Now being raised as a good Catholic girl, my parents, the nuns and the Girl Scouts always taught us to be prepared. You never know what might happen. Always be sure to wear clean underpants in case of an accident is one that always stuck in my mind.
Yesterday the news media started throwing each other under the bus about Hurricane Irene for scaring everybody needlessly about the impending disaster. You couldn’t turn on any channel since last week without all the doom and gloom about a Cat 5 hurricane hurling itself towards the east coast. New York shut everything down way in advance. Luckily, Irene wore itself out and turned into a tropical storm instead of a Cat 5. I imagine the Weather Channel and few others were disappointed.
HOWEVER, Irene caused 23 deaths and billions in damages, massive power outages and flooding. It may be weeks before power is restored. Flights are still disrupted, people are stranded at airports, people can’t get to work, homes are destroyed, people were evacuated. Irene did indeed cause terrible havoc. I do thank God it was not worse. It could have been.
But it does beg the question, how much does it cost in terms of fear and displacement and money to respond to any imminent threat with the worst case scenario? We are still skittish after Katrina, and the Indonesian tsunami and earthquakes in the far east. We instantly overreact, afraid that every incident will be the “big one”. The oil companies were already prepared to jack up the price of gas, the insurance companies were expecting to take another huge beating with claims, Wall Street was ready to do another knee jerk reaction. Don’t get me started on the politicians. Weather has ruined more than one political career!
I tell you, between the droughts and the tornadoes and hurricanes and earthquakes and floods that have been happening lately, I’m starting to look at things in a whole different light, like Mayan calendars etc. I’m anxiously dreading 2012, and waiting for Noah to come back and build me an ark!