Hurricanes are a fact of life, even more so now with the rise in the Gulf water temperatures. My first reaction to people who chose not to evacuate was "Why did you stay? Quit complaining! It was your choice!" Some of the people who stayed behind are too stubborn or too stupid to understand what the consequences are and then they scream bloody murder when they find out.
But I realize as I read the news accounts from various sources that one big reason so many stayed is money. It costs money to get into your car and drive and it costs money, usually, to stay somewhere other than your own home. The extra cost after having evacuated once already for Gustav can be too much for a family.
To these people I suggest, "Stop complaining!" Stop complaining because it took rescuers so long to get to you. Stop complaining because you don't have any power to run your air conditioner or refrigerator. Stop complaining because you can't use your toilet. These things happen.
To the ones who are in shelters, again, "Stop complaining!" Perhaps you are only getting a small amount of water every few hours and a little peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat. Perhaps the folding cot you are sleeping on is uncomfortable. This isn't your home. It's a shelter. Things are supposed to be meager in shelters because of the sheer numbers of people needing assistance. I suspect a large percentage of people giving the assistance are volunteers. Give them a break.
Because of the increased number of hurricanes and their increased size and intensity, I say it's time for people to start thinking about living somewhere else. Somewhere farther inland and up the hill.
Living in New Orleans, for instance, below sea level, is just asking for problems. Living inland but still at sea level is still asking for trouble. I understand there's a lot of history to be lost by abandoning places like New Orleans or the many small towns along the gulf that have been there for a couple hundred years. But that history is in danger of being washed away anyway. Better to lose history than lives. Things can be replaced. People can't.
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Sometimes I wonder if the earth is just getting back at us for trashing it. I read in the Discover magazine about all the trash in the oceans. There's a huge floating garbage dumb that circles the Pacific. I'm glad Jacques Cousteau isn't alive to see it. We have land fills containing poisonous trash. We have industrial sites that seep poisonous chemicals into our drinking water. We have nuclear waste that will never go away. We have trashed Mother Earth.
I think she's pissed and wants to wash us away like so much dirt on her hands.