I learned that many out-of-state reporters have great difficulty pronouncing "Kanawha," or in some cases, of even realizing that Charleston is located in West Virginia.
Probably the worst example, posted on a newsroom bulletin board, came from CBS This Morning's website Here's the lead sentence:
"The water supply for hundreds of thousands of people is contaminated after a chemical spilled into the Elf River in Charleston, South Carolina."
I learned how to find a Laundromat in Huntington, since similar establishments closer to home were jammed past capacity. Once my laundry was done, I got reacquainted with the simple pleasure of a restaurant meal, and not having to heat bottled water to wash my dishes when I finished eating.
I also learned that our National Guard could handle a water contamination crisis as well as it has handled floods, derechos and blizzards. I learned to appreciate the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and emergency service workers who made the chore of picking safe drinking water fast and easy, at least at the places I visited.
But there will be one negative consequence from the emergency that will have long-lasting consequences for me.
I'll never be able to look at a licorice stick in the same way ever again.