftermath. Waste management services have made speedy work of picking up roadside debris, collected and pulled to the street by homeowners. Relief efforts continue today. Residents that have careers with resorts were left without work for weeks.
These types of events are always going to be a possibility, and only so much diligence can prepare you and yours for any natural. In the event of a power outage, there are recommendations strongly advised by utilities services. If you lose power at your home, you should be certain to turn off major appliances (air conditioning, stoves, and TV’s) to avoid a potential safety issue once power is restored to your home. The best thing you can do is pay close attention to advisory updates on radio stations as they broadcast news, helping you return home safely and speedily. The Red Cross and other relief services post updates on relief efforts with great consistency. This storm has proven a saying heard by many. “Safety first, then teamwork!”