When I was a kid my parents signed up my bro, Adrian, for the Boy Scouts. Boy was I jealous. I didn’t want to be in the Girl Scouts because really, what little tomboy wants to join a group where you are referred to as “Daisies” and “Brownies”? Certainly not I. So there I was, watching my bro get equipped for his adventures. Wistfully looking over his shoulder as he stuffed a rattlesnake bite kit, tiny waterproof packs of toilet paper, and world’s most elaborate Swiss Army knife into his backpack.
The Boy Scout motto is ‘Be Prepared’. I tagged along to enough of my brother’s events to internalize that motto early on. So — except for my constant refusal to refill on gasoline until my car starts beeping an alarm at me — I try to be prepared in my every day. I mean, I don’t have a year’s worth of dehydrated food lining my garage walls in case of an apocalypse, but I do try to be prepared for what life may bring.
This weekend, as I watched my NYC friends’ Facebook statuses about stocking up on food (then accidentally eating all the food and having to restock), buying extra water, even evacuating to higher ground, I was proud of their preparations. Sure, Hurricane Irene hit New York City with all the fury of a sleepy kitty, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is: they were prepared for the worst and had the worst hit, they would have been just fine. Knowing that brings comfort to my heart this Monday morning.
In the years post-Hurricane Katrina, it has been easy to blame the US Government and FEMA and George Bush for the failures to protect the Gulf Coast, and then failing to adequately respond. I’m not denying that there is plenty to blame them for, because there is. I’m just saying that when the warnings come, it is on us, the populace, to prepare ourselves. Those of us who can be prepared, owe it to our fellows who cannot to not be a burden on the social services.
Kudos to those New Yorkers who were prepared. It may feel like it was overkill, but you can never be overprepared. And just think, now you won’t have to go to the grocery store again any time soon.
While Irene did not cause the devastation that was expected in NYC, it has devastated large areas of the country. Please support the Red Cross as it provides shelter and aid to our brothers up and down the East Coast.