Becky Says...

September 2005

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After the Storm - September 1

I am finding it hard to comprehend the effects of Hurricane Katrina. The fact that eighty percent of New Orleans is flooded is beyond my brain to process. A local newscaster was talking about the square miles involved, and likened it to the size of the City of Raleigh and then some.

North Carolina understands that amount of water. We saw a similar thing happen in 1999 when Hurricane Floyd devastated the eastern part of the state. It has happened in smaller areas of the state since, with subsequent storms. But the difference here is that a lot of what was flooded was farmland. Yes, that's devastating. Crops were washed out. Farm animals were killed. But not so many human lives were at stake.

And the possibility of a month with no power is beyond my brain, as well. I remember being without power in my apartment during Hurricane Fran in 1996. That was over 59 hours, and was a nuisance, but at no point did I feel my life was threatened. My job was safe. My life, with minor disruption, would go on as I had known it.

I wish that were the case for those affected by Katrina. For the vast majority, it is not. There are people in serious trouble for lack of medicine. Lack of food and water. Lack of living space. Lack of safety. And in the longer term, lack of jobs for the devastation caused to businesses.

We who are not in the affected part of the country can do things to help our fellow citizens. We can donate through various charitable organizations. We can take up the slack so our neighbors can go participate in relief efforts. We can do whatever conserving of gasoline we can to reduce the demand on the pipelines as they come back online. Those who pray can certainly add this to their list of concerns.

And we can be patient. If there is need to castigate government officials for perceived lack of proper planning for disasters, that can damned well wait. We can give them credit for doing the best they can at the moment. We can suggest better ways for future emergencies. But we really can do that later.

Text copyright 2000-2005 Becky