Wednesday, June 6, 2007

FEMA says it is ready for hurricane season, residents say they aren't.

A recent poll discovered that 88% of the respondents who live in hurricane prone areas said that they have taken absolutely no steps to fortify their home, 61% have no hurricane survival kit and 16% said they would defy orders to evacuate to safety.

There has always been a certain amount of individualism that has caused folks to ride out storms they should run from. I saw that in the 4 years I lived on the gulf coast when I was in the Navy. We used to go to sea and ride the storms out, the locals just bought beer and drank it out. But in light of the government’s indifference and stories that have come out of Katrina, I can’t help but wonder if resignation is more of a cause to these poll findings than anyone is thinking right now.

At the height of the Katrina disaster I became quite calm. The cause was a sudden realization that we really are on our own from now on. Before Katrina, we could at least expect food shipments and the FEMA adjusters making their way to the scene to get financial assistance going for the victims so they could begin to rebuild their lives. With Katrina we saw an overt apathy, our government shrugging it’s shoulders and wiping it’s hands. The folks who live in hurricane prone areas saw this too and I can't help but wonder how many of them thought the same thing as well.

This is the way of the future. Let the poor suffer and die, let the wealthy take care of themselves, and when a mass of death rains down onto a concentrated area it’s to be considered a cleansing of souls. Let the weakest die and the fittest survive. When I saw the government’s inaction instead of becoming angry, I became calm because for the first time in my life I realized all those stories we conspiracy theorists have read for years about depopulation were true.

It’s a stunning feeling when theories you didn’t put credence into suddenly become true. Life changing epiphanies are made from even smaller events and this one illuminated (pardon the pun) many conspiracy theories that I had brushed aside for years. I try to be much more cautious and thoughtful before I dismiss a new theory or take a second look at an old theory because of this experience.

So, pardon me if I am a bit underwhelmed when I read that FEMA has announced that they are ready for the hurricane season. Now I wonder when they say ready if it means they have Blackwater on call, know how to more readily cause a media blackout and how to make the celebration of death a less than public affair.

We are all on our own, folks. Remember that.

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