All this talk of racism and Don Imus makes me think that New York’s hurricane is God’s punishment for firing somebody over such a non-issue. Hence, I will heretofore refer to this hurricane as “Hurricane Donny.” Well, actually, this is more of a pussy hurricane than anything else...“Pussicane Donny” it is.
The latest statistics indicate that, so far, Pussicane Donny has killed exactly zero people, and, since I’m currently in New York, I can assure you that this Pussicane’s incarnation in Queens is a constant, cold rain and wind gusts of no less than five miles per hour. News images from seashore Jersey cities depict a much more desperate, maudlin picture, but I’m not buying it. Pussicane Donny will go down in history as the meteorological anti-9/11, the event that hurt nobody and went away pretty quietly. If all it did was shut down a few businesses and shopping malls in Jersey, then Pussicane Donny has nothing on every single Sunday, when the Blue Laws shut down the entire state. Tony Soprano wreaks more havoc in Piscataway than Donny did.
Here’s the thing, though: we’ve clearly learned nothing from Hurricane Katrina. In the days leading up to this past weekend, eastern seaboarders had every reason to believe that they were about to get reamed by a massive force of nature. Furthermore, the news stations built this storm up to be Perdition, and weather(wo)men cackled for hours about the record amounts of flooding and disruptive weather we were to receive.
And what did we do? Absolutely nothing. Nobody disseminated emergency evacuation plans. Nobody distributed emergency materials. Nobody set up a special hotline just in case New York became suddenly strewn with people needing help. Nobody set up a contingency plan. Nobody instructed the public to stock up on essentials. Essentially, nobody implemented the series of actions that were retrospectively lacking in New Orleans two summers ago. This isn’t to say that we should have evacuated New York City, nor that anybody claimed that we were getting a second Katrina. It’s just that nobody propagated anything that would have been appropriate to scale, like a watered-down hurricane survival guide. Nothing. Not a pamphlet, not a website, not a single evacuation bus in a single waterfront town that stood to maybe, just maybe, save some lives.
So I’m glad that Pussicane Donny wasn’t anything worse than it was. We were woefully unprepared (again) for something more severe. Here’s to somebody in government coming up with something better the next time a natural disaster comes around.
Stay Suppressed, Pussicane Donny