Friday, September 19, 2008

A.I. (After Ike) - Reality Sets In

It's been nearly a week since Ike slammed into the Houston/Galveston area, and for the most part things are still pretty screwed up.

In spite of it all, I have to say that actually God was very good to this area because since the storm we've had a cold front that's kept the temperatures in the mid 70's. That is a blessing any way you look at it because normally we'd be in the 90's, and with heat like that, no air conditioning, and everything else going, I'm not sure people would be as calm and patient as they have been.

It's going to take a long, long time to get this placed cleaned up. For example, the tree in the picture above is about 70 years old and is currently sitting on top of my man's house. There are long lines for gas, the grocery stores don't have many of the necessary staples (milk, meat, etc.), the power is still out in most of the city, and just like during Katrina, FEMA in the form of Michael Chertoff shows up four days late. Not to mention the unsolved mystery of what happened to all of the people who stayed on Galveston Island during the storm. Officials aren't talking, and I just pray for their safety.

Since Katrina in 2005, the insurance companies have pulled a fast one. They now write hurricane and wind damage waivers into the homeowners insurance policies that we're all required to have. These waivers call for deductibles based on a percentage of the amount the property is insured for rather than a flat rate. So your hurricane coverage that used to have a $1000 deductible for a $100,000 insurance policy for example, is now $5,000 based on 5% of the insured amount. Wind, hail, tornados, and flood are all seperate polices. Prepare to hear stories from all kinds of people who are about to get screwed because the insurance companies are simply not going to pay. Also get ready to see a lot of reconstruction NOT taking place as homeowners will simply not be able to afford it.

Y'all know the old parable about those not learning from history being doomed to repeat it, right? Well I think we're going to be repeating this process over and over again.

Now don't get me wrong, area governments have done a pretty good job of providing basic necessities while working to get things back on track. But I'm really talking about how fragile our situation is here in this country (and globally) and the fact that no disaster plan seems to work as designed because we depend on a national/global grid for all of our needs.

Food. Power. Water. Everything.

And when any section of that grid is disrupted, it affects everyone, everywhere. The easy example is the price of gas. With the refineries off line here on the Gulf Coast, prices have gone up everywhere because the supply of gasoline has been disrupted. So even in an area where the vast majority of the countries gasoline is refined, the price is still high and we're waiting 30 minutes or more to fill up.

That in turn has affected the availability of food. Because most food is not produced anywhere close to where it is consumed, when the trucks can't bring it in (because of the shortage of fuel), then that particular region suffers through shortages. Like we're seeing now. Thankfully the water supply wasn't disrupted for an extended period of time. I'd hate to see what would happen in a situation like that.

Now I know you can't undo 50 years of globalization in an instant. What I do think is that people themselves better think of how they're going to provide for their critical needs and necessities in times of crisis. With the frequency of disasters hitting this country, the time seems to be approaching where those who don't produce at least some of their own food, aren't going to be eating. Some long term family planning is in order.

Like I said, things are calm here and everyone is patiently waiting for life to return to normal. I just hope and pray that the power comes back on before the sun comes back out.


Regina said...

Man, Ike was treacherous and most Americans are still standing around scratching their heads trying to figure out what happened.
Thank God you and yours came through alive, you can work the rest out..

iriegal said...

Ike was indeed a serious change in the lives of many people. I am glad to hear you and your family have made it through.

We can lose everything in our lives (material things), but life itself is the greatest treasure

Tony said...

Good Job! :)

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

so i take it u safe folk

Believer 1964 said...

It's times like these when we realize what we take for granted every day. You have a point about having a plan and growing your own groceries.

Glad to hear you're safe and coping with the challenges.

tips paradise blog said...

How your header image made me remember about the 9-11 tragedy. SAD.

captivating capiz said...

Well, I guess sometimes all we need is a storm to pass and the airconditioning unit doesn't have to be turned on to relieve us from heat extremities.

Regina said...

Hey DP, just checking in to see how you guys are doing.
Peace, Love and Blessings to you and yours.

Angie-in-Japan said...

Praying that things are better for you all...

Regina said...

Checking in on you all. I pray that all is well ...or at least getting there!