The Panic Caused by Irene

Article first published as The Panic Caused by Irene on Technorati.

Here in the Northeast, we have been preparing for the onslaught of hurricane Irene.  We have been watching reports of its progress, and have been given the warnings of what to expect.  It has been about 10 years since we have had a storm of this magnitude come through the area but we have dealt with flooding and storm damage many times before.  This is why I am surprised by the behavior of so many people in the last few days.  Why are so many in a panic?

Last spring I bought a Coleman lamp at Costco that cost around 20 dollars and ran on D cell batteries.  I thought this would be good for when the power went out.  I have a good supply of batteries a home as I always keep many different sizes available.  I have an old Sony boom box that runs on batteries as well.  This is the only form of communication I can use since I don’t have a fancy cell phone that allows me to surf the net. 

We had a storm pass through last spring that caused us to lose power for 28 hours.  When you have a house that runs on a septic system, it is not a pretty site.  This taught me to fill up my tub in advance and to keep a certain amount of water available for drinking.  Today I am washing as many clothes as I can in case we lose power for more than a few hours or days. So it surprises me that people are out running around looking for batteries, water, non-perishable food, etc.   When they find it, they are buying large quantities.   Does anyone really drink that much water or milk in a day?  

I am glad that the authorities are taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their citizens.  I am also fortunate that I do not live near the shoreline or a river.  I certainly hope that everyone survives the storm and that no lives are lost.  But we have to remember one thing.  We are not a third world country.  We have resources to help those in need.  Should we lose power, we will eventually have it turned backed on.  We can rebuild any structure that becomes damaged.  What I am trying to say is we are not a country like Haiti.  A country that suffered greatly and has not had the resources to help their people.  We all saw what the forces of nature did to those people and the little they had.  We felt sorry and gave donations for about 10 minutes. and then we went on with our lives.  No matter what this storm brings, we will survive any temporary set-back it may cause.  Let us be grateful for that.

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