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An article about our stress caused by nature,how we dealt with it,and how
our relationships in our family are as strong as ever.


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On January 12th our community was hit with a devastating ice storm. My
family, along with families in the entire region of Southwest Missouri
struggled to survive.

Most were without electricity for five to 10 days....some longer than
that. Many were also without water due to wells that needed electricity
to operate.   This week my family is finally back to some degree of
normal.   We and many other in this area are truly survivors.

I've been talking and listening to others this week and learning how they
coped with their situation. Some had fireplaces, others used Kerosene
heaters and some were fortunate enough to find and purchase a generator.
There were some who died as a result of fumes.

We have a wood burning fireplace which we hadn't used for about three
years. We didn't even have any wood for it. On the first day, I went to
one of my neighbors and begged for wood. He brought us a wheelbarrow
full. Before we used all of that, we were finally able to locate some
for sale and paid $70 a day for wood which was very large and also green.
My son worked hard splitting the wood each day.

We put blankets over the windows and doorways so that we could contain
the heat in our living room.   The three of us spent six days together in
that small space.   It was entirely too much togetherness.   I wondered
several times if our relationships would survive.

We lost most of our food which thawed and had to be thrown out due to the
inability to cook much on the fire. Limbs coated with ice fell
frequently sounding almost like fireworks being set off.   One limb made
a hole in our roof. Another tore down our patio cover. Our phone with
our only answering machine was ruined due to power surges.   I wondered
if we would survive the expenses.

All of our trees are damaged severely. The ground is covered with
branches. We've already had one large shade tree removed. It wouldn't
have survived. There are others in our yard that probably won't survive
I am happy to say that in spite of the anxiety, depression, stress and
lack of modern conveniences, my family has survived. I hope we never
have to go through another week like that one was.

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Mike Ward Mike Ward Senior Project Manager
About Senior Project Manager working with a UK telco