Arcadians displayed remarkable patience with Southern California Edison during the power outage that followed the . However, the utility company needs to explain its lack of communication regarding when power woud be restored.
Arcadia residents and officials were largely left in the dark for days, pun intended.
In the aftermath of the storm, we can look back and realize that, despite the inconvenience caused by the power outages and the extensive damage caused by fallen trees, we should be grateful that it wasn’t much worse.
It could have been devastating if the wind storm had happened during the day instead of in the early hours of the morning, as people remained safely tucked in bed. Also, the damage to personal property such as cars and homes could have been even more extensive.
We did not have to slug through sub-freezing temperatures, ice and snow in the hours and days of recovery from the storm.
But, we should use this opportunity to find ways to improve our response to disasters like this. For instance, why couldn’t SCE provide daily and more frequent updates to City officials and on its Web site about the status of the power outages?
Couldn't the company have provided information on how many customers in Arcadia the outage affected, how many lines had been reported down, and given estimates on when power would be restored in specific areas?
In the grand scheme of things, a wind storm is not the biggest disaster we have faced or will face.
But, we found out that our new technology has its downfalls when the power goes out. Cordless phones don’t work, tankless hot water heaters don’t work, Internet and e-mail access is limited to smart phones, and many smart phones didn’t work during the hours and days after the storm.
For those who could access e-mail, the Internet, and receive text messages and phone calls, city officials and the provided twice-daily comprehensive updates, along with intermittent bulletins that were extremely valuable and helpful. The also issued multiple automated phone blast calls.
I saw none of that kind of communication from SCE.
Read more by Scott Hettrick at ArcadiasBest.com.
Hettrick's City Views blog is not intended to reflect any position of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, where he is Executive Director.