So, Charley visited with us for a few hours yesterday. We heard from some friends that he was a terrible guest when he stayed with them in Florida and South Carolina, but he was on pretty good behavior when he hung out with us on Sunday. He was a bit of downer and cried the entire time, but he wasn’t passing much wind – so that was good.
But seriously, New England did luck out when you consider what Florida residents had to go through. Nobody deserves to lose everything (property and/or life) because of a storm (well, maybe a few people: Rick Santorum, Bill Frist, G.W., Jerry Falwell, et al).
Still, I find it frustrating when the news interviews the victims of the storm. For example, they interviewed a 60+ woman who lost her home to the storm. She said something to the extent of: “I never would have imagined in a million years that this could have happened to me.” How can that be? She lives in the most tropical state in the country that is prone to more hurricane strikes than any other state. She lives in a waterfront town and, the icing on the cake, she lives in a mobile home!
Maybe I’m being insensitive, but I think it’s safe to assume that if you put yourself in that kind of environment – it’s pretty much a given that a hurricane is going to rip through someday. I also heard that countless properties and lives had been saved because of more strict building codes that were implemented after Hurricane Andrew 12 years ago. I think that’s a brilliant idea and I’m glad it worked. But why are they still allowing mobile homes then? It seems like those are the most vulnerable. I know they’re more affordable and all, but there must be a better housing solution.
I’m not saying these people shouldn’t get help (because they should)…I’m just wondering whether more can be done to prevent such damage in the future. I mean, we seem to learn from other bad experiences (improved fire codes based on catastrophic fires like the Coconut Grove, improved snow removal plans after the Blizzard of ’78, improved seismic codes after the 1906 and Loma Prieta earthquakes)…why isn’t more being done about hurricanes? Banning mobile homes in hurricane and tornado territory may be a good start. Obviously other buildings get damaged, too…but it seems to never fail that when we see helicopter shots over hurricane damage, they always show a mobile home park that was desimated.
Leave a comment