If you’re in the path of Hurricane Irene, take it from someone who’s been through a couple of hurricanes himself: do everything the authorities such as police or emergency management says. If they tell you to evacuate, do it. Don’t try and tough it out if you’re in a flood zone. Or if you do, write your name and Social Security number on your arm in indelible ink so the rescue crews can identify the body.
Not to inject too much politics into a natural disaster, but it’s events like this that make you realize why we have things like “big government.” After this is all over, there will be countless stories and inevitable tragedies, but they would be immeasurably worse if it wasn’t for the people in public service like police, fire, emergency medical responders, and the people at federal, state, and local agencies like FEMA that have been preparing for events like this for years and who will be there to help the survivors and get things back to normal.
And through it all, there will be some big-mouthed politician who will emerge from a hurricane shelter, go on Fox News, and carry on about how big government can’t do anything right and that the American people can do it themselves. In the first case, he’s alive only because he was protected by government planning and infrastructure, and in the second case, the American people can do it themselves — by creating a government that provides the protection and infrastructure to handle these kinds of emergencies.
Be safe. Be smart. Good luck.