Saturday, September 10, 2011


My area is under a state of emergency right now. I worked a 20 hour shift at the hospital yesterday and am looking into another long shift today. The region is devastated, without drinkable water and many homes without electricity. Emergency command centers and shelters have been set up throughout the county.

I'm amazed at how well everyone worked together these last couple of days. The folks who actually made it, driving hours in convoluted directions, without complaint buckled down to work and spirits were remarkably high. We didn't know how long we would be the only ones who would be able to work and so my manager set up a rotating schedule partway through the day so that we could get some sleep.

A rep whose presentation was canceled, dropped the food off on our floor and so we dined. Because we couldn't use the municipal water, our coffee dispenser was shut off (it is connected directly to the water line.) A neighbor of the hospital dropped off a couple of percolators so that we could refuel.

Another aide came in to relieve me around 4:00 this morning and I began my journey home. Only one bridge in the area is functional and so I have to drive 2 hours on a winding path in the opposite direction to get on the right side of the hill/river in order to get home.

I was the only car in the middle of nowhere when a red sports car wheeled in front of me and then over-corrected to go flying into the tree in someone's front yard.

Immediately stopped, I put my hazards on and called 9 1 1. Describing what happened to the operator, I got out of my car to approach the accident. As I'm walking up, the boy who had been driving, stumbled into the yard, turned to look at the car, said "oh shit!" and took off across the road into the woods.

And so I told the operator. She said someone would be out as soon as they can. Considering the area was in a state of emergency, that 'as soon as they can' was 2 hours and 15 minutes. After giving my statement, they let me go and I began the long trek home.

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