This is the last of Gustav and Ike from me for a while. I'm still disappointed in just about all aspects of the way hurricanes are covered. Don't care for the panic-inducing rhetoric from the media and public officials before the hurricanes or some of the incredibly bad and irresponsible editorializing after. And the politics, well, I have no words for someone trying to seize political advantage during a disaster and it doesn't matter to me what side of the aisle they sit on.
This from Houmatoday.com, which I think is the online version of the Houma Courier:
As parish flooded, emergency director was at LSU game
But not before picking up his wife ... at home in a mandatory evacuation area ... in an official rescue truck. Whether he engaged in any real criminal wrongdoing or not is of no consequence to his status as a public official. He's done.
This from Janine Godwin on September 15, 2008 in a piece called "Lessons Learned from Hurricane Ike":
This may sound glib, but it was a no-brainer when the warnings started popping up that Hurricane Ike was coming towards Houston. I listened, and paid attention from the beginning. I didn't wait until the last minute to top off my gas tank, I did it as soon as it looked like this storm could be coming this way. I think at the time it was in Cuba, which really isn't all that far away when you think about it. You never know what could happen in a couple hours time to change the course of a storm of this magnitude. In other words - never underestimate the power of Mother Nature - she is one fickle lady.
I was probably a little too snide about her remark the other day when I asked if she quit driving after she topped off her gas tank that long before landfall. In her words, "Yes. I had officed from home that week, so there was no reason to go out and wander the streets". Obviously, the ideal thing to do is to top off your gas tank, stock up your pantries, and office from home in the days leading up to hurricane, even though no one yet knows where it might land, but I don't think it's a particularly useful lesson because the vast, overwhelming majority of people can't do that for any number of reasons. The most common ones are that they're driving to work those days and when they get off and go to the gas station, the hardware store, or the grocery store after hours, the preparedness fanatics have already wiped out the supplies. The "last minute" keeps getting pushed forward and that's just trapping more people without gasoline, food, water, batteries, etc ... or, almost as bad, more expensive gasoline, food, water, batteries, etc. I'm not begrudging people who have the wherewithal to do what she did for Hurricane Ike. I wish we all had it. I think her own description of it sounding "glib" is right on the mark.
Hurricane Ike missed Austin and we're very happy about that.
About today's QOTD: Man, is that ever true.
Quote of the Day
When a hurricane like Ike knocks out electrical power for masses of people, they revert to two old-fashioned sources of immediate news.
Rumor and radio.
Rick Casey, Houston Chronicle
Blog of the day here.
Quote from said blog: "I just came back from a day of interviewing people who were either stuck in traffic on the Gulf Freeway at FM 519 or were at nearby gas stations. Most were trying to get to Galveston, while a few were coming back from the island."