My family and I haven’t lost anything. We’ve been majorly inconvenienced, but we have a house (electricity got turned back on yesterday), we have family who have resources nearby, we have our jobs and incomes. We are so much better off than so many people around us.
Doing just about anything is a major logistical operation, especially if the place you need to be is on the other side of the zone from where you are. Since internet service is offline, landline and cell service is spotty for most people in the vicinity of the zone, we have to do things the old fashioned way and drive around for face to face meetings. a lot of people are using Facebook for the primary messaging service. I was able to post some things to FB at times when I couldn’t get any other type of connection. We still don’t have TV or internet or phones. Cox Communications is working to restore their damaged infrastructure, and we hope to have everything working on or around Sunday. My sister has Dish Network, so she has TV, but her internet and phone were AT&T, and she doesn’t have that. Cell phones–they have AT&T, we have Sprint–are getting better every day. It takes hours to do things that used to take minutes. It normally takes about 30 minutes to drop my daughter at school and continue on to work. Yesterday it took three hours to get to work, and today it took 90 minutes.
EDIT–There was only a week left to school, but the Moore Public Schools have cancelled classes for the rest of the year, and finals are cancelled as well. There is a meet-up scheduled for tomorrow for those teachers and children who can make it so that everybody can get together and just be together. I think that is a great idea. High School graduation ceremonies will go on Saturday as previously scheduled at the convention center in OKC for all three MPS high schools.
But I’m alive and healthy, as are my entire family, and we have a place to go to. One of my coworkers made contact from a National Guard checkpoint this morning. He’s alive. He’s got the clothes on his back, and he’s got his dogs. Everything else was destroyed.
I delivered some water and batteries to some shelters and checkpoints the other day, because having done disaster relief before, I know those are the two things that relief personnel are always critically short of, and they are consumed very rapidly. Trash bags and toilet paper are also highly prized on checkpoint duty and at shelters. My FEMA certification is a certification to enter disaster zones on behalf of my agency, or as directed by FEMA. Ideally, that would entail setting up and maintaining computer equipment, and satellite communications. Since no VA facilities were damaged (and I am actually classified as a victim for the purposes of the personnel system) I haven’t been mobilized. I’ve volunteered though, so I’ll go the moment they ask. Other than that, and working as a local point of contact for some friends at Fort Sill who are putting together a package to deliver to the shelters, I’m trying hard to stay out of the way. When something like this happens, once you’ve gotten over the initial threat and immediate aftermath, the best thing a civilian can do is to get out of the way and help the victims after they’ve come out to a safe place. That means volunteering at a shelter or making a cash donation. Cash is generally a lot easier for aid groups and charities to work with.