Rita Observations

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jim, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. jim

    jim Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I thought I might post some of my observations of human behavior over the last five days, concerning how they react to emergencies.

    First off, let me state that most of the evacuees from East Texas were orderly, and not overly aggressive even under the pressure of leaving a home that might not be there upon their return. A few were something less than the cream of humanity. What follows is from my own personal observations, and those of people that have been truthful in the past.

    No one followed the suggested order of evacuation as posted by the authorities. Low lying areas were to go first, followed by the others less in danger of the immediate effects of Rita. It was laid out for them in a systematic fashion. Due to the previous problems in N.O.LA., and the hysterical media coverage, when word went out, it was like opening the gate to a cattle chute. Everyone left at once, and made an otherwise 3-4 hour commute 12-27 hrs long.

    Quite a lot were not only unprepared, but had no idea how to prepare even given the ample warning that they received. Cars do break down, and poor folks’ vehicles break down far more frequently than others. I used to be in this category and know all about it, so that can’t be laid at their doorstep. However, when car after car was shown on the side of the road with nothing but the parents, children, and big screen TV’s, DVD’s, etc. with not a drop of water or a scrap of food on board something needs to be fixed. The only reason more of this wasn’t seen is because newer SUV’s didn’t break down, but were not any more prepared than their poorer neighbors. Few carried the essentials, and water, food, baby formula, diapers, and even medications had to be delivered to the refugees because quite a lot of them didn’t take what they already had available in their homes before they left. Arms and ammunition purchases were thru the roof.

    Tap water can be carried in a variety of readily available containers found around the house. Snack foods abound in all but the poorest of homes. Medications that were already in hand, and the prescriptions for refills could have been packed, and oft times weren’t. Insulin and other meds have to be kept cool, and almost all had freezers that either produce ice, or can store blue-ice for transporting needed items. Few readily available resources were used! I saw lots of video footage showing upscale people alongside the poor having to accept handouts from the National Guard, DPS, Red Cross, and lots of just plain decent folks. This ranged from bottled water to gasoline, things almost everyone should have had on hand. Far too many relied on either buying what they needed along the way or at arrival, or getting a hand out from the authorities. Many were angry at the inconvenience caused they their own negligence, but blamed “the government” for it, and were demanding immediate action.

    The scenes in stores were something else. Canned goods and any kind of liquids were stripped from the shelves. Every time an employee would bring out a pallet of water, they had to be guarded while cutting away the wrapping material so the goods could be unloaded. For their own safety, they would toss the stuff onto the floor away from them, and the crowd would attack like a dog pack. Employees and armed police had to be posted to keep down the fights. Women had items ripped from their hands from men who said they needed it more, little in the way of manners or cooperation was observed. People acted like fools or worse.

    At gas stations, due to unpaid drive-offs one had to pay in advance. People kept setting and resetting the pumps so many times, that the computers whacked out, and it became hard to get fuel even when cooperating with the staff, which few did. I watched plenty of snotty people raise hell with the help because of the delay they were suffering, and the only thing they did was delay everything further and over-stress the already very harried employees. Rude, vile, venomous people were in proliferation. It was so bad, that my 10 year old son started telling them they had no manners, and needed to get control of themselves, to wait their turn, etc. He was bent to say the least, and my wife was pretty nervous. All in all, I’m greatly embarrassed by their actions.

    Ask yourself, how these same people would conduct themselves during a statewide emergency, if they were terrorized, if the was no food or water, and everyone knew it. Just a thought….

  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Good points jim. You don't really get to see all that on CNN from here.

    Even WalMart sells ready made 72 hour kits for the unadventurous preppers. Saving Electronics seems like a waste especially when the basics weren't covered at all.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope some more peopl wake up to the fact that in stressful times, Uncle Sugar cannot possibly take care of you as you need.

  3. Galactus

    Galactus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    It is truly sad how ill prepared and how ignorant most people are about being prepared for such emergencies. However one must give many of the Texas evacuees credit for leaving and not huddling in the Astrodome only to get stranded there in harsh conditions. Texans did not have their best day when the storm hit, but even on a bad day Texans where better than Louisianna residents.
  4. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Hey Jim, glad to see you weathered the storm. Every thing still standing at your place I hope?
    Yeah, its truely insane that with several days to a weeks warning even folks cant do things as simple as turning on thier tap at home to fill some empty pop and milk jugs and load up a grocery sack out of the cabnets with canned goods or something for food, pack a bag and include thier medications, plot a rout out of town that keeps them out off the jammed freeway (like on the old 2 lanes most dont think of) and the very basics.
    While Im starting to see that no matter where in the US it is the majority of folks seem to be to stupid to keep breating if there isnt some one to at the very least sell them all they need but must say Im at least glad to see that theres not all the whineing comeing from Texas that there was from New Orleans from folks refuseing to do for them selves and pissed that others didnt do enouph on thier schedule.
    The majority of our population is truely sad these days when things as simple as takeing along a jug or 2 of water and a cooler of food when leaving home for a few days iludes them and they dont have a clue as to what to do to have what they need if things get rouph even just for a few days. I think Sniper66s pics from New Orleans speak volumes where the Walmart told folks to take what they needed at no charge (probably knowing they would loose it to looters anyhow) and the food isles were barely touched but the booze was nearly all gone as were the electronics and all the condomes had been taken, then folks wanted to complain that they didnt have anything they needed. Just goes to show how screwed up most folks priorities are these days.
  5. Sojourner

    Sojourner Silverback

    Not ALL of us Louisiana folks are clods.
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I dont think any of us feel/felt that ALL of the folks there were of the same calibur, the ones typicaly being refered to are the ones who caught the cammeras though and whined that they were starving to death and dieing of dehydration within 24-48 hours, destroyed the places they were given for shelter and were unwilling to raise a finger to help them selves unless it was to help them selves to electronics and other folks valuables.

    I have NO doubt that there were plenty of decent folks there who either chose to BO or prepaired them selves to weather the storm and stayed and did so, I even followed the blog of one man who did during the whole situation. Unfortunatly, just as I figure it would be in nearly any large metro area, the great majority that were seen at least did NOTHING to prepair and EXPECTED others to be johnny on the spot to take care of them, and those are the ones that got under my skin as I think they did a lot of others.
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