Not “if,” but “when”

Scout has another great post up. It’s one of her best ever – looking at Katrina fatigue, in its various permutations, from some people who ought to know better, who don’t seem to fathom that what happened in New Orleans can happen to them. There’s more than enough reasons that Americans should be engaged with their fellow citizens left fighting for survival in Katrina’s aftermath, but this one seems like a no-brainer. Floods, hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes – few places in America are disaster-proof.

When it happens to you, the first thing you will do is look for help.

gage gage 1

The Texas hill country where I live is full of rivers and flooding is common. Sometimes, flooding reaches disaster proportions. The floods in October of 1998 and July of 2002 each caused more than 1 billion dollars of damage. Dozens of deaths, hundreds of homes lost, tens of thousands of cattle and wild animals killed, businesses destroyed, livelihoods wiped out.

When it happens to you, the first thing you will do is look for help.

This week, heavy rains resulted in the Blanco River rising almost 25 feet overnight.


What do those numbers translate to? Here’s a video of the flooding at just one crossing on the Blanco.

Had that storm lasted longer, had the ground already been too soaked, had another storm combined with this system, we could have been looking disaster in the face. In a matter of hours. Hills, rivers, rains, floods. That’s nature in this region. It’s a fact of life, always has been. According to the logic of some of the folks in Scout’s post, not only should we not expect help, we shouldn’t live here to begin with. Yet, rapid population growth continues steadily, year after year.

Scientists predict that climate change will result in more flooding, more hurricanes, more tornadoes in the coming decade. Some believe the country is more vulnerable to an epidemic event than ever before. It is naive to think we’ll never see another terrorist attack.

When it happens to you, the first thing you will do is look for help.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: