By John Robb
Sandy knocked out power for 8.5 million people, mostly in New York and New Jersey. Wow. What’s worse?
A week later, nearly a million people were still without power.
Now, a Nor’easter — a freezing cold version of a tropical storm that plagues New England during the Winter — just dropped nearly a record amount of snow on these same people.
NOTE: Again. Any time you hear “record-breaking” in relation to Finance and Weather, it usually isn’t good news. When you hear it all the time, like we have recently, it’s usually a sign that something is very wrong.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be this difficult. A home and community that is resilient can bounce back from a regional disaster like this in seconds, if not hours. For example, my home and the homes of other people reading this letter right now didn’t suffer an outage when the power went down. We produced our own power. Enough for us to serve as islands of resilience for our neighbors that didn’t have this capability. To help them stay warm, recharge cell phones, take a hot shower, etc….
In my home, we produced power with a generator that’s connected to our natural gas line. Since it’s connected, it could run for weeks, generating enough power for the entire home indefinitely. Why natural gas? Natural gas pipelines are buried. Therefore, they are much less likely to suffer interruption from storms like Sandy. Natural gas is also inexpensive. This means we can produce our power for a price close to what we pay for grid power.
Phi Beta Iota: The US is now a third-world country when it comes to infrastructure. In third-world countries, people plan for water, power, and stores of food.