Hurricane Katrina

by Jerry K.

We have yet to hear a tally of the dead from the August 30th-31st storm.  Not all bodies have been recovered.  What killed people?  Let’s call it terminal unpreparedness.  Not heeding to the warnings given over the years on how to prepare a family disaster plan.  Not preparing a 72 hour kit/evacuation kit.  Not obeying civil authorities who said to evacuate the costal area prior to the storm hitting.

Let’s look at those who survived.  All of the people who heeded the call to evacuate and left New Orleans survived.  Almost all of the people who went to official shelters in New Orleans survived.  None were swept away by the storm surge.  That 15′ wall of water that rushed the Louisiana and Mississippi coastline pushing boats and building debris inland just like a tidal wave.  It was the storm surge and floods from torrential rains that drowned most folks who chose to shelter in their homes.

More on the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.  Few had what is required to survive on their own 3 days until relief efforts become organized and successful.  Remember that for the first 3 days authorities are in “rescue” mode.  Those that are alive and not trapped are expected to fend for themselves and their neighbors.  After the three days are up then the government expects to be able to restore some order and move needed supplies to the needy.  So what did the unprepared do?  They suffered needlessly, some even going so far as to loot neighborhood businesses.  Sadly, folks have been beaten, raped and even murdered by roving gangs of thugs.  Even the “official” shelter in New Orleans has been privy to these terrible crimes.

So how can we avoid the fate of victims of Katrina?  By first reviewing our family disaster plan.  We do not live in hurricane country.  There will be no warnings for us to evacuate before the expected disaster, the great quake, strikes.  It will hit suddenly, likely when we are either asleep or away from home.  So plan accordingly.  Next check your 72 hour kits.  If you don’t have one then build one.  Be ready to survive for at least 3 days on your own wherever you may be.  Having access to supplies at work or in your car may be your best bet.

Expect to be separated from loved ones.  Have a communication plan and a contact point.  Such as “We will all call Grandma Moses in Utah and let her know how we each are.”  Calling someone outside the affected area is best.  Then have a contact point, a place where you plan to meet if separated.  Such as the ward building or the children’s school.  Someplace where you can also leave messages if you are evacuated from there.  Tragically, there are many families that have yet to find out what happened to their loved ones in the aftermath of Katrina.  Please learn from their mistakes.

Jerry K.

2006 Noah’s Ark Newsletter/LDS Intelligent Living

photo source: public domain – Hurricane Katrina

 

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