Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Live from Houston - It's Hurricane Ike!

As I write this, I am sitting in my wife's office in Bellaire, Texas, working on my computer using her network. My house was undamaged by the hurricane, but my yard and my neighborhood is a mess. My school has a hole in one classroom roof, but my district is closed for the rest of this week. It will be a while before we have power due to the numerous trees that took down power lines and the power poles that were snapped like twigs.

I am considering myself extremely blessed to have come through all this without a scratch. When I think of all that could have happened, I can live without electricity for a while - especially with the wonderful cold front that came through yesterday.

But some tough questions remain...and I have decided not to settle for simplistic, bumper-sticker answers. Here we go:

1. Where is FEMA? That is the question on everyone's mind. The Salvation Army is working hard. So is the American Red Cross. Even the local churches are busy serving everyone. So where are the feds? They knew this storm was coming...but they still seem unprepared. Who are these people?
2. If we learned so much from Katrina and Rita, then why are the same stupid problems occurring again? Not enough gasoline in the right areas, local officials who seem to be "on their own," and people who ignored very direct warnings to evacuate and now have to be rescued. We are pretty predictable, aren't we?
3. Why oh why do the same fools (insurance spokesmen, FEMA reps, etc.) keep repeating their web sites on the radio? Most of the area doesn't have electricity - let alone Internet access. I have grown weary of counting the number of times the hosts of the talk-radio shows ask the person who is talking if he/she has a phone number instead of a web address. Get a clue! People need help, not some web site that is not attainable. And while you're so busy patting yourself on the back for having a working web site, how about having some more people to answer the phones? I haven't met anyone yet who can reach ANY of you on the phone numbers you eventually provide.
4. Why are the individual Americans always the ones who save the day? I'm talking about the people who just show up to cut up fallen trees, unload and pass out ice and water, or just set up their barbeque pits and start cooking for all the "first responders" who are trying to help us all out? I just love those people!! They are wonderful!! They aren't even organized and they do a better job than the feds.
5. One final question: if George W. can't even help out his own state, his own people, his own corner of the world, shouldn't folks who live in other places be worried?

I know I am angry right now, and I really don't care. I am so blessed - but I have not forgotten those who are struggling. My heart goes out to all of them, and this message is for them.

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