"It's really disappointing and very frustrating to hear so many people complaining about not having electricity when so many others don't have a home or job to go back to. "
I certainly agree that there are others far worse off - so please don't confuse my response with the sentiments of certain folk who seem to think themselves entitled to nothing less than perfection.
That said - I'm glad you got reliable updates on your phone from Entergy. My phone barely worked - for calls, texts, internet. The status map for my area was very unreliable and the information and updates made no sense - time of power outages were completely wrong, estimated time of restoration was "most likely by Sept. 5th", etc. Meanwhile, our street lights came on three days before our houses received power, and streets a block away in three directions had power the whole time or shortly after.
However, my main points are - not all of us are fortunate enough to have enough money to evacuate for any length of time. Yes, I had hotel rooms reserved for Tuesday and Wednesday night, but cancelled them once we figured it wasn't looking like a life or death situation and I really couldn't afford both hurricane supplies and a hotel unless absolutely necessary.
And many of us were out of work precisely because there was no power. I am largely self-employeed - I am a graphic / web designer - no power = no money. I had several large deadlines due two days after the storm hit. Yes, I contacted my clients and let them know that those deadlines would be impossible and I could not give them a reliable estimate of when I would be able to complete them - but pushing off deadlines means pushing off getting paid. Well, Entergy was still demanding I pay my bill today.
I also work as a bartender. Many of my friends are in service industry. Many of us were not able to work those jobs for over a week. I know a few folk that are possibly facing evictions due to lose of income and trying to juggle various bills after spending money preparing for the storm.
I also have an unfortunate medical condition, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA is an auto-immune disease, it is not "regular" arthritis). The combination of heat, pressure changes, humidity, stress and other variables the week of the storm put me in a world of pain - and I'm saying this as someone who lives with constant pain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I never want to feel like that again. It reached a point by Thursday night I physically could not move. If my house had burnt down, I would have burnt up in it. If I did not have this disease, I would have more money to be prepared for storms, to evacuate.
In a perfect world, we'd all have enough savings to have our hurricane preparations made at the beginning of the season. We'd all have money to evacuate (hotel, gas, food). We'd all have understanding jobs/employers that try to help their employees in these situations. We'd all have understanding landlords or mortgage companies. But it is not a perfect world.
So yes, I would appreciate better communication from Entergy. I would appreciate some leeway on their end when my bill is due two days after I got power back. I would appreciate knowing just what all the money we've been paying in surcharges to upgrade the infrastructure after Katrina have actually gone to.
Still, my heart goes out to those who had and still have it much worse. Little money that I have, I do what little bit I can to donate funds, and despite my medical condition, do what I can physically to help those worse off around me.
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