Monday, September 05, 2005

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

It was about time for me to post about Hurricane Katrina but to tell you the truth... I'm still upset about every single aspect of this ordeal in the Gulf Coast. I actually have friends that I work with that have family down there... or did as half of them have heard from their loved ones.

I have thought about the thousands of people that stayed in their homes to ride the storm out and for a while thought "they had their chance." I've also thought about the unused buses and page 13 paragraph 5 of their disaster aid plans that include using those buses to evacuate those that can't help themselves.

But, what worries me most about all of this is amidst the toxic water around them (that has been causing 1st degree burns during short exposure), shortage of food, lack of elimination facilities and deceased bodies is that there are many people who still do not want to leave. Many stayed there because they believed it was a false alarm and that Katrina would miss the area as many others have. I also do understand that many of these people are receiving government assistance and that what little they have, they cherish. The depression of seeing all you love being destroyed is also overwhelming. Yet, I think there is a point where self-preservation kicks in. When they don't leave to take care of themselves, those giving aid are at a loss because you can't legally take them from their property without due process. You have to feel sorry for these people but at the same time become pissed off that they are stressing the system as the rescuers would be vilified for being inhumane if they don't keep providing them food and water. I just wonder at what point you just use knock-out gas and get them to a shelter?

11 comments:

dusty said...

I agree 80's, if common sense hasn't kicked in by now, how do you get the rest of the folks out? The problems associated with this hurricane are still increasing daily..two steps forward, one step back..

Jenn said...

I agree completely, Martin. Very well said.

I was watching some footage the other day and there was a rescuer who was so frustrated with that exact situation. He was yelling at one lady who'd stayed in her home with her baby who was no more than a year and a half. He finally convinced her to go, but he was roaring at the top of his lungs. The camera zoomed in on him and you could see the frustration in his face along with the sadness.

Katie said...

I've been thinking the same thing myself. I read the other day or today, I can't remember I've read so many different articles about the whole disaster, that the mayor is going to stop providing water to the people who refuse to leave. Sounds horrible, but hey, they didn't leave when everyone was ordered to leave, or at least get to the Superdome, and now they won't take a bus anywhere else. What else can you do? Some people are just stubborn.

Thanks for the info on Echo and the Bunnymen. The jury's still out on whether I'll forgive you for the Del Amitri incident though.

New White Keds said...

I read a story yesterday about police who are commiting suicide and others who are turning in their badges or just walking off the job. One officer responded to that with disgust not understanding how they could leave when their city needed them the most.

Is it possible that giving up hope is not possible for these people because it is all they have left? Would they rather die with the world around them than live in the dismal unknown?

But all in all, I agree... well said Marten.

Lily said...

As odd as it may sound, I think these people also feel safe in their own homes, after all it was anarchy out there for a while.

Perhaps they can condemn the buildings these stragglers are in and force them out. At this point it does not seem fair that the rescue workers should continue to risk their lives & health suppling those who refuse to leave.

Miss Hobby said...

I don't think it would be right to continue to supply the ones who want to stay behind with constant food and water, but after giving them the option of gettin out or stayin and they chose to stay, I don't see the problem with giving them a small supply of fresh water and food, lettin them know they need to make it last, and givin them a way to notify someone that they want to leave, such as a bright red sheet to put out on their porch or somethin. Then authorities still pratrolling the areas for looters and such could see them easily and get them out. Seems like an easy plan, doesn't it? But nothin about this has been easily accomplished - they'd need 10 forms and 20 signatures to get this done.

Teri said...

I cannot even begin to comprehend the effects of a hurricane or not having the ability to leave and find safe shelter. I am not sure if it was the fact they did not have any means necessary to leave or if people had the "it can't happen to me" attitude going. Either case, I still don't understand how they would stay and choose the current conditions over a shelter. I know it is not ideal living conditions being in a shelter, but staying at home is a deadly choice. It must be so frustrating for the rescue people trying to help the people who want it and reaching all of them in time, and not having to waste time arguing with a person who is just being stubborn.

Vavoom said...

It's not immediately clear why anyone would stay under those conditions. I keep telling myself that they must be in shock. I mean, maybe they simply refuse to give up what little they have left. Still, it's all rather foolish. The latest news has the mayor of New Orleans advocating forced evacuation. It's the first good idea he's had thus far.

Fred said...

If they refuse to go, you mark the house and move on to those who need to be rescued. I'm sorry to sound so harsh, but there are countless numbers of lives that need to be saved. Go get them, save them, then go back and try and negotiate with the folks who wanted to stay surrounded by toxic water.

LoraLoo said...

As the other posts mentioned, great post. It's hard to imagine these people want to stay in such dangerous conditions... With so many other lives to save (who want help), you have to wonder why would anyone waste time arguing with someone refusing help.

I have to mention I saw a news report tonight with Harry Connick Jr. He was touring New Orleans with a news team - and he was out there in the trenches, HELPING. FINALLY, I see someone reporting who was out there making a difference.

Ms Mac said...

It's truly a terrible time. But it would appear that now is the time to use force to get them out. Over a week after the fact. And only after the flood water has been deemed as deadly.