Thursday, September 04, 2008

Evacuees You Can Love

"Know what they're feeding us? Broccoli and corn! Who eats that slop?"
-A soundbite on the local news from a person spending some time in a Hurricane Gustav shelter.
The evacuees are displaced, uncomfortable and under tremendous stress, but give me a break. These are able bodied people who can take care of themselves. They had plenty of notice they were leaving home. They could have brought money and a change of clothes. Can I let you know, as politically incorrect as it might be, that the person complaining about the "slop" was an enormous human being?
I visited a half-dozen shelters and some of the conditions were unfortunate and possibly unsanitary. The food, however, was plentiful and of a reasonable quality.
My favorite shelter was housing the helpless. Hundreds of pets were being attentively cared for at the state fairgrounds. There were plenty of volunteers diligently feeding, medicating and cleaning up after the evacuees. Puppies and kittens, adult animals, too...in various colors, sizes and breeds were housed there. And you know what? they were all well behaved.
It's interesting to see the kids in the shelters. They're making do, playing with one another and finding something to do to pass the time. They get upset because they don't really get what's going on sometimes, but they recover quickly.
To be fair, most people are just surviving and getting along as they can.
Sadly, a few are causing trouble. Police and national guard troops are breaking up fights and managing unrest at the human shelters. Maybe it's the slop, who knows? I know those folks want to go home. Trust me, we want exactly the same thing.

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1 comment:

Doug B. said...

Nice detective work, Daddy D! I had the opportunity to work at and with all the local shelters during Katrina and Rita in my prior job with a state government agency. Do you remember that it was over 100 degrees on several days right after the shelters opened during Katrina? It was just miserable for everyone. This is such an awkward time for all parties. Despite the efforts of so many wonderful volunteers, workers, police/military troops, and, yes, evacuees that I met during Katrina, I felt that the remaining visitors lingered waaaay too long in the shelters. It's just like any unexpected house guest. Knowing when to leave can make all the difference the next time they need to visit! I hope Gov. Bobby J. will get the bus fleet gassed-up and rolling ASAP to send the remaining local guests back home. It's time.