Do you realize that we walk a thin line?
I saw on TV this morning where the news outlet was commemorating the “5th anniversary” of Central Florida being slammed by three back-to-back hurricanes. Charley, Frances and Jeanne.
Within 5 minutes of Charley hitting my residence on 14 August, the power was out. No AC, no fridge, no hot water. The power stayed out for 7 days. People rushed the gas stations, and gas ran out in a matter of hours. People were in a state of panic, and a lot of them hit the streets. The local McDonalds sold out of all food by the 3rd day. The grocery store shelves were bare. All food sources in the vicinity were gone in 5 days. The Frances on 5 Sept., followed by Jeanne on 26 Sept. Once again, no gas, no power for another 7 days and utter public chaos.
The onset of these three storms etched my memory banks with an indelible lesson. We walk a thin line between status quo and the breakdown of society. Katrina victims know this all too well as neighbor looted neighbor and the police imploded into their native corrupt state and began stealing from the very establishments they used to protect. Disaster brought out the worst in people during this time. The justice system utterly failed us.
Looking back, it was surprisingly tough to be without any power, drinkable water or gasoline for 7 straight days. Even the cell phones stopped working because the towers had been obliterated or starved from power. After we depleted our food supply, I had to drive many miles to get gasoline for the car and food for us to eat. It was a living hell, and I believe it was foreshadowing of what is to come.
I was humbled by the hurricanes of 2004, and further humbled by the destruction of Katrina. I still have some anxiety about letting my car get low on gas. I still start sweating and get heart palpitations during hurricane season. I don’t think people understand just how fragile the narrow spectrum of normalcy is.