Power’s Out; Where’s My Check?

Power's Out

Municipalities will typically have an employee change their name to "Nature" so that they may carry out "Acts of Nature."

After being affected by a tropical storm, calls flooded the city’s risk management department and people expected to get paid for lost food after power went out. This is a typical conversation that occurred several times a day:

Adjuster: “Risk Management Division, how may I help you?”

Citizen: “Um, um…I was told to call you, that you could pay for my food.”

Adjuster: “Who advised you to contact the City?”

Citizen: “The news.”

Adjuster: “Did you have food spoilage because of a power outage from the storm?”

Citizen: “Yes”

Adjuster: “Why is the City at fault for your food spoilage?”

Citizen: “Because I lost my electricity.”

Adjuster: “Why is the City at fault for your loss of electricity?”

Citizen: “Because of the storm.”

Adjuster: “Ma’am I am sorry that you lost your food but the City cannot be held responsible for acts of nature that would cause you to lose electricity.”

Citizen: (with an angry tone) “Ma’am the news said you would help me with my lost food and why aren’t you going to help me? It wasn’t my fault I lost my food. I am on a fixed income of social security.”

Adjuster: “Again, I am sorry you lost your power, I also lost my power in the storm also.  But the City is not responsible for Acts of Nature and cannot control the rain, wind.”

Citizen: (citizen angry and yelling) “I am also a tax paying citizen who deserves to be reimbursed.”

Adjuster “My job is to determine if the City was negligent to cause your food spoilage. An Act of Nature–“

Citizen: “Are you doing this to me because of where I live?”

Adjuster: “Ma’am I cannot tell over the phone which part of the City you live in.  And even if I knew where you lived, that would be irrelevant to your claim.”

Citizen: “What if I had medicine that had to be refrigerated.”

Adjuster: “Do you?”

Citizen: “No, but I would have lost my medicine and might be dead because it spoiled.”

Adjuster: “Ma’am if you had medicine that needed to be refrigerated you would have had to gone to the store and get ice to put in a cooler.”

Citizen: “Whatchu mean?”

Adjuster: “What I mean is that the City has been aware since before the storm hit, that it as going to hit our area. If you had medicine that needed to be refrigerated you would had to have helped yourself and get ice and a cooler to make sure you had your medicine if you lost your power. If you would have died The City still would not be responsible for your death. This is called an act of nature.”

Citizen: “God will get you for being so mean.”

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