I have been glued to the news and weather channel watching Hurricane Sandy and the horrible damage and loss of lives that was done. My heart and prayers go out to everyone that has suffered a loss of any sort but especially to those who lost loved ones.
Two things struck me through all of this. The first is that despite the mandatory evacuation orders for some of the areas, some people decided to stay and "ride it out". It really angered me to see how rescue workers and other ordinary citizens had to risk their own lives to try and save people who blatantly and selfishly ignored the evacuation orders. It was especially heartbreaking to see the children, who did not have a say in things, being brought out and who were clearly traumatized by the whole ordeal and thought they were going to die. My question as a parent is this: How can a parent not do everything possible to keep their kids safe? How can they risk their children's lives? Honestly, it made me want to have all those parents criminally charged.
The second thing that struck me was how people did pull together amid the devastation. It seemed to me that there was such a huge contrast to what we saw after Katrina where people in New Orleans were looting stores and taking anything they could including electronics and demanding that the government take care of them. What I have seen with Sandy are stores giving away food to people, people that have electricity setting out power strips inviting others with no power to charge their cell phones, hotels inviting people to come and use their wifi so that family and friends can be notified of what is going on and that their loved ones are safe. I have seen people pulling together and trying to help one another while the local, state and federal government try to get the mess cleaned up and get help for those that need it.
Maybe, just maybe, most people learned some important lessons after Katrina.