Originally Posted by The Brandon Five
There were evacuation orders. Those people should have obeyed them. Is all of NYC underwater and without power?
There are about 600,000 without power now. Are you telling me that you know for a fact that none of them had anywhere they could go? No family in the Northeast? No ability to go to one of the shelters that were opened in anticipation of the storm?
The point is: what is wrong with telling people to remain calm and be patient? What's your answer? Sue Con Ed for not being able to muster the entire nation's supply of electrical workers at a moment's notice?
Let's not go absolute. Let's realize that every one of them, and those in the shelters, and many known dead and many we'll find out died, have just gone through mind-blowing trauma. I don't care if it IS only having to live in a shelter out of a duffle bag for a week, when a week before you were an every-day middle class guy -- way closer than you'd like to be to homeless. Trying to line up insurance adjusters when you might not have even been able to get back to where you live.
That's saying nothing of the worst cases: the people who started out homeless. Those without insurance. Those who lost everything.
New York isn't a hurricane alley state. I have no problem w/how the authorities handled it. I saw nothing to suggest they could have done anything else short of sending in the military, pretty much the whole military, and having them remove New Yorkers and New Jerseyites. The announcements were threatening, not cajoling. After Katrina, suddenly it was okay for big government to say "I know better than you Joe Six Pack, get the hell out of your home." And they did it. So kudos to the pols -- this time I think they got it very clear.
But I think the ones with no place to go, the ones that take a hard financial hit they can't come back from, the renters, etc. etc. etc., are all casualties of sorts and are likely to keep being going forward.
Look back to when you were 25, for those who are older now. Think back to a time when your assets consisted essentially of what few sticks of furniture you had, an accumulation of stuff to wear, that may or may not include a cool item or two, maybe an old beater of a car. If you need to think back to do this -- and I only say "think back" because this board seems to brim with the self-proclaimed successful -- think back to a time when the next paycheck not coming meant the beginning of a disaster. Okay, think about the people working at a business that just got destroyed. They might not even know if they technically have a job, and they might be looking at losing that "next paycheck." Their transportation is gone for now if they took the subway, and is likely gone if they drove to work.
You guys remember Katrina -- same thing but moreso. The population there just plain broke. Yes, people did
move out of the city -- then developers started over "rebuilding." The old New Orleans is gone, with a new one built around the remaining people and institutions. New York/NJ won't likely come close to that effect in Sandy, but the impact right now is still just horrendous.
So I don't so much fixate on who got warned and didn't leave. I don't fixate on who doesn't have insurance when no similar event has happened (i.e., one that wiped out a whole (longstanding and gigantic) city, without precedent.) I'm more thinking that people need help right now, and the vast majority could be any one of us, no matter what we tell ourselves.
Put another way: I live in a relatively flood-safe part of Alexandria. We're in the hilly Western part, and at the top of a hill to boot. I have no flood insurance. Everybody down by the river does have it. The renters? Are you kidding me? What the hell happens to them?
Renter =/= homeless -- until something like this goes down.
There's just too much bad shlitz happening to these guys right now for me to go on a search for the bad people who needed to be more responsible (and painting tons more with the same brush.) I think we do this to make ourselves feel comfortable, and protect ourselves from the realization that we are vulnerable to something.
I'm not pointing at you for "saying" that - you're just counseling patience. I gotcha. I can't argue, right now, when patience is all that can be counseled in some circumstances. But yeah, I do believe that moving fast in disaster relief is in all our interests.