Originally posted at the JBU blog.
I’m anxious to talk to my parents and see how they fared through Ike (both our house and our office) but it’s too early to call them, seeing as they probably didn’t sleep too well last night.
Meanwhile, as I read news updates and look at pictures of the damage, I’m amazed by the lack of sympathy I see in the comments. People lambasting those who stayed behind. How can we criticize people when we don’t know the reasons or the circumstances behind their decisions? They assume stupidity and stubbornness, but maybe there’s cause for staying behind. Maybe a young couple lives alone and doesn’t speak English and doesn’t know the severity of the storm. Maybe a family has no way to transport their seven young children and four pets. Maybe an elderly man has to evacuate not only himself, but also a roomful of medical equipment that regulates his heart and kidneys at home so he doesn’t have to live the rest of his life in a hospital. Maybe a woman just built a new house that she not only believes can stand up to the storm, but also wants to ensure doesn’t get blown to bits because she spent her life savings on it. I don’t know. It could be anything. I’m not saying everyone has a good reason, but until I am asked to pick up and leave from my home, to find relatives or a hotel or anywhere to stay that’s hours away from where I grew up, to pack only the “essentials” and leave everything else (my photo albums, my piano, my books) behind, until then, I won’t judge those who stayed. I will only hope for their safety, and the safety of those professionals whose job it is to help the people of their community.
What does bother me are the people who were saying, “Bring it Ike!” etc. Because, you know, we needed it to be worse than it already was.
2 responses to “Thoughts on Ike”
To play devil’s advocate:
Because there are people who choose to stay behind despite evacuation orders, the professionals whose job it is to help must risk their lives to rescue them. Many people for very selfish reasons stay behind (your new house is not worth more than your life or someone else’s, sorry) and then cause others’ lives to be risked. To me, there is no excuse for that… and elderly and disabled are specially evacuated if they ask for it so even that cannot be an excuse.
I would never hope for a hurricane to be damaging and strong, but I do fault and judge those who had orders to leave and stayed behind. They caused needless work and needless risking of lives for selfish reasons, and I can’t respect that. (And I have lived through a hurricane…so I know how scary it is.)
To the people who said, “Bring it Ike!” and didn’t fair so well; that would be natural selection at work. The only part I resent are the millions of our tax dollars we did/will spend on those folks.