Because I am often on the road as part of my job, I knew I would experience some of the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in the New York Metro Area, even though I personally suffered no hardship due to it. On the day of the storm at my parents’ house, we had no Internet or cable, but that was nothing compared to people in neighboring towns who still have no power, or had their houses submerged by water from nearby rivers, lakes, and streams. Fallen trees and tree branches have also affected people who live in some neighboring towns throughout the area. I cancelled several appointments earlier this week due to continued flooding on the highways I would have had to take. I’m grateful I can work from home and get paid by the hour, even when I am not on the road, or else I would have felt the post-Hurricane Irene effects financially.
When I hear certain people who suffered few or no minor inconveniences this weekend and afterwards say that the storm “wasn’t a big deal,” or that they do not understand why there was so much attention on this particular weather event, I cringe. Just because I do not have to deal with floods, fallen trees, or power outages, does not mean that the storm does not matter to me. Of course, compared to the complete devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, this recent storm in the East Coast was definitely not as bad. At the same time, the widespread effects of Hurricane (later Tropical Storm) Irene were widespread throughout the East Coast, and should not be dismissed by those who were lucky enough to not suffer from it directly. How will those same people dismissing this storm react if they are not as fortunate the next time around?
I never take an escape from any disaster (natural or otherwise) for granted. I am humbled, grateful, and know that my luck could run out at any time, and without warning.
What are your thoughts on the storm and its aftermath?