The past few days were quite crazy as you all know.
Rain. Wind. Rain. Wind. Power outage. Weather alerts. No school. Wait. Watch. Wait. Watch.
I was checking the weather updates like never before. Scanning through every detail. Overwhelming, it was!! Flood warnings were coming by the dozen and then came in some tornado warnings too. Thankfully no flood and no tornado arrived. T
hey were just sending all the info for all the neighboring areas. Nothing was telling me about the condition in my region, the place I was situated in. Wish they could be more specific. More contextual!
Even though we are only a hundred miles away from the impact, I had no idea what to look forward to. Most stores ran out of supplies, especially water! Thanks to amazon, the good old amazon, I quickly purchased a whole bunch of water bottles on the way to the grocery store. ‘Something’ stopped me from informing all my friends to do that as well. By evening I was informed that it will be delayed and come only after the storm was gone. However, they did send it before the storm hit us! Later got to know that a lot of people were going back to the stores to return all the water they had gathered. I thoroughly thanked that ‘something’! Most often people need to know only what they really need to know. Nothing more, nothing less. As designers, we need to make things as easy as possible for the user. See how we did this for a retail process ensuring consumer happiness. There is a lesson in there for the designer in me!
What if I was given only the info I needed at that moment that I needed it?
What if I was told to get hold of an emergency kit just in case I needed it and where to get one?
What if technology helped me to better prepare instead of showing me news that I didn’t need?
What if it helped those who needed it the most?
There was a power outage for a few hours, but things were okay. There was no technology to help us out. There was no internet. I could no longer enter the web! I guess I didn’t need the information any more. What was to be was actually happening then, in that moment. That was all the information I really needed. I was prepared.
We were safe...but it wasn’t so for many others. They were struggling. They still are. It will take them long to settle back in, to gauge the damage, to take it all in.
All through this there was a glimmer of hope when the sun showed up for a very brief moment. Everything lit up and there was a sparkle amidst the gray.