Hurricane Sandy is expected to make life a little interesting all up and down the eastern seaboard. Places that aren’t really used to dealing with a hurricane are about to get slammed. However, many of those in Sandy’s path aren’t interested in taking care of themselves. Instead, they’ll expect Uncle Sam – and the American taxpayers – to take care of them.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has its place, and there are arguably ways that individuals can’t deal with disasters such as Sandy. However, quite a few in Sandy’s path aren’t digging in. They haven’t stocked food, water, or any essentials that they know they’re going to need. They have no alternatives to cook food or heat water for cleaning. They are completely reliant on the government to bail them out.
For these people, they clearly have severe tunnel vision. They don’t remember the disaster that was FEMA’s response to Katrina. For those reading this with incredibly short memories, it took FEMA two weeks to get water to the thousands of people who sought shelter at the New Orleans Superdome.
The aftermath of Katrina was, in many ways, worse than the storm. The failure of the government highlighted the need for the individual to take responsibility for their own safety during such times.
Unfortunate, few seem to have learned from those mistakes of the past. Most are either making light of the danger, or are banking on the government to bail them out. Those that don’t think it’s that serious a risk, so be it. As long as they have looked at the risks and made that determination themselves, I won’t argue with them. If they haven’t, then I think they’re being idiots, but so be it.
What worries me are the others who aren’t digging in, those who figure if it gets that bad, the government will take care of them. This is the same government that still has us involved in two wars, uses drones to kill American citizens – including a teenager who appears to have not been involved with terrorism himself, just trying to find his terrorist father. This is the same government who has decided to make it acceptable to detain American citizens for an indefinite period if they can link them as “terrorists”, despite the very vague definitions of terrorists that currently exists which could be twisted to label ordinary Americans as such.
These people expect the government to take care of them. What’s worse, they expect us to take care of them. They know the storm is coming. They know it’s expected to be bad. They just don’t care, because FEMA will be there to bail their fat out of the fire.
And this mentality is a good part of what is wrong with this nation. Take a look around Albany for a second though. You’ll see it here too, and that’s a topic for tomorrow.
Tom Knighton is the Editor and Publisher of the Albany Journal.