Been reading Tweets all morning from people up North who are whining about the inconvenience of having to prepare/change their daily routine/evacuate. Makes my blood boil. After Katrina, didn’t people learn “better safe than sorry”? Astonishing to me that there are people who are actually upset because they couldn’t get a latte this morning because there wasn’t a Starbucks nearby where they evacuated to, or because where they normally go has been closed off by their respective local governments. I also find it majorly annoying to read people who have been through Cat 2+ hurricanes say that Irene was “just wind and rain.” The whole “my hurricane was bigger than yours” thing kinda reminds me of the age-old tendency by guys to compare “packages”, if you catch my drift. It’s childish – is it really worth it when you consider the loss of life, the billions in property damage, the months it will take to refurb/rebuild homes and businesses in areas devastated by the “little Cat. 1″ Irene, whose wind gusts and storm surges at time were more like a Cat. 2?
There is a valid concern that because New York City, where the mainstream media seemed to focus most of their attention (because no where else seemed to matter, I guess), wasn’t destroyed that people will not listen to the warnings next time around. Sorry to sound harsh, but that is THEIR problem. If people want to ignore the warnings and sit out a tornado, hurricane, etc – that’s their issue. Just because you don’t get burned the first time around makes it ok to chance it the second time around? And if it ends up being catastrophic and these same people end up being hurt or killed, leaving behind distraught family members – well, they were warned. God only knows how many countless family members weep when they think about loved ones who were lost during a natural disasters past because they thought nothing would happen to them.
Also, on the flip side, think about the reverse situation: If local governments believed forecasters had overhyped a storm, and as a result didn’t urge precautions and evacuations, and the storm ended up being epic in terms of loss of life, etc? There would be a nationwide outrage and rightly so.
People laugh at us here in NC sometimes because the bread and milk and batters fly off the shelves at the first sign of a snowflake. But I personally would rather be prepared and not need things than to need things and not be prepared. Predicting the seriousness of natural disasters is not an exact science (as we all know), but if my local weather guy/gal tells me to prepare and/or evacuate, you bet your a** I’m gonna do it. My mama didn’t raise a fool.
North Carolina’s coast line/Outer Banks area was hardest hit. Click here for damage assessments so far. If you’re a resident of North Carolina affected/impacted by Irene, go here for information on how to get help, find out about road closures, etc.