November 12, 2012

"Living like animals"

That is presumably a quote from one of the victims of Hurricane Sandy, a storm more powerful than Katrina, and was taken from the headline of this UK Daily Mail story.

The rest of the headline: Sandy victims hit out after being forced to spend 12 days without power


Another quote, this time from former New York City police officer Diane Uhlfelder at the protest of Long Island Power Authority:

‘The kids have been out of school for more than a week,' Uhlfelder said. 'All the food is totally ruined, it's expensive eating out every day, so most of the time it's McDonald's, but the cold is the worst. It's been hell.’

Does it occur to anyone else that if this storm had passed over Haiti instead of America the number without power would become the number of dead?

If you click through to the second link, the 'Living like animals' story, you can find a 1:30 video [near the bottom] of Governor Andrew Cuomo doing a photo-op aid hand-out (featuring loads of WalMart bags full of stuff) where he took time out to tell a news crew that "all of the utility companies have failed in many ways." Seems they "didn't prepare well enough." Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, pot.

How well was the state prepared? Or the city? Or private individuals?? Who "forced" them to live in a coastal metropolis, or to eschew their own electric generator, or gasoline storage, or freakin' flood insurance? "There is a lot that needs to be fixed here" I heard a middle-aged, apparently able-bodied man tell a Fox News Channel reporter this morning. "Who's gonna take care of it? I still don't know." Dear sir, is there yet a functioning mirror in your privately owned home?

As for Diane, the ex-cop: "Burn your passport and move to the rainforest. And bring your mother there!" [2:30]

"And if it weren't for you, most of those who are here would be left helpless at the mercy of that wind in the middle of some such plain."

UPDATE: jk busting in, so I can add a graphic to my comment. A beloved relative on Facebook posts this:

The poster neither enjoys engagement nor is particularly predelicted to reason, but I was astonished to hear that on the entire eastern seaboard, there were no people who prepared or evacuated. I don't really care their party affiliation.

But this is what we are up against. Everything comes from government. Everything.

Environment Posted by JohnGalt at November 12, 2012 2:46 PM

True story: about a year ago, we had some pretty fierce windstorms here in scenic Southern California that knocked out power in a patchwork pattern. Some areas went without power for twelve hours, some as much as six days. My neighborhood, made up of everything within about a three-quarter-mile radius, went almost four days.

Though there was significant wind damage (my damage was limited to the loss of a section of fence), this was NOT apocalyptic. And I hasten to point out the patchwork pattern because, though my home was without power, my office a mere twelve miles away had electricity after just a day, and many others were only down for a few hours.

I make an issue of how mild a "crisis" this was because of the number of my neighbors who were devastated - not in terms of physical damage, but in terms of the dependency. Dozens of my neighbors who were wont to cocoon in their homes most of the time suddenly found themselves walking outdoors, sporting the famous thousand-yard stare. "We have no computers! No Internet! No HBO and no microwaves! The end is nigh!" they wailed. "Who will help us? Who will save us?"

Cecile and I enjoyed candlelight dinners, basking in the warm glow of the fireplace, listening to news on my little hand-crank radio from my bug-out bag, cooking meals over the Weber (and for the love of all that is holy, I know that my neighborhood has plenty of backyard grills...). My gosh, the Golden Arches were fully available just eight blocks away; it's not like civilization had collapsed and the Visigoths and the Vandals had come pouring in. Perhaps it was the withdrawal symptoms, I don't know.

I'm surrounded by people who, had they been on Long Island instead of here, would have no clue how to survive. "FEMA isn't here yet! It's dark at night! There's no basketball game to watch! I'm going to have to eat my cat to survive!"

When the zombie apocalypse comes, these people are going to be doomed.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 12, 2012 6:38 PM

No doubt every action of government contributed to a more reliable infrastructure and every regulation facilitated repair. It would probably still be dark today without the brain trust in Sacramento.

Posted by: jk at November 12, 2012 6:49 PM

Don't knock cat meat until you try it. Certain national leaders say it tastes a lot like dog.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 12, 2012 9:37 PM

Good point KA. Southern Californians no doubt make Long Islanders look like a hybrid of Bear Gryllis and MacGyver. After all, they've experienced temperatures below 40F in their lifetimes.

But I do have to ask about your zombie apocalypse reference. My dear brother, do you not know where the zombies come from??

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2012 11:50 PM | What do you think? [4]