I couldn't agree more with both recent Letters to the Editor by John Amato and Wm. P. Frasca regarding the lack of preparedness and, in some cases, responses to Hurricane Sandy. We lost power for eight days and with no thanks to PSE&G, we finally got power back in less than three hours thanks to Duke Energy from Indiana.
Now why is it that they were able to locate and fix the problem that PSE&G could not? My Mom and I live on 73rd Street and were two of the 'lucky ones'. We had a neighbor directly behind us who did not lose power and kindly and generously allowed us to use one of their outlets as a lifeline... and a lifeline is exactly what it was. My Mom is 90 and thanks to Verizon and their infinite wisdom, we had no phone service even on our corded landline thanks to the geniuses who decided to take a time tested and proven way to communicate and say... no thanks, let's change that to a 12 hour battery back-up and leave people with no way to call for a fire truck or ambulance if, God forbid, needed. But thanks to the lifeline from our neighbors, we were able to plug in the geniuses battery pack and have a phone to use as most people now know your cell phone will be useless in a time of crises. Thanks Verizon... You know what? I'm no rocket scientist, but even I know that if my telephone/utility pole is sitting in front of my house, my landline should be working even if I have no electricity! So why did Verizon change this system for a battery back-up?
I am just grateful that we did not need to call anyone for emergency assistance but if not for our neighbors, it wouldn't have mattered. But that one lifeline gave us a way to have heat from a space heater for a few hours a day and a refrigerator for a few hours a day and a TV to watch to keep informed of just how pathetic the situation had become. Oh sure, I could charge my cell phone, but to what end? It didn't work anyway. I cannot stress enough our gratitude to our neighbors on 74th St (if they read this they will know who they are) and to several other people who are too humble to want to be thanked publicly. The people I do not wish to thank are Verizon and Public Service Electric and gas companies. Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones and/or their homes or who are just still without power... it is unthinkable that this is even happening in the year 2012.
Come on Verizon, come on PSE&G, come on Congress and you other politicians who can't seem to agree on anything worth anything. Get your act together! People are suffering! When exactly did you stop caring?
Annette C Schiffer