Monday, August 29, 2005

Katrina

Like most people, I'm praying for the safety of people living in Katrina's path. But, I gotta say, it saddens me when people refuse to head to safety. Last night one of the local radio talk show hosts got a phone call from a man whose brother lives in New Orleans. He refused to leave. The talk show host called him and he and the man's brother tried to talk him into leaving. I don't know the final outcome, because they were planning to keep talking with him after they went off the air.

What struck me was the guy's reason. He wanted to see the show. He seemed to view the hurricane as a once-in-a-lifetime bit of entertainment. His attitude was that he was somehow immune from the potential effects of riding out a hurricane. He never seemed to have considered the possibility that he could die. It was almost like it was some giant amusement park ride. I can't see where that's worth risking your life over. It seems ultimately an extremely selfish act, considering the grief your family and friends might be put through because you wanted your "fun" over protecting yourself.

Most of those stories are about people not wanting to leave their homes or their stuff. Do they think that staying there will act as a magical talisman to keep the hurricane from doing any damage to them and their stuff? Or maybe they can't stand to be gone and have to come back not knowing what will be there. But if they die, it won't matter what happened to their stuff. Better, I think, to save yourselves and deal with whatever happened to your stuff after it's over.

Then there's the reporters. They send reporters off to report disasters as if the fact that they're "doing their job" makes them immune to death. And they and the crew stand in the weather and report the same stuff the folks back at the studio are saying, but with a more exciting backdrop. By the time the hurricane really hits, the on-the-spot reporters can't interview people or even send a live feed. They're lucky to get a cranky cell phone transmission once the storm really gets going. How about taking pics from the satellites and putting them up as videos behind the people in the studio? Again, I don't think reporting the weather, no matter how bad the weather is, is worth risking your life over. Is it worth the possibility of causing all that pain to loved ones just to get a bad cell phone report from the middle of the "action", if you're lucky?

I hope and pray that people get saved from themselves and their own poor decisions. I hope their guardian angels are working overtime. I hope and pray that everyone affected gets what they need to start over, repair what's broken, and that another one doesn't hit this year.