In the now-aftermath of Hurricane Irene, which almost immediately followed the rare East Coast earthquake, it has been interesting to see a number of comments of complaint – that’s right, complaint – from the unscathed about what they consider the excess caution of local and Federal government entities concerning evacuations and transportation shut-downs. According to some of the beach-front vendors in some areas, it wasn’t necessary to evacuate the beach, although you can just hear what they would have said if everything had been blown away, including all their gewgaws. According to some commuters, it wasn’t necessary to shut down the New York subway system, although you can just hear what they would have said if the flooding had been worse and the subways had filled with water and the electrical systems had been permanently damaged and it had taken months and years to restore them to service. What if everyone in the path of that storm had found themselves in the same situation as many in New Jersey and New England, who seem to be experiencing the longest duration of flooding and power outages? And does anyone stop and think: what if that earthquake and that hurricane had occurred simultaneously. Think of that!
Where is the gratitude for the storm-chasers and meteorologists, for the governors and mayors, for the National Guard and the firemen and police who did their best to minimize the damages and are out there, still? Where is the understanding that storm predictions are just that, predictions done to the best of their ability by dedicated, informed people trying to help us stay one step ahead of Nature. Are we as a society so Hollywood-ized that we aren’t satisfied with less than Armageddon? Well, we had better hope that total disasters happen only in the movies, because several events this year alone have come way too close.
We totally sympathize with the losses by all the folks who make their living along the East Coast (and all coasts) helping to make the beach experience a fun one for the visitors and everyone is very sorry about the damage to their livelihoods, but as for those who gripe about “over-hype” about the storm coverage: “You’re welcome, would you like cheese with that whine?”