Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

July 14, 2014

Citizens should be more ready to deal with power failures

— An open letter to the electrical power companies in West Virginia and Maryland:

The return of electrical power to my home recently, after its unexpected failure for approximately 48 hours, as a result of such a sudden and violent storm, reminded me anew of how much I take for granted.

I also stand all amazed that you and your associates were able to restore so much and so quickly from such extensive and widespread damage.

Indeed, while fielding frustrated and angry complaints from my constituents, who couldn’t understand why a service that they have always taken for granted was suddenly taken away from them, the following thoughts came into my mind:

•Our nation’s electrical power grid and other infrastructure are both fragile and vulnerable. This poses an ever present danger to our economy, national security, and the well-being of all of us and our families.

•While more should be done to educate everyone about the need to strengthen and protect our infrastructure, citizens also should be taught to be more personally prepared and self-reliant in their own homes.

• Some families already have their own emergency power generators, but those (like me), who must also rely on electrical power to obtain their water from wells, should also consider installing manually operated water pumps as a back-up resource.

•From an even broader emergency communication perspective, voluntary programs to train HAM radio operators should be encouraged and expanded.

Delegate Larry D. Kump

Falling Waters, W.Va.

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