Those living in the Galveston and Houston area need to get a move on or face dire consequences. Those still mesmerized by the hourly wobbles in computer models and official statements from the NHC better get some guts and start making decisions based on instinct rather than what the latest model run shows. The situation with Ike is far more critical than Rita ever was, yet there is still a complacency in the very area targeted for destruction. Why?
If you turned on the television one day and heard that commercial jet airplanes had been deliberately crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and a plane had hit the Pentagon in Washington and another had crashed in Pennsylvania—what would be the instinctive reaction? Well, what was the reaction to this news seven years ago this day? The country basically “hunkered down” for a season anticipating another attack any minute. In other words, the situation warranted drastic action due to the uncertainties involved.
I remember schools closing, people leaving work in droves and pretty much the country going into shut down mode as the initial reports of what took place on this date in 2001 filtered in. The authorities everywhere did all that was possible to keep panic from setting in and did all they could to facilitate order and promote a sense of security. No one old enough to recall the events of this date will ever forget the uneasiness that arose from not knowing what was coming next and the helpless feeling of not being able to do a thing to prevent it.
Ike has the capacity to cause more damage and disrupt more things than either the attacks on 9-11 or Hurricane Katrina. IF Ike should become a category 4 or 5 storm and come ashore at or near Freeport, Texas; the worst case scenario would be played out in Galveston and Houston. What appalls me is that here we sit less than 48 hours from landfall and still the general attitude is one of “it will miss us” or “it won’t be that bad”. Years of false alarms have produced an apathetic attitude.
GUSTOV AND RITA
There would be no problem getting people to understand the urgency of this situation if not for the Rita false alarm of three years ago and the recent spectacle of evacuating New Orleans for a minimal storm (for them). Just as most people ignore tornado warnings because the tornado never affects them personally, so more and more people ignore hurricane watches and warnings due to feeling invincible. If the events of 9-11 and Katrina should have taught us anything, it is that we are NOT invincible and catastrophic disasters CAN and DO impact us in this country.
Fools sit back and stake their protection on the mistaken notion that just because nothing happened before, it never will happen. Such foolishness always breeds apathy and complacency toward potential disasters. As someone I know quite well says all the time, “foolishness doesn’t impress me.”
TAKE ACTION NOW OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES
Unless those in harm’s way act now, there is no way the number of people involved will get out in time. Ike is a huge storm and its effects will be felt LONG BEFORE the eye of the storm makes landfall. Once the winds start rising and the outer bands of rain set in; the panic will soon follow. As hundreds of thousands of vehicles hit the road at the same time, we all know what happens—gridlock.
THE worst case scenario would be to be trapped in your car when a hurricane hits. Any place would be better than a car. Between winds, flooding rain and storm surge; a car is no match for a hurricane. The time to go is now before the ability to move is hindered by volume.
No one who lived through Katrina ever expected to suffer what they did where they lived. No one had ever seen a storm surge go ten or more miles inland. No one had ever seen severe tree and roof damage 125 miles from the coast before. No one had ever seen so many tornadoes and other freaks of nature associated with a major hurricane before. No one anticipated so many problems.
Preparation now has come down to either leaving or making sure all is in place to weather the storm. Just having a generator is not enough, is there enough gasoline to keep it going for weeks? Is there enough fresh water to last for up to a week? Is there enough food that does not need an oven to last for a week? Is there medicine and first aid supplies and TOILET PAPER to last for upwards of week or more? Is there CASH money around to get things? Is the cell phone charger in the car to keep it charged if there is no power?
I believe Ike could end up cutting power to as many as 6 or 7 million people for upwards of a month or more in a worst case scenario. I believe the city of Houston could end up being coated with an oily mess just like the areas impacted by Gustov were. I believe there is a distinct possibility the entire area could be basically shut down for weeks just like after Katrina. These things are not just some wild science fiction ideas, they are entirely possible and PROBABLE based on what appears to be happening with Ike. This could very well end up being the Houston Carla.