We didn't need their help this time - but they were indeed ready just in case. Rescue personnel throughout the North Country waited just as nervously as residents to see what havoc Hurricane Sandy would bring. Thankfully, our region was spared the wrath of the storm.
Local fire departments, local police departments, local ambulance and rescue squads, the state police, county sheriff's departments, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and other
volunteers stood ready just in case a
disaster struck. National Grid mobilized its resources in case of widespread power
outages. Memories of Irene surely played a key role in the preparedness. Village, town, county and state officials closely monitored the situation, and plans were made for the storm's damaging impact.
Residents were also vigilant in being
prepared as witnessed by reports of store shelves being cleared of items such as
bottled water, batteries and other supplies. Emergency shelters were opened before the storm's impact was being felt.
Yes, people in this region seemed more prepared for disaster than last year with Irene. And that is a good thing.
Hats off to all the emergency personnel and others who stood at the ready. One never knows when a disaster will strike and Mother Nature's impact will cause a catastrophe.
That said, just because the Adirondacks and North Country were spared this time around, it doesn't mean anyone should let their guard down the next time - and there will be a next time. Being prepared is half the battle, and an important lesson to take away from Sandy. We were ready, and it could have been a lot worse.
There were no floods. Minimal power outages. No loss of life. We were lucky.
But take a moment and think about our fellow New Yorkers and other regions in the Northeast who weren't so lucky. Some areas were devastated. There was loss of life. People are now homeless due to the storm. If Sandy traveled farther up north before her turn to the east, that devastation could have landed here.
How timely that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Before we eat our feast on that holiday, take a moment and give thanks that we were ready, our emergency agencies and volunteers were ready. And Sandy missed us.