Katrina caught us off-guard here in South Florida. Seriously... we did not give it a second thought. No one here boarded up, put down their shutters, nada. Zip, zero, zilch. At least, if they did: I didn't see it.
A category one hurricane, she gave us a few headaches but moved along swiftly, unlike her sluggish but nasty sister Frances last year... whom we thought would never leave!
THEN Katrina hauled ass into the Gulf to marshal her resources, where she had the optimal conditions to strengthen for her next assault.
I believe the Gulf Coast was somehow as skeptical as we were when they beheld the approach of this monster storm. After so many false alarms and near-misses, when the boy cried wolf, too few were willing to heed that call.
And now? It boggles the mind to consider that the dead are now being projected to top ten thousand. Yikes. In a "civilized" society.
Oh, but they say "who died"? "The bums. Prostitutes. Junkies. People who were too 'busy' to bother saving their own butts". Maybe. But also the elderly and feeble-minded... CHILDREN and the weak whom those of us who are stronger are allegedly foresworn to champion. Or is it all just a grand illusion? Who is really looking out for your best interests. Tell me.
Is it the Federal Government? Charities? Ourselves? God or whom/whatever you deem your "higher power" to be?
You know what I think? There is no use in playing any kind of a blame game. That will not improve the situation, nor will grandstanding. We all know that the only true way to help these people right now is not to just give them a bite to eat and a bag of diapers... although those will help to ease the transition.
Remember the old adage: "give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for life"? Well, in a nutshell, we need to teach these poor folks to fish.
We have, in essence, the equivalent of a moderate-sized city, now homeless. Charity can keep them from falling completely flat, but they need to move swiftly beyond that to the next step or the situation will snowball into the worst fiasco the world has ever seen.
What I would like to see here, in my comments section, is concrete, feasible ideas on how that humongous group of refugees can not only survive, but thrive. Hit me! I'm waiting...