We are never quite prepared for disasters here in history’s most prosperous nation – whether natural ones or manmade.
A strange storm literally blew through a significant section of our country last week. These straight line severe thunder and windstorms are called derechos. Sounds like a snack food that should be covered with cheese. Since we have attached a Spanish moniker to these storms, maybe fast and furious is just as appropriate.
What I do know for certain is that the Lord occasionally reminds us of how insignificant we are.
At one time, we heard that more than 600 thousand people here in Wild and Wonderful were completely without electric power. As I write this, many of them are still without and the outside temperature is a humid 98 degrees. We typically have brief power outages here during or following storms. We pay them little mind for such temporary outages are normal for a place where the power lines practically touch giant oak trees. This one was and is not brief. By late on Saturday, concern was setting in. Reports were that we should not expect the power to be restored for a week and in some places even longer than that. Those who had generators started hauling them out. Those who did not have them but could afford to buy one went in search although many of them unsuccessfully. Portable generators are dandy. They will save your refrigerated and frozen food and if there is enough wattage they will power up small air conditioners and offer some cooling. The problem is that most require gasoline. When gas stations with electric pumps are unable to pump gas, the lines grow long and tempers get short at the few stations that are able to operate. Without fuel, a generator is not much use.
Add no electric power, to no open stores, to no gasoline, to non-working electric water system pumps, to a general population that is simply not prepared to survive more than a day or two and the sum is a very ugly and dangerous situation. One from which the refugees cannot run because they cannot fuel their vehicles. If they could leave, most would not because of a very strong desire to remain and protect their property. Generator thieves were about by the end of day two. Desperate situations render good people desperate. Desperation coupled with natural survival instinct often trumps good sense and neighborly values. It is a time when people tend to show their true colors whether good or bad.
Too many people it seems, are left to rely on government help to pull them out and after a day or two are more than willing to blame government or most anyone else for their predicament. We simply cannot place our fate and that of our families on what the government might or might not provide or how fast the power company can work. It is not the fault of the government if we failed to have the foresight to purchase a small generator when we did not see a need for it at the time or the foresight to have a first aid bag and sufficient non-perishable food and water on hand to last for a few days.
At some point, the liberals will start insisting that we could have avoided this if we had only allowed Solyndra to equip every house with solar panels so we would not have to rely on the electricity provided to us from transmission lines originating at coal fired power plants. I am curious about what damage shards of solar panels could do in hurricane force winds.
It is not just natural disasters where we place our fate in the hands of government. We seem more than willing to place it in the hands of a body of 9 fallible humans. The body that told us it is just fine for women to choose to kill unborn babies. The body that banned prayer from our schools. It is the same body that said it was acceptable for a local government to take our private property and give it to a commercial interest. It is the same body that just told us that the government can tell us what to buy and if we do not, tax us for our exercising our God given freedom. So someday when you purchase the car the government does not think you should have, prepare to pay the tax for it. Or, when you put shingles on your roof rather than solar panels, be prepared to pay the tax.
Reliance on government appears only to compound the misery whether reacting to disasters of nature or those of men. Our freedom is lost only when we give it away. In America these days, through reliance on government and others, we seem to want to give it away as fast as possible. And the communists are happy to oblige.