My heart goes out to the people in Florida and the Carolinas, who have been hit time and again with hurricanes this season. It also goes out to the people of Haiti, who seem like they get the short end of the stick on a regular basis.
I was reading the weblogs this morning of folks who I know live in Florida, to get a better idea of what was happening. Tom Matrullo seems to have been missed this time, luckily, and posted some pics on his flickr account (flickr is the newest social software du jour), Dave Rogers also looks to have been missed, but made a very pertinent point about the property damage caused by these hurricanes:
This hurricane season will probably cost something greater than $20B in property damage. Loss of life will be disproportionately smaller, thankfully. Yet the property losses due to acts of nature in six weeks will likely be greater than all the property losses to Americans as a result of acts of terror in the last 60 years combined. Yet there will be no knee-jerk expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars in response on the part of the federal government.
If anything the Federal response to these events probably has been adversely impacted by all the fooflah in response the terrorism terror. Ever since I read about agricultural inspections from overseas degrading since the unit was placed under Homeland Security, I’ve had my doubts about the creation of such an overall powerful organization with an obsessive agenda greatly dependent on a continued atmosphere of paranoia. And when the FBI was assigned to the Hot Air Balloon Race, I knew that we had lost much of our sense of perspective.
(What did they think was going to happen? That a mad Islamic terrorist would hijack a hot air balloon and attack the Energizer Bunny?)
Still, seriousness of the storms aside, Dave wrote something else that absolutely cracked me up, though I don’t know if this was his intent, and I hope he’s not offended that I laughed:
By Saturday morning, it was pretty clear there would be no call for a general evacuation of the beaches communities. But it still looked as though we were looking forward to sustained winds greater than 60 kts, and that would mean widespread power outages of greater duration than we experienced for Frances. I have no canned food on hand in my apartment, and no way to heat food either. So I went up to CompUSA to look at the new iMac.
There’s more, but when I read that last sentence, I lost it completely.