Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti, Part II, What Lessons Can We Learn?

So there is looting going on in Haiti, perhaps the dead are the lucky ones. People are living in glorified camps, protected from the weather only by bedsheets. People are being raped, murdered or even worse. Help is slowly arriving, from countries all over the world. The desire of good people to help is staggering, and restores my faith that most people are basically good.
But the situation also shows how tenable society is, and how quickly it can break down into lawlessness. What? It can't happen here? What about Katrina?
So what is the solution? Why being prepared of course. Here are a few things to think about.
1) Do you have 72 hour bags for you and your loved ones? Are they easy to grab when you need to leave in a hurry?
2) Do you keep your vehicles fueled up? Or do they get parked in the driveway with an 1/8 tank of fuel because you didn't want to spend the extra money? If you think about it, it's gasoline, it won't go to waste and you are going to use it anyways. I try and fill up when I reach a half tank.
3) Do you have flashlights stationed at strategic points around the house? I am bad for this one, simply because my son likes to play with them and drain all the batteries.
4) Food and water. How much do you have? How much can you grab in a hurry if you have to leave? Do you have a way to purify water when you no longer have clean water at your disposal? Without these things you will die. I am not saying that everyone needs a years worth of food and thirty days worth of water, but it would be nice.
5) Most importantly, do you have a plan for getting your family out of the house and to safety? Do all of your loved ones know this plan?

I would like people to think about the simple things that they can do to make life better for themselves in a natural disaster. Simply because you are responsible for yourself and your loved ones. Natural disasters happen everywhere, and most can be truly devastating. From tornadoes to earthquakes, all have the power to destroy things. Being prepared can help mitigate the loss.
A Quote from a Yahoo news story:
"We need so much. Food, clothes, we need everything. I don't know whose responsibility it is, but they need to give us something soon," said Sophia Eltime, a 29-year-old mother of two who has been living under a bedsheet with seven members of her extended family.
This really chaps my hide, whose responsibility is it? YOURS! I understand that you live in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, that is no excuse. Sitting around starving to death while you wait for somebody else to save you is no excuse. I am all for helping the victims, I am all for saving peoples lives, I am all for rebuilding Haiti. I am NOT for setting up another welfare mindset where people feel that they are entitled to something for nothing.
In conclusion, I feel that alot of this distress could have been avoided had people just been prepared. If most of them had three days worth of food, extra clothing, and other essential items, they would have been better off than they are now. Perhaps it may have even saved lives.

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