Winds whip up power of people


Photo credit: Lisa Montgomery

The 100-plus mph wind gusts in northern Utah caused millions of dollars of harm to people and property yesterday, but they also whipped up something else. As the powerful winds diminished, the power of people kicked into high gear.

[pullquote]These values – preparedness, self-reliance, generosity – are the best tools we have for any challenging time.[/pullquote]Neighbors with willing hands and chainsaws helped each other. Trees and branches were cleared from houses, cars, driveways and roads. People helped return each other’s patio furniture and toys. Family members went to check on family members. Friends checked on friends. Strangers helped strangers. Impromptu and fun “campouts” sprang up in cold, dark homes as family and friends made the best of a difficult situation that meant no power for thousands amid freezing temperatures. Others found refuge inside the warm homes of their family and friends or were offered hot meals.

Here’s a sample of tweets:

The sound of the wind now gives way to the sound of chainsaws. Prepared, self-reliant neighborhoods rock!

I feel blessed to have such great neighbors. Everyone pitched in to help clean up the neighborhood today, more tomorrow & Sat.

Fun evening with chain saws, tree limbs, fence pieces, and debris…

Got heat set up for my parents. Now to head home and set up our basement campout!

if you need anything at all, please LMK.

Downed tree with residents clearing debris on Quincy Ave in Ogden

Lost our big pine tree out front of our place. Power is still out. Keeping warm at my parent’s place.

As Utahns, we should count ourselves fortunate to live in a society that values preparedness, self-reliance, generosity, and care and concern for family and friends. This culture of caring extends from families to neighborhoods to our businesses and on to our civic institutions at the local and state levels. It is a culture and character woven into the fabric of who we are as Utahns, and as Utahns lead businesses and local and state organizations, they bring this culture with them.

The Davis County Sheriff’s Office, police departments, emergency personnel and dedicated power company employees worked through the early morning hours and all day and night to ensure public safety and to make sure basic services such as electricity would be in place as soon as possible. Our state government also puts a high premium on self-reliance and preparedness, with the excellent as one visible example.

But the most critical components of any society are the people, not business or government. Utahns did not have to wait for a business or government entity to help them find safe shelter or clear away debris. They just did it. These values – preparedness, self-reliance, generosity – are the best tools we have for any challenging time. Utah is fortunate to have them at hand in such abundance.