It has been fascinating to observe the vast array of emotions, reactions and attitudes that surfaced during the Hurricane Irene situation. Not only of the people that this hurricane immediately affected but even the people watching from other States or countries. Take for instance the days leading up to NYC completely shutting down. People were encouraged to prepare for the worst just in case they were stranded with no power, water and food. You had 2 camps of people. The first did their due diligence and stocked up on flashlights, batteries, candles, water and food amongst other supplies. The second group appeared not to be phased as if Irene was a regular occurrence and why would you bother to stock up for a day of inconvenience? Their judgmental attitude, actually made them sound like they were back in Junior High offering nothing of value except uncomfortable peer pressure.
People prepared their homes and families in different degrees. Ultimately, where someone lived played the biggest factor. By 7am Sat morning, the Home Depot located in the coastal neighborhood of CT was jammed packed with pick up trucks filled to the max with sheets of plywood, sand and salt bags, batteries and other necessary supplies. Obviously the few families that ignored the mandatory evacuation and signed papers releasing the city from any liability, were prepared to duke it out with Irene. Those living further in land rushed to secure their outside furniture, lawn ornaments and clean out their roof troughs and drain pipes.
Family and friends, living outside the Hurricane’s path, proceeded to flood the phone lines Sat am trying to find out the status and scoop of the situation. It is reassuring to know during these horrific times who your friends are. However, it was also interesting that these same people who wanted to show their concern and support actually contributed to the stress and mayhem that ensued. With only the news or Internet feeding their knowledge, either they would jump to conclusions and state “what they would do” if they were in your shoes or they were completely oblivious to how negative and distracting their concerned phone calls and opinions were. People thought they were delivering good news when they repeated what they saw on the news… It’s only a Category 1, or the winds are only at 65mph…
Millions of unfortunate homes are without power today and the Flash flooding has just started to take their victims. The “invincible” Americans that think we all over reacted have started to leave the safety of their homes and take to the streets. Not only are they now floating down a river somewhere because they thought they were just driving through a 6″ puddle, but they are selfishly risking the lives of many who have to rescue them. We already lost a New Jersey rescue worker because he had to go after one of these selfish people.
Now that the hurricane has come and gone, many NYC people are publically booing that the city over reacted and there was nothing to worry about. I guess the abundance of parties, all day and night, in the city and sold out liquor stores doesn’t accurately represent the inconvenience they were put through. No sooner than 30 min after the hurricane passed through, people are frolicking in the water as if they were on vacation in Hawaii.
The damage is not even close to being over. The hurricane is hours gone and is now the status of a tropical storm. However, the rain and winds continue to be destructive and have picked up in speed so much that trees are continuing to be snapped. For those millions of homes without power, it may be several days before you will be able to enjoy a working fridge and freezer. In the meantime, once you are able to return to your home, hold your nose as you proceed to throw out all the spoiled food. Power will only be restored when the winds die down and workers are able to safely stand on their vehicle ladders without the possibilty of being swept away. I doubt even the “invincibles” would climb that ladder.
The center of the universe may have gotten away with limited damage but the rest of NY State, the New England area and Canada is still dealing with the storm.
Personally, i think its always better to be over prepared then under. Hats off and my complete respect to the government and power officials who did all they could to prepare us for this storm. With the mandatory evacuations, mass transit shutdowns, highway closures and curfews, we were able to minimize damage and loss of life. For those we did lose, our thoughts are with you and your families.
Now the clean up starts…