After the episode, I opened the refrigerator back up and the light was still off so I did what I thought was necessary, I called Panther Central (Pitt's go to office for every day living needs). When they answered I quickly explained that my refrigerator was broken and I was requesting someone to come an fix it. In my mind, my broken refrigerator seemed like an emergency. Because of my food allergies I can only eat what I prepare and my entire week's nourishment is in that refrigerator so having it be non-functional is a lot more detrimental to me then the average college student who may only have a few boxes of pizza rolls in their refrigerator. The guy at Panther Central though didn't see my side of the story. He told me it wasn't an emergency and since it was Sunday, the one maintenance guy on staff was busy. He told me to file a report online and that someone would be by to fix my refrigerator by Wednesday.
Frustrated, I called the one guy I know who can fix just about anything--my dad. I had already pulled the refrigerator out from the wall and tried plugging the plug into the other half of the outlet (there was no difference). He suggested plugging in a lamp to see if the outlet was functional. I quickly grabbed a lamp and sure enough, it didn't light. With the help of a surge protector, and my dad, I was able to plug the refrigerator into a functional outlet and get it working again.
My refrigerator was working again, but it gave me just enough panic to make me think what would happen if the refrigerator actually was bad and I had to wait days to get it fixed? At home, we would just put the food in our garage fridge or on the screen porch but at Pitt I don't have any of those options. To be honest, what I would probably do is take my big blue travel cooler and stuff it with the most perishable foods like my meat. My big blue cooler can keep things cold for 4 days. It wouldn't be ideal but it would work.
As I go though college and life in general, situations come up that I never would have thought would happen; a bum outlet, having butter wiped across my face accidentally, being forced into a small room by a teacher with my allergens which were airborne, getting kissed on the lips by my 5-year-old cousin and having an anaphylactic reaction. The list goes on an on. Last week I had the pleasure of getting to hear from the CEO of the American Red Cross--and organization that focuses on spending time preparing for disasters people hope will never happen. She left us with the message that one of the most important things we can do as leaders (it was at a leadership summit) is to be prepared for the unexpected.
As we grow up and start to accept more and more of the responsibility for our own health, it is important we prepare for the unexpected whether it be bringing extra food on vacation incase your flight is delayed or just carrying your epinephrine because the the American Red Cross would say; you never know when a disaster will strike.