Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
Have you noticed that in spite of the devastation in parts of Texas and Louisiana that quite a few people are pretty calm and relaxed in places where insanity could easily reign? (I'm not saying that some people aren't upset and in tears, and they have a right to be.)
What I see on my TV is a city that's pretty much in ruins, but people aren't panicking the way they did during Hurricane Katrina.
I see two major differences with Hurricane Harvey:
1. People can connect with others on Twitter, Facebook, whatever. People have even used social media to get out the message that they need to be rescued. Having some kind of a connection with the world instead of feeling totally alone means a lot.
2. I see people being rescued with their pets. Cat carriers are loaded into boats. Dogs ride on their daddy's or mommy's shoulders. During Hurricane Katrina, if I remember correctly (and if I'm wrong you can set me straight), people were told they couldn't bring their pets to shelters. They had to leave their beloved animal friends behind to die. Do you think I'd climb into a boat and float away without Franklin and Penelope?
If your answer is HELL NO, then you're correct.
One rescuer spoke of picking up a family that included a bull mastiff who weighed well over one hundred pounds.
It's a well-known fact that having a pet can bring down blood pressure, along with having other health benefits, especially relief from depression and anxiety. If I were dragged away from my pups, I'd scream and cry non-stop. They are my family.
Additionally, when people reach the shelters, they seem to have supplies on hand, the supplies that the people of New Orleans lacked: water, diapers, food, clothes, blankets.
Not everyone will survive Hurricane Harvey. Some people have already died, and no doubt, some pets have died and will die.
But I see a greater spirit of camaraderie during this hurricane. At first I thought that not having a mandatory evacuation of the city was insane. Then I learned that when they had an evacuation in the past (not sure when it was or what the emergency was), that people panicked and more were killed in the evacuation than in the rest of the emergency.
Not evacuating also leaves a lot of people there who have boats and are willing to use them to save others.
I also don't see news reports about African Americans who are looters, but white people who do the same are simply seeking out supplies. I see white, black, and Hispanic people working together. It's a world away from the hatred we saw in Charlottesville.
Let's keep the spirit of togetherness going.
Infinities of love,
Here's a bit of presidential trivia:
When Hurricane Betsy hit New Orleans in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson went to the city and visited evacuation centers, as reported HERE and in numerous other places:
"On September 10, 1965, the day after Hurricane Betsy plowed through southeastern Louisiana, President Lyndon Johnson flew to New Orleans. He went to the people, to shelters where evacuees were gathered, to neighborhoods all over the city. There was no electricity and, so that people could see and hear him at one shelter, he took a flashlight, shined it into his face and said into a megaphone, "My name is Lyndon Baines Johnson. I am your president. I am here to make sure you have the help you need."
And that's exactly what he did. He cut through bureaucratic red tape and, before he'd even left the city that day, he saw to it that the wheels were set in motion for the city's recovery.
Those who remember Betsy will always be grateful to President Johnson for his decisive leadership, his critically needed comfort and his determination to bring timely help to the area, and to immediately start rescuing, recovering and rebuilding."