Hurricane Sandy brought together a unique combination of weather that resulted in over 6 million people losing power. Outages along the East coast should remind people that they cannot take electricity for granted. There are many disabled people who rely on electricity to live, but there are also plenty of people who have never known the comfort of a reliable electricity system.
Quarter of the World Doesn't Have Electricity
According to the United Nations, a quarter of people in the world do not have access to electricity. That seems unimaginable in the United States, where people expect every home to have reliable access and many even purchase backup generators for power outages.
To make matters even worse, many of these people do not have access to propane, natural gas, and other fuels.
People living in these areas have never relied on electricity for things like elevators, electric wheelchairs, and oxygen ventilators: things that disabled individuals in the United States often take for granted.
Inclement Weather Puts Disabled People in Danger
Electrical outages such as those caused by hurricane Sandy often take disabled people in the United States by surprise. Luckily, meteorologists had plenty of warning that Sandy was heading up the coast.
The danger caused by power outages, however, shouldn't make people angry. Instead, they should consider themselves lucky to live in a place where they can typically rely on electricity to make their lives easier.
Yes, a power outage puts many disabled people in danger, but a few days without electricity per year would sound like a miracle to a quarter of the world's population.