Sunday, November 4, 2012

How Self Reliant are You?

For the sake of accuracy, let me state that I have a lot of fellow gate guards that I have never met. I consider most of them friends. In today’s age of electronic communication that has become the norm.  It is interesting how you can determine a person’s mindset and personality via their writing. I feel I have formed a kinship with Andy; who also has a blog (apparently more popular than mine)- He is also braver than me when it comes to speaking his mind.
Anyway, Andy’s topic today was the apparent lack of preparation shown by a lot of the folks affected by the recent “super storm”. More importantly, he commented on how those folks seem so dependent on government help to get by-even for a week! I wanted to comment, but held back out of respect for those suffering. Now that “the cat is out of the bag”, I guess I can make some observations. I do not know what was broadcast in the Northeast. Here in South Texas the television broadcast non-stop about the size and ferocity of the storm. Still, we had folks who apparently did not fill up their vehicles or containers with fuel. We also had folks on the coast that refused to evacuate. For those of you not familiar with basements; they flood. So much so that most basements have a sump pump in them. Yet we had a hospital with a back-up generator in the basement. Worse than that; the primary generators fuel supply and pump were also in the basement. Bet that gets changed pronto. Folks might say it is insensitive to comment while the emergency continues. Fair enough, but like Andy I have lived through a lot of emergencies. My Mom spent the first week (and many more) after hurricane Andrew working like a dog cleaning up the house. She and my Dad were resourceful and got through it. I think the type of destruction was similar to Sandy’s. Interestingly it was said that had the storm hit a little further North we would have had an impact in the Miami area. Imagine the outcry and wailing that would have ensued had that happened. As it was, the folks in the affected area felt neglected by the folks up North as they had plenty of water and electricity. More recently, we lived through almost two weeks of no electricity during an ice storm in Oklahoma. While I realize I was fortunate to have an RV, I still had to be resourceful and ration what I had. We bled electricity off of the RV generator to keep the house from freezing and slept in the RV. For some reason I never thought of seeking out a news crew and complaining about my plight. And believe me two weeks without power is a LONG time. I look back now and realize how much more self sufficient I have become since going full time in my RV. I see that folks are now pulling together and helping each other out. You have to do this when these things happen. The government folks are going to have as hard a time as you (at first) getting around. While you may smirk at the survivalists out there, there is a lesson to be learned from them. I don’t know if you need to dig a hole somewhere and stash a year’s worth of supplies. I do know it is prudent to keep some cash in the house, at least some non perishable goods and some water. I do not in any way wish to diminish the pain and suffering of those caught in this storm’s path. I do hope that it serves as a wakeup call. On a broader scale our infrastructure remains much as it was fifty or more years ago. We still have yet to revamp our electrical grid, along with the water and sewer systems. And, as Andy eluded, how much longer can our ever growing society continue to burn through money and continue basic public services. At some point the borrowing will have to stop or our society will roll over the edge. When I see reports of companies losing millions of dollars in a quarter and our cities drowning in debt; I am left to wonder how long the travesty can continue.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad that someone wrote about this. I can't tell you how it gripes me to the bone when I see someone complaining to the TV crew about how slowly the government is responding and how little help they are getting. One woman said FEMA gave her $1800 to fix her house - that wasn't enough. FEMA is only there to make a portion of the house habitable...not repair the entire thing with our tax dollars! She should have had insurance for the rest. FEMA is a BASIC safety net and we are lucky to have THAT. Sorry about the mini rant. I lived in one room of my 4 bedroom house for a year after a storm damaged it. It was the only room with heat - we made it and without complaining to the news.