Would you make it on the prairie?
That’s the stereotypical litmus test that determines if you’d survive among the elements without the many comforts we take for granted.
Two weeks ago, everyone marveled at how ill prepared Atlanta was to endure even two inches of snow.
But last week, metro Augusta became the proverbial prairie as a ferocious ice storm left a few hundred thousand people in cold, darkened homes.
As trees and limbs crashed to the ground and the skies flickered pale blue from exploding transformers, most residents realized they were in for several days of isolation.
Some handled it better than others. My favorite part of the week was watching our middle schooler and one of his friends play board games – instead of video games. It was refreshing and I believe they actually enjoyed it (even if they didn’t want to admit it).
It was also fun to eat all the frozen food as it thawed – so, of course, no one went hungry.
Did you have candles? Or a manual can opener? What about bottled water and a working fireplace with plenty of wood on hand?
Most of my hunting and fishing friends – and, of course, the always-ready prepper community – breezed through the mess just fine. But there was plenty of complaining, too.
The entire episode illustrates how much we take for granted, and how fragile and privileged our lifestyles are.
At our house, we were without water, too, since our well pump requires electricity. The kids got a kick out of filling the toilet tank with pitchers of water from melted snow, just to make it flush. And our fireplace blazed 24 hours a day throughout the event.
Perhaps the best part of the great ice storm of 2014 was the opportunity to walk outside and visit with friends and neighbors. Everyone lost limbs and trees, and everyone was grateful when the utility crews slowly made their way through the fray to restore power, street-by-street and block-by-block.
The lesson everyone took home from the storm is how to be prepared, and how quickly a world connected by internet and television can suddenly become an isolated existence. But now we’re hardened by experience and ready for anything – even an earthquake.
TURKEY EXTENSION: With many Georgians experiencing power outages and other challenges this past week, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division decided Friday to extend the turkey quota hunt application deadline through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
“We want to give sportsmen and women every opportunity to apply for a turkey quota hunt and we realize that for many people this week, the previous deadline of February 15 was not a priority,” said John Bowers, chief of the Game Management Section. “Extending the deadline to the 19th provides a chance for everyone to get their application in for a chance to experience some of the best turkey hunting experiences available in Georgia.”
To apply before the extended deadline, all interested hunters need to complete an online quota application that must be in before midnight Feb. 19.
Applications are available at www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/quota. Create a quota hunt account if you do not have one.
Make sure that you enter your Social Security number correctly when creating an account.
This ensures the transfer of any priority points from previous seasons to the new account.
Keep your e-mail address current and correct to receive quota updates, application submission confirmations and notices about quota hunts.