Hurricane

Every time there is a big hurricane preparing to swoop upon us, there are countless news articles featuring people who stubbornly make themselves comfy and say “I’m not leaving.” I just read this article, Strapped for Cash, Some in New Orleans Stay and Hope, and while I empathize with those who don’t have the money to stay at a hotel during the evacuation period, there are others who are simply annoying.

One woman in this article refuses to leave because she has 2 dogs. I adore my cats, and there is no way I’d leave without them. There’s also no way I’d leave them parked directly in harm’s way when I’ve had ample time and warning to remove them from the threat. I lived in south Florida for years and was evacuated several times. Guess what? Each time, I took my cats with me, and with some advance planning, I found lodging that accepted my cats for a night or two until we could safely return home. It’s not terribly difficult to find motels or hotels that allow pets, and I can’t stand that animals are forced into potentially dangerous situations because their human can’t or won’t think ahead and plan for everyone’s safety.

Another couple in this article have a means of transportation and the funds to evacuate, but their logic runs this way: they were devastated during Katrina, so they refuse to leave for this storm. From the article:

Like a relationship that suffers a bad break-up and is stronger after a reunion, she worries that she hasn’t got the heart to leave and then return a second time.

“When you stand out there by that river and look at that levee,” she said, “you are just so blessed to live here. I am in love, and so I make my choice.”

Oversentimentalizing this decision doesn’t make it any less foolish. At least in this case, they are only jeopardizing themselves. How many people, with similiar thought processes, are refusing to leave and are therefore making that same decision for young children who have no power to choose otherwise?

The only people in this article I have compassion for are the ones who have no money to live at a hotel for a few days, or those in fear of losing their jobs if they leave. It is a privilege that I always had a car, as well as money for gas and a hotel room, when I evacuated. I don’t know what kinds of transportation and shelter accomodations the evacuating areas have managed to arrange, so I really don’t know what residents’ options are.

When I was packing my car to head out of town before a hurricane a few years ago, a new neighbor in my apartment complex met me outside, nervous and scared, not sure what to expect, not sure where to go. She had just moved to the area and had never been through a hurricane before. I didn’t even hesitate. I told her to pack a bag and hop into the car with me.

It just seems to me that if people took better care of each other, no resident of any city in any emergency would be facing limited or no options. I know, call me idealistic. But it’s still true.

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About TheSmirkingCat

I am endlessly trying to make sense of a world that has completely and unapologetically lost its mind.
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5 Responses to Hurricane

  1. Amy says:

    The evacuees are rolling into our area now. They started bringing them into the hospitals here a few days ago. We will probably see a few thunderstorms but we’re far enough away from the coast to thankfully avoid the real weather. I, too, can’t understand the parents who would leave their children in harms way.I hope those that chose to stay don’t regret it later

  2. Lydia says:

    My grandparents live on the Atlantic Ocean in Maryland. At times, bad storms would blow in and they refused to ever leave. Thankfully, nothing ever happened to them, but why take the chance? I don’t understand not getting out of the way of a storm. It’s backwards logic. Hopefully Gustav won’t be as bad as Katrina.

  3. I am glad more people have evacuated this time than with Katrina & Rita. I guess there will always be those that refuse to leave for whatever reason. My hubby is in the State Guard and has been gone since last Friday. They are setting up shelter operations in several places in Texas for the people who are evacuating. Many organizations and churches have prepared to help, so there is always some place for them to have shelter from the storms.

  4. Stephanie says:

    There are plenty of organizations out there willing to help people evacuate if they don’t have the resources to do so themselves. I understand that it’s tough to have to leave your home in the face of a natural disaster, but really… if they refuse to leave, despite the government’s best efforts to get them to do so, I say rescue efforts ought to be reimbursable. Maybe that would convince them to go.

  5. Smirking Cat says:

    I was in the garden center today, and I heard 2 people talking about this very subject, about people with kids who choose to stay during a hurricane. I should have asked them to hop on over to the Smirking Cat and leave their two cents!

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