The Soapbox Papers

The Soapbox Papers is my two-cents worth.

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Location: Beloit, Wisconsin, United States

I am a cross between Tinkerbell and Calamity Jane.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

"There is nothing more thrilling in this world, I think, than having a child that is yours, and yet is mysteriously a stranger." -- Agatha Christie

It is not that I expect little of them, but my children never cease to amaze me. In his blog, my youngest son, Taran, speaks his mind (rant rant rant!) on the aftermath of Katrina. Some of what he wrote was what I expected - but some of his ideas blew me away.

Taran mentions empty seats. Here's the scenario over the last weekend. There is a hurricane churning and gathering strength in the Gulf of Mexico that is going to make landfall - definitely going to find a place to go onto dry land - somewhere on the Gulf Coast of the US, and most probably Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle. Orders for evacuation go out, and as in all instances, they are stressed and soon made mandatory. So people pack up and leave. A lot of people go. But by the admission of the mayor of New Orleans, not everyone who should evacuate would go. Many just could not go. Many just couldn't afford to go. And yet, on the highways leaving town, there were cars with many empty seats. How many of those leaving even thought about taking along someone else, someone who would otherwise have to stay behind and get through as best he could? Those who drove off in vans and those big old SUVs -- was there a bit of room for someone else there? Under the circumstances - hey, there's a hurricane coming and home is in the direct path - couldn't the beds of pick-up trucks even been utilized to get people to high ground and safety?

Never thought of that.

Those grocery stores who knew they were directly in the path of the oncoming storm -- couldn't they have rented trucks to carry some of their stock out with them -- the water and food and diapers and such that are in such demand now - but which are under water?

Taran also mentioned rental car agencies. All the cars left on their lots now have to be written off as, at least, flood damaged. Wouldn't it have been better, as Taran says, for the agencies to have tossed the keys to families who needed to get away from the descending storm?

Planning an evacuation needs to take on a more extensive, more thoughtful, more creative approach.

Hurricanes bring loss. The loss wouldn't have to be so many lives if we were a society of people who looked out for one another.

Think. Plan. Be safe.

And listen to your kids.

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