The information black hole revealed by Irma!

We are Irma refugees from Florida stuck in Fayetteville North Carolina. We have run into many fellow refuges from Florida and Georgia here. Many people are planning on trying to return home tomorrow. We too are planning on trying to start the drive back home to Palm Beach tomorrow. It will likely take days and require stops along the way to eat, sleep, and get fuel.ssvs-kb_128

We know we have power at our Palm Beach home and it looks undamaged. The problem is there is no reliable information about power outages along the way. The power company outage map is useless. All it shows is the percentage of people without power in each county. We live in 2017 and this is the best Florida Power and Light can do? Pathetic! They have the information but clearly do not want to share it with their customers. Someone in marketing probably thought it would be bad PR.

There is also a crazy jigsaw puzzle of curfews in place and violating them can result in a 60 day jail sentence. The problem is that local governments are not providing a clearing house for this information so it is impossible to know where, when, and how a curfew is in effect unless you contact each police department in each city, town, and berg! Again, Pathetic.

What about road conditions? We can ferret out some of it from Waze and Apple maps such as bridge closures, but there is nothing reliable about highway exits and main thoroughfares. What about water quality? What about flooded roadways? What about fuel? One last time, pathetic, pathetic, pathetic, and pathetic.

There should be a clearing house for all this emergency information and more. A couple of college kids powered by Red Bull could knock something together in few days if they were given access to the raw data. Why can’t our governments do better? Why can’t our utilities do better?