Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Being thankful

I have a home.

A husband who loves me.
Kids who are the best in the world.
Warm fuzzy dogs.
Eddie’s arrooo.
Moo’s still with me.
A job.
Warm blankets at night.
Cool breezes during the spring.
Snow(that’s debatable)
The right to vote for whoever I want

And being a sensible Midwesterner……

(I've written, rewritten and started over on the next part, about a dozen times.)
Which means when someone says evacuate, we do what we are told.

I’ve been trying to a positive spin on this but honestly, even sitting on this over 6 days still hasn’t made me feel any better, so as I said to someone else, can I vent?

Last week the entire eastern seaboard was hit with a horrific event of unnatural proportions. My heart sank watching the reports come in. Flooding in the mass transit system. Water making streets rivers, entire communities not only washed off the maps but those that were left, fire raced through and destroyed even more. Power is out for millions. Then more rain, cold and wind. Seems they just can’t get a break. I do feel for the heartbreaking sorrow felt by everyone dealing with this.

BUT what got me was this one TV report. This is my vent or the place to start. When given the grave intensity of the storm and the orders to evacuate and get the hell out of the area, and you don’t, you have no right to bitch, whine or berate those that are trying to help you because they are so slow. One news report this weekend was so simple to the point and it came from a child—they heard the news, the orders to evacuate and their parents chose to stay. They are now asking why they didn’t listen? Why they have no power, can’t get out, too dangerous to do anything, food is spoiling, etc. Why didn’t their parents listen?

Here’s some facts folks so that you don’t think this rant is coming from someone who is sitting in the middle of po-dunk nowhere. Remember 2008? I do. Every single day. We have a plaque in our office that marks the high water point on June 13th, 2008.

Some interesting things to note: Our water took weeks to go away, your’s? Gone the next day(for the most part).

How about this-we got told to evacuate and we listened. At any point did you hear a Midwestern complain about not having help? About being stranded because they didn’t listen? That our area set up a temporary animal shelter BEFORE the storm on high ground(the city shelter was by the river) and that within 24 hours hundreds of volunteers were there to help? That city shelters were ready, before the river went to it’s highest in what is considered not only a 500 year event, a lifetime event but in some places a 1000 year event!

Damage costs in Cedar Rapids alone are over 2.1 billion. 9.2 square miles including the entire down town and one hospital were under water-and the hospital was all but evacuated when it was realized just how far the river would reach.

Not once did I hear a citizen anywhere in the Midwest complain about why the redcross hadn’t gotten to them yet. No, we picked our asses up, moved on, helped our neighbors and were appreciative of any and all help offered, didn’t bitch that it wasn’t enough. And remember, we evacated when told to, so most of us were out of harm’s way.

It took us 3 weeks to get back to the normal driving route to Iowa City. The time inbetween, we drove 45 mins north, then 45 mins west, then 45 mins to Des Moines and another 2 hours back east to get what normally takes us 20 mins due south.

2 dozen people died, in the Midwest, which includes Chicago, Minneapolis, St Louis.  I think they included 8 states, more area then the current disaster area.

83 off 99 Iowa counties were considered disaster areas, 21 in Illinois.

Lake Delton in WI emptied when a levee between it and the Wisconsin River eroded.

As of June 24, 2008, the American Red Cross worked in eight states, providing food, comfort, information and other assistance to those in need. The organization has provided more than 713,000 meals and snacks and distributed more than 40,000 clean-up kits to residents affected by flooding and severe weather in the central U.S. The Red Cross anticipated spending in excess of $15 million for this and other disasters that summer. FEMA supplied over 3.6 million liters of water, nearly 200,000 meals and almost 500,000 sandbags during the course of the flood in June.

I guess my long winded point is this, don’t tell the rest of the country we don’t understand. Don’t scream that you have had no help or aid, because you were told to leave and now neither you nor the helping organizations can get to you. Be considerate-I saw tons of reports of those who looked out for each other, I guess it’s the sour grape that ruins the bunch?

It's interesting living in a different area of the country.   I see differences in our value systems as well as, well, our ability to listen, comprehend and understand rather then fight, bully and feign indifference.  

I still send prayers out to those that are dealing with this horrible disaster.  Cardi folks are the best and FB is a buzz with those offering a hot shower, place to do laundry or checking in on those in need.  Wish everyone were like that.

Later gators...

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