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Editorial: It pays to be ready for storms

Published 10:21am Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thursday’s unwelcome and nearly unprecedented May snowstorm did the area no favors. From automobile accidents to broken trees to major inconvenience, nature dealt southeastern Minnesota a bad hand. It also dealt a reminder that as comfortable and secure as our lives are, modern convenience can still be stripped away in an instant when the power fails — and that it is wise to be prepared.

Thousands of customers in Albert Lea and hundreds in the vicinity were left without electricity for a period on Thursday as heavy snow and high winds downed power lines or toppled trees onto them. Although most people who had an outage got their power back quite quickly thanks to hard-working utility crews, having the lights and refrigerator and perhaps the stove and furnace, too — suddenly die makes it obvious why it is important to prepare for natural disasters.

While electricity, natural gas and gasoline supplies are typically so steadfast that they can be taken for granted, there’s still every reason to have some survival basics — ranging from having a family plan to stocking supplies for a 24- or 72-hour periods — are still important.

There is every reason to be grateful that we live in a society where basic survival and safety needn’t be everyday concerns. There is also every reason to give thought to what preparation is needed for the day when nature turns it all upside down.