Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Seven Things I Learned from Hurricane Katrina

Ten years ago, this past week, Hurricane Katrina came and passed through New Orleans.  I came to note seven observations over the past ten years of the event.

First, you could go and tell ten thousand people of a life-threatening situation coming to their edge of the world, advising them to leave now....and at least ten-percent will disregard your advice and stay.  Whatever advice or wisdom that you tried to offer them.....didn't matter.  You can offer up a brief prayer for these people and just say adios.  You don't need to be concerned about these people if they realize the impact of what you suggest.

Second, the news media is mostly there for the thrills and bogus human interest stories.  Nothing much has changed in the past decade.

Third, if the National Guard hadn't gotten it's act together quick and gotten to the Super Bowl to pull those people out.....several hundred folks would have perished on top of the chosen-to-go crowd.  Folks don't readily grasp that the National Guard activation comes up and it takes two or three days to get everyone at their post and get trucks to a designated point.  Still today, people don't realize that.

Fourth, about the last thing of value that you can get from a US President is some fly-over of a disaster area.  It doesn't solve anything or fix anything.  Send some general down and just order the guy to fix the problem and give him ten-thousand Marines.

Fifth, folks don't return unless there's something to return to.  Look up the population of New Orleans today....roughly 378,000 compared to 500,000 a decade ago.  Houston took up a fair number of folks, who've opted not to leave....they are happy in Texas and know the job market is better than in Louisiana.

Sixth, I learned that global warming and climate change didn't really bring a hundred more hurricanes after Katrina like all the experts for CNN and ABC/CBS/NBC predicted.  It was supposed to be an era of huge disaster episodes.  And it never came.

Finally, I learned that it's best to run your own disaster escape plan and not rely on the US government for much.

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