Seeking power was an arduous task as most folks learned early on in the
aftermath of superstorm, Hurricane Sandy. Desperately seeking power for
our cell phones, iPads and laptops became part of the zeitgeist
emanating from those affected in New Jersey and New York. The power grid
that used to affect only our heat, electricity and land lines now
included cell towers that experienced disrupted service as well. Even
for those services that remained operational, without electricity we
needed alternatives to charge our devices.
The announcements of AT&T and Verizon Wireless opening up charging stations was a start, but was not an option for those residing in outlying communities that might have lacked transportation (as flood cars and burnt-out vehicles were a repercussion of the storm).
At Society Hill in Jersey City, many residents who were able, fled the area after enduring days without power. Home to 4,000 residents, this gated community, sits on the city's south-western edge, hugging the Hackensack River and Newark Bay. Cesar Carvajal, 44 took it upon himself to set up a charging station outside his residence so neighbors could use his generator to charge their cell phones.
Several days later, two generators became available at the front entrance gate of the complex. Supplied by the United States Air Force, the equipment was made available after President Obama and Governor Chris Christy agreed to the state receiving FEMA funding and equipment from the federal government.
In this video, titled, "Sleepless in Society Hill," power hunters made it a daily chore to hook up their devices to these generators for several hours obtaining enough juice to communicate with the outside world . . .which, for some was the first time, in 4-5 days.
Power hunters in the state, post-Sandy are being identified with the new moniker. . . "Jersey Strong." In the above video, the song made popular by the American Idol winner, Phillip Phillips underscores the attributes of those that are now proud to call themselves, "Jersey Strong." As it addresses dealing with the uncertainty of the unknown, it's uplifting message demonstrates that adversity doesn't have to be dealt with alone.
In the wake of the superstorm, the term became more than just a bumper sticker slogan. It was fleshed out in the selfless acts of neighbors helping out their neighbors. The Facebook page: "Jersey Strong - Revive, Rebuild, Recover" was an organization created specifically to assist in disaster relief of Hurricane Sandy, where proceeds go directly to the American Red Cross. And this YouTube video published by "JahnTJ21" highlights the destruction up and down the Jersey Shore coastline, poignantly and appropriately underscored by Bruce Springsteen's haunting anthem, "My City of Ruins."
While seeking power in and of itself isn't necessarily an admirable trait, the need to connect with the real world is. And when obstacles such as a superstorm impede our ability to communicate with our fellow man, knowing that you have the inner strength to overcome this hurdle, not only can makes some of us "Jersey Strong," it could help all of us to become "America Strong." Now, if only we could get the power grid to follow suit!