Folks everywhere who have counted on the efficiency and largesse of the government and its myriad agencies to take care of them in the worst of times should have received a clanging wake-up call this week.
The article linked below speaks volumes about only one aspect of the heartbreak spreading throughout the hurricane-birthed desolation.
Murder and Mayhem in New Orleans' Miserable Shelter
It speaks of conditions of depravation in the "shelter" of New Orleans' Convention Center and how babies and others have actually died waiting for water, food, and help. It tells of horrible nightmarish behaviors of some of the people inside that have resulted in brutal rapes and murders of young children and racially charged death threats against elderly refugees.
Of course there is far more to tell of this disaster that is so widespread and impactful. The stories are inescapable and eye-opening.
If Katrina isn't a lesson in how NOT to count on salvation from the authorities in time of need, then I can't imagine what it would take to bring about that realization.
Responsibility is Our Own
Let me be clear ... I am not being critical here of governmental and relief agencies for their failures, though there certainly have been tragic consequences for many administrative and bureaucratic limitations and oversights.
What I AM emphasizing is that we as individuals--especially those of us who have families or have others in our care--must take responsibility for our own futures, to include preparing substantially for the possibility of disaster visiting our own communities.
It's not difficult. It's not prohibitively expensive to take some basic preventive or mitigating steps to maximize your household's chances at surviving a crisis. It's nothing more than basic common sense.
To fail to take such steps can obviously result in putting your loved ones in dire straights ... and though you might, after the fact, try to point fingers elsewhere, in the end you will bear the scars, the hardships, and the grief.