Good grief. The mayor of Biloxi is being quoted again and again as having said “This is our Tsunami.”
I know things are bad down there in Louisana and Mississippi. I know people are dying. I know people are homeless. I’ve heard some of the individual tales of horror and loss, and I hurt for these people.
BUT AT LEAST WE SAW IT COMING.
Millions of people GOT OUT OF THE WAY. Had Katrina hit while people were still in these coastal towns by the thousands, tens of thousands, and millions, THEN maybe Biloxi’s Mayor (and CNN, and every other reporting agency who keeps running this quote past us) could compare this to the December 26th Tsunami. Hey, many of you people HAVE INSURANCE. We can measure the damage done by the amounts paid out by the insurers and their underwriters, which was NOT an option in Southeast Asia last December. How do you assign value when an entire village is wiped off the map, its men, women, and children drowned in one very sudden and unexpected calamity? How do you assign it when it happens DOZENS of times on several coasts?
We’re not going to require a DIME of foreign aid to rebuild from this (although some of the money spent by insurers will come from overseas investors — such is the nature of the global market).
I’m not trying to downplay the extent of this hurricane. It’s a few orders of magnitude short of an Indian Ocean Tsunami right now, though. You see, the families of the Tsunami’s 226,000 victims have learned something that we can really benefit by — people are more important than things. Most of what we are losing to Katrina falls into the “things” category.
EDIT: Of course, 17 hours after posting this I tuned BACK in to the news, and found that the levees have broken, and the city of New Orleans is slowly drowning. I can’t say I blame the Mayor of Biloxi for a little bit of hyperbole — I just wish the Mass Media that spread his sound-bite to the four winds had the good sense to knock on wood first.