Tuesday, January 09, 2007

No Mama, no Papa ... no FEMA

This email allegedly came from an emergency management official in the Denver metro area, which has been walloped by three major blizzards in recent weeks. It's actually an email that's been circulating since at least 2005, according to myth-busting Snopes.com. While some of its sentiment misrepresents the current situation slightly (for example, government helicopters helped feed stranded cattle), the author is expressing a widely held opinion that some American communities are more self-sufficient than others ... while some demand and get more attention in crises than others.

Up here, in the Northern Plains, we just recovered from a historic event; may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions" -- with a historic blizzard of up to 44 inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10's of thousands.

FYI: George Bush did not come.

FEMA did nothing.

No one howled for the government.

No one blamed the government.

No one even uttered an expletive on TV.

Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.

Our Mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else.

Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else, either.

CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC did not visit.

Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards.

No one asked for a FEMA trailer house.

No one looted.

Nobody - I mean Nobody demanded the government do something. Nobody expected the government to do anything, either.

No Larry King, no Bill O'Reilly, no Oprah, no Chris Matthews and no Geraldo Rivera. No Sean Penn, no Barbara Streisand, no Hollywood types to be found.

Nope, we just melted the snow for water. Sent out caravans of SUV's to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars. The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn't ask for apenny. Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snowbound fa mil ies.Fa mil ies took in the stranded people -- total strangers. We fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Coleman lanterns. We put on extra layers of clothes because up here it is "work or die." We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for "sittin' at home" checks. Even though a Category 5 blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early, we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about 40 degrees North Latitude, 90% of the world's social problems evaporate. It does seem that way, at least to me. I hope this gets passed on. Maybe SOME people will get the message: The world does not owe you a living.


Jill said...

Very interesting. I have seen some of the news reports about the current weather there. Let's see we've got a lot of problems caused by good old Mother Nature. What to do? No hand wringing, just problem solving and action.

Chancelucky said...

At the same time, I don't think it's nearly as serious a disaster as Katrina was. I have, for instance, not heard about 1,000 people dying nor has there been a need to evacuate thousands of homeless people.

Ron Franscell said...

Without question, the recent blizzards were not equal to Katrina ... but neither was Hurricane Wilma, where we saw some of the kind of helplessness, whining and government dependence to which the quasi-bogus email refers.

Katrina is in a class by herself, but we've certainly seen lesser crises where the same issues arose.

Jana (aka Fay's Nana) said...

My family in Littleton are weathering OK, though they are snow-bound, they do have stocked larders and the power's still on, thankfully.
Up north here we had a horrific wind storm on Sunday, took out couple hundred trees in the valley plus power is still out to some, and here is is Friday! Sure been a lot of "help your neighbor" going on, very nice to see. Sad though that we're so dependent on electricity. Without power and grocery stores, we'd starve or freeze to death.
Good luck as your book-signing tour continues!! Watch out for black ice!