We interrupt our regularly scheduled #startuplessons programming to set things straight here about #snowjam2014 here in Atlanta. For those of you who don’t live in the ATL, this is one man’s view of what happened. For those of you who do live in Atlanta, I’m providing a few suggestions for you here.
Wha… wha… wha happened?!?
All the weather reports said we’d get a dusting, maybe an inch, north of I-20 here in Atlanta. All of them were wrong. I live in Roswell, 15 miles north of Atlanta, and we got a solid 2″ of pure powder, the kind you can’t make a snowball out of.
So at noon, all the schools let out with very little warning. Then around 1pm, everyone who works in Atlanta – meaning everyone who was at work in Atlanta, high-tailed it out of work and headed home. That means EVERYONE was on the roads of Atlanta at 1-2pm. If it were 60 and sunny, it would have been gridlock.
I bring up this point because I’ve seen dozens of tweets and facebook posts blaming Mayor Reed for the gridlock on Atlanta’s highways. RIDICULOUS! There is not one thing the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, the State of Georgia, or any other municipal government could have done after 1pm on Tuesday. NOTHING. People, stop blaming government for the freaking weather!
Here’s what Mayor Reed did before the snow started:
That was issued on the 28th at 10:20am. They did what they could. At 1pm, the roads were full. Even if they had 500 salt and sand trucks (they don’t; they have a total of 30 spreaders and 40 snow plows), they could not have done anything because the roads were FULL!
Don’t blame Mayor Reed or any other government entity. It’s the weather, folks. You knew it was going to snow in Atlanta, and you know what that means: snowmageddon. You have to be prepared. Here’s how.
- Keep water and blankets in your car.
- Keep hat, gloves, boots or other appropriate shoes in your car.
- Keep a winter coat in your car.
- Keep crackers, candy bars, or other easy-to-store food in your car.
- Make sure your phone is charged before you leave, or keep a charger in your car. Frequent travelers will tell you to “ABC”: Always Be Charging.
- Last, and actually most importantly, GET ON SOCIAL MEDIA! I can’t tell you how many messages transpired last night about shelters and help and 911 instructions and “what to do if” messages, not to mention helping people find a bed nearby their car to sleep on. Here’s what I learned on Twitter & Facebook:
- All Home Depot, Kroger, and other retail locations stayed open and took in stranded motorists with hot coffee, movies, food, bathrooms. Well done.
- Every Church I know on Twitter & Facebook opened their doors to stranded motorists.
- Anyone see a closed Waffle House? They may have run out of coffee, but they had grits, eggs, scattered-smothered-and-covered hash browns, and of course, warm shelter.
- Many friends on Facebook walked home. One former neighbor walked 12 MILES from Powers Ferry to Midtown! Took him 6 hours. That’s half or a third as long as some people. He never even got in his car from work.
- Two friends found friends of friends to crash on their sofa. Well done!
- A friend is STILL OUT THERE as of this writing at 9:34am Wednesday morning!
- When you see a status offering help or with helpful info, SHARE it!
If you think #snowjam2014 is Mayor Reed or any other municipal government’s fault, you’re wrong. It’s not their job to get you home. That’s your job. Do not depend on any government agency to get you out of the snow or keep you warm. Be prepared.
Mayor Reed, I don’t blame you. You did what you could. The weather reports were wrong, and all hell broke loose.
Be prepared people! It is not government’s job – nor are they capable! – to keep you warm and get you home. It’s your job.