To me the worst part of a hurricane is not the storm itself, but the aftermath. No matter what happens you are guaranteed to spend days of no electricity, extreme boredom, ennui, various amounts of clean up, muggy heat, and mosquitoes. On top of that is the annoying drone of generators none of which are yours, dammit.
As of yesterday none of my eighteen some odd relations in the gulf coast area had power. All are OK, no injuries, property damage, or anything of a serious or untoward nature happened. However, propriety requires that I wait at least a week before calling to use my best smug “I told you so” tone of voice and ask “betcha you’ll never do that again, huh?”
Why do we stay put for coming events that we know are going to range from mildly unpleasant to a potentially gruesome fatality? We’ve all done it. Women stay abusive relationships. A random idiot sees a funnel cloud approaching across a field and instead of running for cover, films it approaching, while muttering “oh shit” under their breath. Yes, yes we all have a morbid fascination with a disaster heading right towards us. Oooo, maybe this film smidgen will go viral on YouTube.
The trouble with Hurricanes is that they are rather uncooperative and refuse to fit themselves into an evening prime time spot on the Telly or a 30 second film on a social media site. Naming them after males instead of females has not made them any more dependable. These pesky disasters insist on dragging on and on. Long after brief attention spans have moved on to the latest titillating scandal or tragedy.
I have to say though, that I am impressed with the pre-staging of electricity repair trucks, Red Cross Aid, etc. Someone would have to be shot at dawn if that at the very least was not done in light of how horribly wrong the Katrina recover effort floundered 7 years ago.
Driving home from New Orleans to North Texas recently I took a side road for diversion. In the middle of nowhere I drove past what seemed like miles and miles of abandoned identical trailer homes. What I was seeing was trailers left over from Katrina that were never distributed. 2 of my relatives had their homes destroyed, but never “qualified” for the FEMA trailers. Now hundreds of these unused hulks sit in rural Louisiana slowly rusting away.
The logistics of administering aid to those in a crisis is obviously a complicated nightmare. I’m hoping this time for Isaac things go better and those who need help get help.
One thing that puzzles me though is why do people stay in a place that is routinely wiped off map? Part of it, I assume, is that it is not that easy to pick up your entire life and relocate it elsewhere. Greater minds than mine have puzzled this through the ages. Living in Pompeii was probably pretty rockin’ right up until the end.