Here’s a bullshit statement if I ever heard one: don’t worry about it, I can weather the storm. My friend’s father recently tried to use this to justify staying and defending his home from the onslaught of Gustav. For those of you living in a cave, Hurricanes Gustav and Ike recently slammed into the Gulf Coast, knocking out power across my home state of Louisiana, devastating grocery stores’ supplies of bread, milk, and ice, and doing… not much else. Needless to say, I’ll keep this week’s post short so I can get back to wading through mud and clearing debris. Alright, so the mud is already gone. And the limbs that fell, I already burned. And there’s actually… no more debris.
That’s not to say the storm wasn’t bad. Heavy winds ripped up trees and tore apart homes. Water gushed over levees in parts of New Orleans. Yet Gustav only brought a whopping ten casualties, and one of those was caused by someone trying to remove a downed power line. That’s because the state of Louisiana didn’t use the old bullshit mentality of I can weather the storm. The government evacuated nearly 2 million people in preparation for Hurricane Gustav’s landfall, effectively emptying the southern half of the state.
Compare that to Hurricane Katrina, when people opted to stay behind and weather the storm, and 1,600 of them died as a result.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like it’s never a bad idea to evacuate an area that’s about to be hit by a terrible storm that will likely kill people, destroy houses, and knock out the power grid. Hence the mandatory evacuation… that is not so mandatory at all. See, the government doesn’t really do anything to the assholes who risk their lives staying behind during a hurricane.
The typical demographic of folks who won’t evacuate for a hurricane. I hear moonshine helps the process of ‘weathering.’
Here’s a bit of info they’re not giving you on The Weather Channel. A friend of mine has an uncle in south Louisiana who decided he would stick around during Hurricane Gustav. He told that to the sheriff’s deputies who came by to urge him to take part in the “mandatory” evacuation. They gave him dog-tags so they could identify the body later. What the hell kind of mandatory evacuation is that? I don’t know about you, but I went to a Catholic elementary school, so I learned pretty early on what mandatory means: do it, or a bunch of nuns will kick your ass. Since our sheriff’s deputies are apparently big wusses, maybe we should be sending nuns or principals out to make folks evacuate; I think they’d do a better job.
So why are people who are only risking their own lives a bunch of jerks? Because they’re making the government spend my money – money I’d rather see spent on education, good roads, or a more modern infrastructure (granted, it’ll just get spent on shooting Iraqis – but I’m making a point here). I don’t mind seeing my tax dollars spent helping people rebuild and recover the state after a storm. That’s what a responsible government is there for.
What bothers me is all the money that is spent on paying for rescue operations for these dimwits. I mean, if a person doesn’t have the means to escape, or is taking care of a sick relative who can’t easily be transported, maybe they’ve got an excuse. But some inbred LSU fan who just doesn’t want to leave the 4 tons of beer he has in an ice chest in his trailer hasn’t got a damn reason to stay behind during a hurricane. Stop risking the lives of the first responders who have to come save your grotesquely deformed pasty white ass from a death so imminent, they apparently give you a dog tag like you’re some kind of Vietnam draftee.
If you are one of these assholes, you’re lucky if the hurricane takes you out instead of me. So all of you coastal residents, watching as hurricanes brood in the south, take this lesson to heart: when there’s a hurricane, get the fuck out. Would you rather wade through evacuation traffic on the interstate, or chest-deep water and dead people in your front yard?