Monday, May 29, 2006

Why I'm glad I live in Canada

I'm always amazed at the coldness of a Canadian winter (especially in my Northern Ontario hometown), and the crazy humidity of the summer. For example, it is currently 29 degrees celsius (that's 84 to our American friends) at 10:30am in the morning. Apparently we're due to hit 38 degrees with the humidex today...

** later note: temperature hit 41 with humidex today ***

What to do on a day like this? Stay inside, hug your air conditioner, find a shady spot along the river, find a beach with water clean enough to swim in (no small feat for people living in the Windsor / Detroit area), and be thankful for ice cubes and cold beer.

I have an "escape" from all of this.

Having nothing better to do today other than search online and get more stuff in the apartment packed, I started reading information about the people along the Gulf Coast and the infamous "evacuation plan" that the politicians are trying to come up with.

Their plan?
If you see a hurricane: "Run like hell"


Now I'm no expert on time (having in fact been accused on several occasions of running on "Mel time"), but didn't Hurricane Katrina happen over 9 months ago??? To me a disaster plan for a Category 4 or 5 hurricane should involve several very simple phone calls.

"Ya hi, bus companies? We were just wondering if it was okay for you to help move people out of the state if there's a big hurricane headed our way?"
Done and done.

"Hello rest of the USA? We're trying to get a plan together for housing in the event of a disaster like Katrina - just wondering if you've got any hotels or other housing that can be provided in the event of a mass evacuation?"
Done and done.

Okay, I could keep going with this, but it probably won't be very fun to read. My point is, with all of the millions of dollars sent down to this region and support offered from all over the USA and Canada (which was not officially accepted in the aftermath of Katrina), things like transportation and gas and food and housing should not be causing the leaders of the Gulf Coast states (and the rest of the USA) such a headache. I just don't get it.

Ellen recently did a special about the people in New Orleans who are still dealing with the aftermath of that terrible hurricane. It was an uncharacteristically sad episode featuring her breaking down into tears at the sight of all of the damage still down there. I was shocked at the absolute silence in the areas that she was touring. Where are the bulldozers? What happened to the hundreds of people offering to help? Where are the construction workers??? This whole thing just seemed WRONG.

I just have to wonder why this is still such a problem, when there are so many people offering to help out. I know things take time, but this is waaaay too much time. The city of New Orleans is trying desperately to get tourists back in hopes that they will get the financial benefits that this industry brings every year. While I can appreciate that they still need money, I'd love for somebody to get on the television and explain where the hundreds of millions of dollars that was donated less than a year ago has disappeared to. Seems to me that it should be awfully hard to spend that much money that quickly - even for a restoration effort of this size.

Then again, what do I know about all of this?

here's the article:


  • At 9:41 PM, Blogger Laura Coubrough said…

    Run like hell you say? Such incitful advice... I'd thought I'd just stick around and take some pictures and see what happens...
    Random camera with wicked pictures found later by the side of the road.
    I always wonder who's crazy enough to stick around and get those amazing shots of storms.

  • At 9:53 PM, Blogger Melinda said…

    LOL nice! I didn't even think about that!!

    Unfortunately I'm one of those crazy people who'd probably try ;)

  • At 9:15 AM, Blogger Tam's thoughts said…

    I'd like to know what happen to the money. Dave and I donated some. It wasn't much but it was something.

  • At 8:00 PM, Blogger Melinda said…

    That's just my point! I don't know many people who didn't donate money - it would be really interesting to find out where exactly that went... wonder if it was meant to pay for the salaries of those hard-working 'leaders'???


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