We like to talk about surviving end-of-the-world scenarios here at the site and on our podcast, but the fact of the matter is, a catastrophic event can happen at any time and for any reason. It doesn’t even have to be a zombie apocalypse or the rise of Skynet; disaster comes in many forms.
This past week, a majority of Texas faced unpresented losses due to a rare combination of repeated record-breaking cold, snow, and a power infrastructure that is isolated from the rest of the country for some strange reason. This resulted in mass rolling power outages (during single-digit temperatures), frozen and damaged water pipes, and even loss of life.
— BB Elyse (@blaireelyse) February 18, 2021
While many in colder climates might scoff at the handling of an issue that they may face much of the year, the fact is that Texas was unprepared because this just never happens there.
But the silver lining through all of this tragedy came in the form of Good Samaritans and good old-fashioned survival innovation.
Several news outlets celebrated examples of these circumstances. Buzzfeed ran an article called “29 Pictures That Show The Crazy And Brilliant Ways Texans Have Been Dealing With The Freezing Cold.” It showcases times when people have helped each other out in creative and heart-warming ways. Examples include neighbors coming together to shovel entire roadways because no snowplows exist in their area. Or a furniture store opening its doors to allow people to come in and rest comfortably. Or people rescuing cold-stunned sea turtles from the freezing Gulf of Mexico.
Texas Game Wardens assigned to Cameron county rescued 141 sea turtles from the frigid waters of the Brownsville Ship Channel and surrounding bays. The sea turtles were transported via the PV Murchison, operated by Sgt. Game Warden Duke and B/M Bowers-Vest. pic.twitter.com/LqFBrElTog
— Texas Game Warden (@TexasGameWarden) February 17, 2021
The list goes on and on, but perhaps the most amazing act of kindness I saw was the story of a grocery store owner in Austin who let shoppers take essentials without paying after the power knocked out the store’s credit card machines.
“You just hear (people at) registers say, ‘Go ahead,'” Austin resident Shelby Lasker told The Austin American-Statesman. “I think they could tell how upset people were.”
Lasker says that the H-E-B Plus in Austin was completely filled with people looking to stock up on essentials when the power went out. She was in line for around 30 minutes, with 10 people still in front of her, when they were allowed to just leave without paying.
We’ve bagged 500 meals and 300 blankets for kids & the most vulnerable.
If you are a local shelter or warming center and needed assistance please reach out to us. pic.twitter.com/B5zjFJQMmx
— Khalsa Aid USA (@KhalsaAidUSA) February 19, 2021
Austin also has a long list of restaurants and businesses that are giving away free meals to those affected by the weather-related outages, with some even delivering the meals straight to the front-line workers.
Edit: I just had to add in this amazing story about a family who let a delivery driver stay with them for 5 days during the storm!
While being prepared for any situation is always best, it’s good to know that people can still come together to help each other out in the worst scenarios.