Coping in the Face of Disaster

Most of us couldn’t imagine what it would be like to live in an area that’s been ravaged by a pair of massive and devastating hurricanes in a short period of time, but that’s the reality facing those who live on the Island territory of Puerto Rico. After a September that tore the island apart and left the territory almost completely without power, one of the most troublesome aspects of getting back to normal is still a challenge for those that live and work on Puerto Rico is facing the traffic challenges that are part of life.

Puerto Rico is a heavily populated island with many who enjoy living and working there but with the devastation of the pair of hurricanes, the challenge when the electricity is out and not available at all is to have the traffic patterns manned by the police force of the island. Even now, several weeks after Irma and Maria tore a path of destruction through the area; police are being called upon to handle the challenge of directing traffic on the main roads through the large cities while the smaller streets and neighborhoods around the area are being left to their own judgment as people drive around.

Expectations and Forward Progress

While many of the offices that support and serve in Puerto Rico are called upon to stand for twelve-hour shifts at some of the busiest intersections in the larger cities, Some people are finding other ways to get to where they need to go. Even the most patient and cordial among us can become an aggressive driver when behind the wheel and that need to go first, even though it only saves a few seconds, will overtake some people. This has driven a few to find ways to get to work and run errands in ways that make more sense to them.

Some people have chosen to walk to where they need to go, even for those distances they might have gotten behind the wheel of their cars for in the past. Others have started to carpool and save gas and the number of cars on the roads by sharing a ride to and from wherever they need to go. These are certainly responsible ways to help reduce the traffic and stay safe in an area that still sees downed tree limbs and other troubles along the way.

So far, the power for the island has only been restored to nine percent of the customers. With 3.4 million people living in Puerto Rico, the power problem is going to be an ongoing issue for several months with the expectation that the rest of the power will be restored by March. This is several months away, but as long as people continue to cooperate and find ways to help reduce the number of cars on the road, the population will eventually find their way out of this devastation and be able to grow and look forward to a brighter future.

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