My niece, Laura, lives in Long Island, and her family is just two blocks away from a mandatory evacuation area for Hurricane Sandy. We talked yesterday as they scurried about getting ready.
I texted her this morning to see how they were doing and she just texted back: "Power went out two hours ago. It's rainy and windy and stressful."
I texted her back, but I don't want to keep texting her, in case her cell phone will run down. I want to know: Can she access her car charger? How will we get back in touch? When will I hear from her again?
I have long held -- and experienced -- that is easier to be on scene with loved ones during a crisis, but it's impossible in this case, though I am in Chicago, a lot closer to NY than Spokane. Still, all flights canceled, all trains, all buses. She and her family are locked out from the rest of us for now.
So we wait, watch and pray. And feel gratitude for texting.