Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hell No We Won't Go

I've been seeing reports on the local news today that some people on Galveston Island continue to hold out and do not want to leave. At this point, the Governor is looking into declaring martial law in order to try and force them out.

On the one hand, I can certainly sympathize with the holdouts. Despite the best efforts of the government, it seems that after disasters that looters always manage to get in. The worst part, is that sometimes the looters are the government themselves. The only way one can be secure in their property in a situation like this is to guard that property themselves. So long as the government doesn't decide to declare martial law and go on a gun confiscation spree that is.

On the other hand, most of the hold outs are not prepared for an extended period in a primitive environment. They are requiring the government to maintain and stock aid stations for them, which, I'll admit, does take up manpower that may (and I emphasize may - do you really think a FEMA truck driver can actually work to restore power or water to a neighborhood?) be used to restore basic services to the area. Ok, perhaps I'm not being fair. Those FEMA guys could run a chainsaw and clear up some trees too. However, that said, why not get tools to the hold-outs to clear their own immediate areas. They've got to be getting bored by now.

That does bring up another issue though. I'm sure there are many residents that would love to be helping in the recovery themselves. Are there any efforts being made to allow them to participate and help in cleaning up? Seems to me that would be a very cost effective way to speed things up rather than sitting on your butt in a hotel room somewhere on our dime.

At ultimate issue is that there is, I understand, no electricity or water available on the island at the moment. Stop for a moment and look around your home. Do you have non-perishable food and water on hand? Not the water that comes out of the tap mind you, but actual stored water? Sure, a few water bottles here and there, but gallons of water enough to last for weeks? How about Months? Some way to dispose of your own waste (ok, poo for you snickerers out there)? Food you don't need to cook for the same period of time? Food for your dog/cat/other pets? How about any meds or other special needs that you may have? If you're a diabetic, what will you do if you can't keep your insulin in usable condition?

So there we have a conundrum. I don't believe those people should be forced to leave. Heck, some of them likely don't have the finances to leave - aid money or not. I also don't believe that they should expect the government to supply their needs if they stay. After all, they defied a mandatory evacuation order to start with! Unfortunately, I think common sense in this case may require a notice to hold-outs that all aid will stop within a few days, and transportation provided to safety for those that aren't able to be self sufficient. Those that are supplied well enough to hold out for a few weeks, I say more power to 'em!

By the way, there is apparently pet tigers and lions are loose on the island. We've all talked about zombie rifles - do you have your tiger rifle just in case??

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