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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane aftermath

As I watched the news channels accounts of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I couldn't help but wonder why we were so unprepared. We, being America. One couple told of leaving a shelter because they had no water for people to drink and had provided only one sandwich. Thousands of people on a bridge couldn't get police to stop and render aid to a family whose baby was near death. The police didn't stop. The baby died. An older woman saw her husband die, when she asked for help, the policeman told her to move the body so it wouldn't start smelling.

Three days after the hurricane hit, it's still chaos. Why is that?

I've decided to go volunteer to answer phones and load trucks at a local agency. It's the only thing I can do to help. Money helps, but right now I'm not sure that it would get to where it needed to go.

Again, millions of dollars spent and sent to local agencies so they could prepare for manmade or natural disasters and we're still that unprepared. I don't know about anyone else but I sure feel a whole lot more vulnerable.


Earnest said...

I saw on KTUL recently that Tulsa county was once declared a disaster area more times than any other county in the country, partially due to flooding. However, after spending a quarter of a billion dollars upgrading our infrastructure for protecting ourselves against flooding, we managed to completely reverse the trend. Our last big flood was in 1986.

Last night on Nightline, [I forget the guest's name] someone suggested that part of the problem was that people were refusing to evacuate the area before the hurricane. Ted Koppel countered that so many of New Orleans's residents were poor that they couldn't be expected to pack up and just leave. Ted Koppel was right, but I wouldn't award him a full point. So many citizens don't take hurricanes seriously enough. The attitude that keeps them from evacuating when the orders are given is the same attitude that keeps them from making hurricane/flooding protection civic priority number one.

CISSY said...

Preparation would have helped. And, it's hard to leave your home as we've seen in the news many people still don't want to leave.

Afer dodging the bullet (Hurricanes) for so many years, I guess New Orleans just felt invincible. Sort of like Oklahomans during tornado season.