Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Why do people stay???

I've never been able to fathom it (no pun intended.) When word comes that a major storm is about to strike and terrible flooding will result, why do people stay?? I understand the draw of your home. I understand wanting to stand your ground.

But Mother Nature has the upper hand. She always will. You cannot beat her when she's blowing you away at 160 mph.

And now, the military is left plucking survivors off of rooftops, and bodies are floating down flooded streets. When your mayor and your governor say "Get the hell out!" GO!!!!

Sigh.

If someone said to me, "Hey, God is swinging his hammer of wrath upon your town. You have 24 hours to evacuate," well, hell. I'm outta here! Throw a cooler and some clothes in the back of the crapmobile and hit the road.

I completely understand that there are some people who, through ignorance or lack of understanding, stayed behind. They may not comprehend the situation. But the ones who say, "Oh hell, my house withstood Camille, I ain't leavin'..." They're the ones being airlifted out by the National Guard now.

And then, there are the looters...

This from MSNBC.com:

"Around the corner on Canal Street, the main thoroughfare in the central business district, people sloshed headlong through hip-deep water as looters ripped open the steel gates on the front of several clothing and jewelry stores.

One man, who had about 10 pairs of jeans draped over his left arm, was asked if he was salvaging things from his store.

“No,” the man shouted, “that’s everybody’s store.”

Looters filled industrial-sized garbage cans with clothing and jewelry and floated them down the street on bits of plywood and insulation as National Guard lumbered by.

Some in the crowd splashed into the waist-deep water like giddy children at the beach."

These are not people grabbing food and water for survival. These people are vermin. They're turning a disaster zone into their own Home Shopping extravaganza. Sick.

I've never understood looting in the wake of a major tragedy. If you're looting stores in New Orleans right now and you get swept up in floodwater or end up with some horrible septic ailment from running around knee-depth in filthy water, dragging a trashcan full of stolen jewelry and jeans, then you get what you deserve. Instant karma, baby. Instant smack-you-in-the-head karma.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boy, I am with you on the big "HUH?" when it comes to people and their behavior before, during and after these large natural disasters.

Looting.

I guess looting is where you learn that most of your neighbors are only a smidgin' away from being major criminals, all it takes is that final push I guess. They do know that the military can shoot them for that, don't they???

Wading in flood waters.

I just asked my spouse about this one, yet again. Why do people go out and purposely walk in the flooded areas? What exactly do they think is in that water? Yessum, that is all that nice sewage that the storm flushed out of the sewer system for hundreds of miles all about... let's go play in it.

And lastly, what is with this not leaving when you are told to? Granted, there were no doubt some that had no option, but really in numbers, those must be truly few. Those that stay when they could have left should have to pay for their own rescue. If someone is going to risk their life and/or limb to pull these people to safety then I think they better have a good excuse.

Okay, I am done ranting. Keep yourself safe though, looks like you have the storm heading your way. Sure as shooting, if Maryland is going to get a tornado, it will hit Bethesda... it is quite possible that the "finger of god" is coming for the rug. LOL!

SJL

The Fox Force Five said...

Wow, I'm sure most of us think, when something like this happens, "gosh what a horrible tragedy, what can I do to help?" but a slim few also think, "how can I benifit from this, how can I make a profit, how can I take advantage of this situation." Quite sad.

Merujo said...

I know - it's sad and creepy. I feel for the people who are grabbing what food and water they can from local grocery stores. Hungry children can't wait for the local Winn-Dixie to officially re-open. But unless someone has created a new science that changes gold jewelry and Levis into nourishment, that's just utterly wrong.

Shri said...

Some people stay because they just don't understand the scope of the event and hope for the best. How can you fathom 160mph wind when you've no frame of reference?

Some people stay because their whole lives are tied up in their house, their neighborhood; all those memories are very difficult to let go even in the face of calamity.

And, some stay to profit from the ill fortunes of others. While despicable, it's not a surprise. You can view it with a sense of disdain, however, it's not unexpected. Of course, we focus on those vermin that steal jeans and trinkets cursing them out as we watch them on TV, but they're stealing things. The real villains in my view are those that profit off of the emotional trauma of the victims - the media

sabatkes said...

Well I can tell you first I had to call my parents to make sure they were leaving New Orleans on Sunday. My dad has a habit of staying behind BECAUSE of the looters. I have a lot of friends who left the city as well and they, just like my parents are worried that when the return what the water didn't get-the looters, sakes and ants got. I lived in the Big Sleazy for 7 years and I can tell you, it is like living in a third world country. I'm headed down there once they say it is ok so my parents don't get screwed by scam artists.I hate being an adult.

Merujo said...

shri - I can understand not wanting to leave behind a home, but in the end, if you want to extrapolate to the very edge, a house is a just a thing, too. The memories are memories, and you will carry them with you wherever you go.

My family had a very peripatetic lifestyle thanks to my father's Department of Defense job, so I have no valid frame of reference for being so attached to four specific walls that it's worth risking life and limb to stay in the path of a cataclysmic event.

Is the media fairly evil for sucking every ounce of emotion out of it? Oh hell yeah! No doubt there. But I still think that people who steal needlessly and greedily from their neighbors who have been traumatized in the same calamity are vermin.

Sorry if you object to my choice of word, but it's my view. Doesn't matter if the circumstances are a blackout or a tornado or a hurricane or a flood, looters suck.

sabatkes - glad to hear your family is okay. And good god, the infestation of poisonous snakes and fire ants? FIRE ANTS? It's so... biblical...

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute...

I can understand someone not being able to "conceptualize" the impact of 160 mph winds...

However, I am blown away (excuse the pun) by these same people that don't "listen" to the folks in charge that DO UNDERSTAND the idea and say "hey, you don't want to be here, leave and leave quick"!!!

It was just a few short months ago that either "The Discovery Channel" or "PBS" ran a series on hurricanes and especially the looming threat to the city of "New Orleans" and why it would be so catastrophic.

The city is surrounded by water; the big lake and the Mississippi river and the ocean. It was being protected by levies, and a levy or a damn can only hold so much weight. The city itself had been working on an evacuation plan and worst case scenario for two years.

Sometimes, it is just good to listen and obey and learn the details later.

... and about the looting - yeah, they are just "things" but it shows the rest of the world how quickly Americans can become unraveled, selfish and ugly... people were making fun of the folks in Iraq when they were looting - so, it's pretty undignified to see it in this country. Each man for himself is such an distasteful motto.

SJL

My heart goes out to all the pets that were left behind. I will never understand why some folks made that choice.

hoyameb said...

Making Light in general, and this entry in particular opened my eyes as to why people stayed. It's hard for me to imagine that level of poverty, but of course our "government" has spent the last five years making sure that the poor get poorer, so I shouldn't be surprised.

The Greyhound station in NO was apparently closed for good on Saturday.