Wed
Aug 23 2006
12:08 pm

How do the poor, disabled, and elderly prepare for the unknown disaster that may be in the future?

Instapundit says, "People, I don't care where you live, you should have a week's food and water, some other disaster supplies, and a plan for where to go if you have to leave your home."

How?

You barely have enough money to get by day to day, much less purchase a week's worth of supplies not to be used for who knows how long.

Where do you store this week's supply of food, water, etc.?

What do the poor, disabled, and elderly do in times of a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina? 

Evacuate.

How?

Don't have a car. Can't afford a bus, train, airplane ticket. Neighbors don't have room in their car.

(Can't walk, they have guns preventing bridge crossings.)

How do you haul this week's supply of food, water, etc. when you are evacuating?

My wagon's not big enough and even if it was it's to heavy to haul and even if it wasn't they won't let me cross the bridge.

What's the plan Hal?

149
like
R. Neal's picture

Simple. Just call and get

Simple. Just call and get your gold card limit raised.

BlueMeany's picture

Disaster Preparedness

Instapundit says, "People, I don't care where you live, you should have a week's food and water, some other disaster supplies, and a plan for where to go if you have to leave your home."

Hmmm. I think Mr. Pundit was talking about 'his people', not the poor, huddled masses. I wonder if he'll share his bunker with any of us?

dave's picture

"poor" people

Being poor ain't no excuse for being unprepared, check out the $45 emergency menu at (link...) . That's for a family of 4, for a week. By my math that works out to $1.60 a day, or 32 aluminum $.05 deposit cans.
CBT's picture

Don't think Insta said you

Don't think Insta said you had to haul it. It's just a good idea to have it...IF you can manage. Some probably can't.

Seems like having some idea where you might go in case you had to evacuate (if you live in an area where you may have the need) isn't asking too much. But, of course, New Orleans supposedly had a plan. Hundreds of pages of plans. Seems like part of it involved school buses. Oops, the city didn't send those out (they sat, parked and eventually flooded). Given the city officials were on the ground and closest to the problem, why did the city apparently expend little effort to get people out?

New Orleans took millions of federal dollars to prepare for floods. Oops again, much of that money was spent on helping new casinos get bridge access. Louisiana politics being clean and above board, I know this is hard to imagine.

The feds may not have acted promptly or efficiently, but there's a lot of blame to go around for Katrina. Like a lot of things, it's just easier to blame Bush.

R. Neal's picture

And conversely, blaming it

And conversely, blaming it all on local and state officials completely lets Bush off the hook?

bizgrrl's picture

CBT says, "But, of course,

CBT says, "But, of course, New Orleans supposedly had a plan."

Yeah, repeating the mantra again, huh?

What's Knoxville's plan for a disaster?

CBT says, "New Orleans took millions of federal dollars to prepare for floods. "

Are you serious? Millions to fix/build levees? I think the US Army Corp of Engineers controls that project, not the city of NOLA. But as time passes, the US government incompetence knows no bounds.

gttim's picture

Hmmm..

Seems like having some idea where you might go in case you had to evacuate (if you live in an area where you may have the need) isn't asking too much. But, of course, New Orleans supposedly had a plan. Hundreds of pages of plans. Seems like part of it involved school buses. Oops, the city didn't send those out (they sat, parked and eventually flooded).

Of course wingnuts like to ignore that New Orleans asked for drviers for those buses. Seems most people were busy evacuating their asses out of there, so they did not have a group of drivers to use them. This is where the government comes in. They could have gotten drivers from other states who were not busy evacuating to come down and drive. NEw Orleans tried to use the buses. 

Given the city officials were on the ground and closest to the problem, why did the city apparently expend little effort to get people out?

They did the best they could. A large city has a hard time enough running itself, they do not have the manpower or the expertise to evacuate itself. This is where the federal govenment is supposed to come in with all its manpower and expertise to help any city that finds itself overwhelmed.

Think of it like a fire department. You cannot fight a fire in your home once it gets to big. Thus we all pay a little bit in property taxes to support a fire department who can come fight the fire with expertise and manpower. We are not expected to be able to do it ourselves, we cannot all have the skills and the manpower to do it. If our neighbors house burns down, we do not bitch about how they expected the fire department to come save their ass. We hope the fire department did a good job,and that they will be able to do a good job in case we ever need to call them. This is the role FEMA and the federal government is supposed to take. We do not have the manpower and the expertise to deal with such overwhelming situations, so we pay into the government, expecting them to play the roll of fire department when needed. They failed. I hope they do not fail if my city ever needs to call them.

Why am I picturing wingnuts watching their neighbor's house burn down making comments about how those people should have been prepared for a lightning strike? Or an arsonist? Or a rat shorting something out in the walls, which then catches fire.

I bet every libertarian in the world would call the fire department if their house was burning down! (Reluctantly.)

New Orleans took millions of federal dollars to prepare for floods. Oops again, much of that money was spent on helping new casinos get bridge access. Louisiana politics being clean and above board, I know this is hard to imagine.

Bzzzzzt! Wrong! Army Corps of Engineers took that money. (Do Republicans/wingnuts  even want to  mention spending government money building bridges? Think Alaska.)

The feds may not have acted promptly or efficiently,

They sucked! They blew it! They did not protect their citizens, which should be the very first role of a government.

but there's a lot of blame to go around for Katrina. Like a lot of things, it's just easier to blame Bush.

Well, it was his people the screwed the pooch! His fire chief did not have the expertise to put out a Girl Scout's campfire.

Anonymous's picture

Still believing fairy tales, eh?

NEw Orleans tried to use the buses.

Source for your untrue assertion?

They did the best they could. A large city has a hard time enough running itself, they do not have the manpower or the expertise to evacuate itself. This is where the federal govenment is supposed to come in with all its manpower and expertise to help any city that finds itself overwhelmed.

Wrong. Per FEMA disaster plans, local governments are expected to handle disasters themselves for at least the first 48 to 72 hours, and further, have the stage set for federal disaster aid when they arrive. NOLA and the state of LA did not do this. The federal response to Katrina was faster and more efficient that it was to any previous catastrophe. The media fed us (or tried to, some of us saw through the BS) fairy tales about chaos, murder, rape, pillaging and plunder designed to make Bush and FEMA the total fall guys for the disaster of Katrina. They had their share of the screw up, but it all originated with the utter incompetence of that lunatic, Ray Nagin.

Here's what really happened: (link...)

Oh, and it is possible that over 50,000 lives were actually saved by Katrina: (link...)

redmondkr's picture

Mr. Bush has a plan for the

Mr. Bush has a plan for the huddled masses who haven't the means to stock up on bread for emergencies.

"Let them eat cake."

He read it in a book somewhere. 

A large white onion, if eaten slowly, will remove the scent of vanilla ice cream from your breath. - Archie Campbell

Les Jones's picture

Gee,

I guess if Glenn Reynolds is bad for saying that, then so is the Red Cross with their disaster preparedness page, which recommends that people:

  • Build a disaster supplies kit that includes enough supplies for each family member for three days. Remember to check your kit every six months.

Seems to me that Glenn and the Red Cross are giving the same good advice. A flashlight, transistor radio, batteries, water, and food are within the fiscal means of the vast majority of Americans.


Hey, Les, why don't we just call each other assholes and get it over with. - Somebody on the old Southknoxbubba.net (if that was you, claim your quote and win net.fame!)

bizgrrl's picture

 Yes, I guess Glenn is

 Yes, I guess Glenn is repeating the mantra as well. I don't think the people suffering the most as a result of Katrina fit this mold and I think the Red Cross is aware, as is probably Glenn. The point is that Glenn, or the Red Cross, telling their readers how important supplies are does not make the the problems of Katrina go away. People that can heed these warnings have the financial means for supplies and transportation.

A flashlight, transistor radio, batteries, water, and food are within the fiscal means of the vast majority of Americans.

Enough for a week? Vast majority of Americans? Maybe, I don't know. I do know there are large numbers of Americans that cannot afford these supplies. These Americans are visible for all to see in every city and town if our eyes are wide open.

 

Glenn Reynolds's picture

Seems like a bit of a cheap shot

Storing water costs next to nothing -- water from the tap is virtually free, and you can store it in old milk jugs or 2-liter soft drink bottles. A week's worth of food can be inexpensive -- I can't find the post now, but when this issue came up on my blog a while back, several people posted $50 food stockpiles that would last a family for a week. As for hauling it -- who said anything about hauling it?

Disaster agencies ranging from the Red Cross, to FEMA, to the LAFD make similar recommendations. It seems like rather a stretch to try to turn this into some sort of "let them eat cake" post.

bizgrrl's picture

Storage takes square

Storage takes square footage, of which some people don't have much. In Florida you don't have basements. It's awfully hot to store some things in the attic (can degrade more quickly). Closet space can be very limited.

You have to acquire the used water jugs somehow. A week's worth of food can be inexpensive, but you need more than food.

If your house is flooded, if your house is destroyed, you must haul these supplies elsewhere (if the supplies are still usable). If you have no transportation, how do you haul these supplies? If your years worth of supplies are rendered useless and you have no money and your destination has no supplies (as with Katrina), then what? Sure, I, Glenn, Les, and many others viewing this blog have the means (today anyway), but there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans who do not.

Seven Day Emergency Supplies Kit for Three People
Per Red Cross Recommendations

Flashlight $2
Transistor radio $10
Batteries $15
Water $35 (7 x 24/16 oz. cases)
Food* $66
Vitamin supplements $10
Aspirin $5
Immodium D $6
Antacid $3
Ipecac $3
Laxative $5
Activated charcoal $7
Mess kits $15
Utility knife $5
Can opener $3
Fire extinquisher $20
Tent $40
Pliers $5
Tape $3
Compass $10
Matches $1
Aluminum foil $1
Storage containers $25
Signal flare $15
Paper, pencil $1
Needles, thread $1
Medicine dropper $1
Whistle $3
Plastic sheeting $15
Map $5
Toilet paper $4
Towelettes $3
Soap $1
Liquid detergent $1
Feminine supplies $5
Personal hygene items $25
Plastic garbage bags $2
Plastic bucket $5
Disenfectant $2
Bleach $1
Sturdy shoes/work boots $60
Rain gear $18
Blankets/sleeping bags
Hat and gloves
Thermal underwear
Sunglasses $15
Games and books $10
First aid kit $15
Portable music device 
Total: $503 

*Food  - One meal a day per person for three people
Canned fruit $4  (4 x 15 oz.)
Canned juice $6  (21 x 6 oz.)
Canned meat $10  (7 x 12 oz. Spam)
Canned vegetables $5  (7 x 14 oz. Mix vegs)
Canned beans $3  (7 x 15 oz. Pinto beans)
Peanut butter $2  (1 x 1 lb.)
Dried fruit/nuts $28  (14 x 6 oz. Trail Mix)
Powdered milk $3  (1 x 9 oz.)
Crackers $3  (1 x 16 oz.)
Hard candy $2  (2 X 10 oz. bag)
Total: $66 

R. Neal's picture

Not sure I see how it's a

Not sure I see how it's a cheap shot. The original post was talking about "the poor, disabled, and elderly". I don't think anyone disagrees with you or Les or anyone else that people should have supplies on hand. I think the point was that this is harder than it sounds for the poor, disabled, and elderly.

I know you didn't say anything about hauling it, but I think it's fair to talk about how you are going to transport the stuff. The people in New Orleans were flooded out of their homes. People in Middle Tennessee had their homes destroyed by tornadoes last year. They all had to evacuate to somewhere else. In the case of NOLA during Katrina, the places they went didn't have any of this stuff. Not that they could have floated a weeks worth of canned goods there in chest deep water anyway. (Maybe Bizzgrl should add an inflatable raft or canoe to her list).

Now, Busgirl's list is obviously the Cadillac of hurricane survival kits (although I'd add a .45 and a box of ammo which would drive up the cost even more) as suggested by the Red Cross websites you and Les link to (which assumes people reading it are people of means - they talk about preparing your cars, plural, all your important papers, credit cards, traveler's checks, etc., and we are talking about people with little or nothing who are stranded if the buses stop running and broke if their Social Security check can't be delivered).

The Red Cross lists pretty much what we had in Florida. But we could afford it. The poor, disabled, and elderly people we are talking about who are living hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck can't. Even the bare minimum food and water is going to be $50 to $100. And even though that might have made a huge difference for some New Orleans residents, some of these people couldn't even afford that. And again, how would they get it to the Superdome or the Convention Center?

So I don't think looking outside our "more comfortable" situations at the realities of a small group of underprivileged people is a cheap shot if we are really interested in preparing as a society for future disasters such that the least among us are considered, too. It's not an either or choice.

SayUncle's picture

If you have no

If you have no transportation, how do you haul these supplies?

Hand truck or rolling storage bin.

---
SayUncle
Can't we all just get a long gun?

R. Neal's picture

Hope it floats. And hope

Hand truck or rolling storage bin.

Hope it floats. And hope it's big enough to haul all that stuff Glenn and Les say you need to have on hand (although it may be possible, if you pack smart and maybe skip the canned goods and go with MREs, although they appear to be more expensive, but that's a lot of water to haul in any case, no matter how it's bottled).

SayUncle's picture

there's some pretty good

there's some pretty good sized hand trucks and you can strap a ton to them if the stuff is in an appropriate bin. PITA to haul but it can be done quite easily. Floating would be an issue with a hand truck but some storage bins float, assuming they're not loaded down.

Here where it's not coastal, any flooding would be freshwater. I'd ditch the bottled water and keep the bleach/purification tabs handy. Doesn't help coastal folks, though.

---
SayUncle
Can't we all just get a long gun?

Les Jones's picture

The Red Cross list is very

The Red Cross list is very extensive. Not everything on the list is applicable to everyone and every situation. You get most of the benefit with some food, water, water purification tablets ($4 a bottle), and a transistor radio, flashlight, and batteries.

You can keep a big supply of water in your house, but you can't carry more than a day's worth on foot if it comes to that. Potable Aqua iodine tablets are what I've used for backpacking for 20 years. Tiny, lightweight, and $4 a bottle in the camping section of any department store. 

For other ideas on what to have handy, search for "bug out bag."


Hey, Les, why don't we just call each other assholes and get it over with. - Somebody on the old Southknoxbubba.net (if that was you, claim your quote and win net.fame!)

SayUncle's picture

'shouldn't there be a

'shouldn't there be a minimum of assistance that people can expect from their well compensated local, state or federal officials?'

Yes, but you'd be a fool to rely on it.

---
SayUncle
Can't we all just get a long gun?

SayUncle's picture

Also, clorox bleach can be

Also, clorox bleach can be used to purify water. Let the water settle so any particles sink to the bottom. Pour top water into something else (that is clean). Add 1/2 teaspoon bleach per 5 gallons (roughly 4 drops per quart). Let sit for 30 minutes. Sniff. It should smell slightly like bleach, if not add more and let sit again.

Also, 1 tablespoon per gallon is a good cleanser/sanitizer if you don't have soap.

Use regular bleach, nothing scented.
---
SayUncle
Can't we all just get a long gun?

bizgrrl's picture

How much are those hand

How much are those hand trucks?

SayUncle's picture

'How much are those hand

'How much are those hand trucks?'

from about $30 to (like most things) however much you want to spend. I didn't taylor my advice to low cost options just pointing it out. Affluent people might need saving too ;)

---
SayUncle
Can't we all just get a long gun?

Glenn Reynolds's picture

Cheap Shots, con'td

Randy, you seem to read my statement as somehow being in opposition to the government doing stuff. I'm not opposed -- in fact, I've said before that public buildings ought to be stocked with emergency supplies as they were in the old fallout-shelter days. But I think that it's a bad idea for people to rely on the government here -- as all the experts say, they'll be busy and perhaps unable to get to you for days or more.

And it's also somewhat like vaccination. Even if everyone can't be self-sufficient, the more people who are, the less hard the authorities have to work to help people. Then they can focus on the people who can't help themselves. If everyone assumes that the government will bail them out, on the other hand, the system gets saturated and the government won't be able to do much.

The article I quoted said that 60% of Americans are unprepared. It's certainly not the case that 60% of Americans can't afford to prepare. They're just lazy, and figure that someone else will pick up the slack if something happens.

R. Neal's picture

Glenn, no, I think I read

Glenn, no, I think I read your statements as you intended, i.e. that people should take personal responsibility. I agree that for able-bodied people of means not to do so is irresponsible if not crazy. I talked about that and the surveys showing how many people were unprepared over at Facing South a while back.

And I get your point that the more people who prepare themselves the fewer people the government or whoever will have to deal with, freeing up resources to help people who really need it. But I don't really see the government helping these people, or anyone else for that matter, in the days following Katrina. Even people of means are still waiting for housing assistance, insurance settlements, debris removal, etc., all over the Gulf.

I think what we are are talking about, which I guess part of your point is that this is not what you were talking about in the post referenced to you, is what to do about the poor, disabled, and elderly.

So, in that context, what do you propose they (the poor, sick, and disabled) do? How can they best help themselves to prepare, or to at least prepare to be helped?

Glenn Reynolds's picture

Poor, sick and elderly

Well, "poor, sick and elderly" covers a lot of terrain. Some are all three, but not all.

Some people, as I've mentioned in earlier posts, just don't have it together enough, mentally or physically, to look out for themselves. Obviously, my message isn't aimed at them. The most they can do -- and some can't even do that -- is try to pay attention and make sure that somebody knows where they are and can help them if they need it.

Most people, except the very poorest (who usually have other problems that interfere more than the money end) can keep spare food and water on hand. And they should know where to go to evacuate or get help, if they can.

Sick people should at least keep enough vital medicines (my wife would probably die without her Tikosyn, for example, so we don't let it get close to running out) that they can weather a week or so cut off, or forced to evacuate to some place that may not have them handy. And they should make sure somebody knows where they are and that they need help, or at least know who to call. ("Sick" covers a lot of territory all by itself.)

And where people can't do stuff for themselves, the caregivers -- nursing homes, hospitals, relatives, or whoever -- have to have their own emergency plans. And vital services should be made tough enough to survive most disasters. This is actually something I've written a lot about in various places, because I think that most big organizations, governmental or non-governmental do a lousy job of disaster planning.

Of course, if things are bad enough, any of us may depend on the kindness of strangers. And, in fact, I've recommended that people have enough supplies, etc., on hand to let them help some other people too, as there will no doubt be people who need it.

As I say, I never intended anything of a "let them eat cake" angle to my post, and I still think it was wrong to suggest that I did.

bizgrrl's picture

I appreciate Glenn's input

I appreciate Glenn's input here and response to my blog post.

Quoting Glenn, "As I say, I never intended anything of a "let them eat cake" angle to my post, and I still think it was wrong to suggest that I did."

I don't think this was the point I was trying to get across and this was not the suggestion I was making. I also don't think the commenter referencing "let them eat cake" was commenting on Glenn's post.

Let's see if I can make my point succinctly.

It is estimated that 90% of the people in the New Orleans area evacuated. Thus, in my humble opinion, the issue is not that 60% of people in hurricane-prone areas do not have "a week’s worth of food and water squirreled away, a kit with flashlights and other gear, and an established evacuation route to higher ground."

The issue is that many people in New Orleans that experienced Katrina that did not evacuate were poor, disabled, and elderly without means to do the "obvious". The "obvious" only to those with means.

28% of the New Orleans population were below poverty level.

36% of the Lower 9th Ward were below poverty level.

I think some of Glenn's input in his comments to my post have merit, including: "in fact, I've said before that public buildings ought to be stocked with emergency supplies as they were in the old fallout-shelter days."

metulj's picture

Water stored in any other

Water stored in any other way than a food service preparation or as part of a survival ration under controlled conditions is no better than tap water under disaster circumstances. Unless you can get the vessel you are storing the water in extremely clean, it will still become contaminated rather quickly with microbes residual from its previous use or from the period in which it was empty. Milk jugs are a particularly bad idea as are anything that had sugar in water solution. 

The Red Cross and FEMA recommendations are bad. They assume all sorts of variables that cannot be controlled for under a disaster situation. I would have (and did suggest elsewhere) that Pur or MSR water pumps be handed out to everyone who could carry them. Pur or MSR would cough them up for the PR and at a good price. That's the current plan under review for Southern African water crises and I was part of the team that looked into how to quickly respond to these sorts of problems in, well, Katrina like conditions. Our recommendation: Forget hoarding water; Personal filters are the way to go.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Factchecker's picture

Mmmm, free water in old milk jugs...

...water from the tap is virtually free, and you can store it in old milk jugs or 2-liter soft drink bottles. 

Metul's right.  #1's and #2's are not sanitary to refill and store.  And I wouldn't trust bleach to fix water contaminated by degraded plastic.

___________________________________________________ 

Bush has done a heckofa job on New Orleans for 1 year now.

 

Factchecker's picture

You're forgetting the real tragedy

Trent Lott lost his entire home.  (At least the one in that region.)  But out of the rubbles of his old home will be a great new home and I for one can't wait to sit on his new porch!

Up Goose Creek's picture

Blame the vicitm

For a place like New Orleans, being able to evacuate is the most important step to take.

I was saddened during Katrina to hear people say "that's what they get for choosing to live in NOLA." Well what about people who choose to live 20 miles downwind of a nuclear weapons facility? Should anyone feel sorry for us? What should we do for disaster preparedness? I have some iodine pills I keep in my rucksack, beyond that how does one prepare for nuclear disaster?

BlueMeany's picture

Even if you can collect your disaster preparedness kit...

What happens if your home is swallowed by water or destroyed by winds? Where's your water stockpile? Your food? Your medication? If you lose your home due to natural disaster, shouldn't there be a minimum of assistance that people can expect from their well compensated local, state or federal officials? The US gov't expedited the departure of its citizens from Lebanon after just a couple of days of conflict... it has left New Orleans to rot.
Tellling these people they picked a crappy dangerous place to live is like saying they should have picked their parents a little bit better.

redmondkr's picture

Let Them Eat Cake

You will note that my comment stated that Mr. Bush had this solution for those unable to buy bread.  I mentioned nothing about Glenn's position on this.  He is right in his opinion that those of us who are able to do so should plan ahead as well as possible.

Mr. Bush has often shown that he is insulated from the experiences of many Americans and the "let them eat cake" shoe definitely fits.  The new Medicare drug plan is one of many examples of this attitude.

A large white onion, if eaten slowly, will remove the scent of vanilla ice cream from your breath. - Archie Campbell

Eleanor A's picture

Let's see here

Seems like the Army Corps of Engineers requested $11 million for this project to patch up the NOLA levees for FY2005. George Bush signed off on only $3 million, and the Republican Congress upped that total to $5 million.

What's really disturbing, though, is this passage:

FY 2006 BUDGET/EFFORT. The President’s budget for fiscal year 2006 is $3.0 million. This will be insufficient to fund new construction contracts. We could spend $20 million if the funds were provided. These funds are necessary to maintain the project schedule and to meet our contractual and local sponsor commitments.

So. Even after this tragedy has taken place; while money allocated for NOLA victims remains in escrow and isn't being distributed to those for whom it is intended; still the Republican White House and Congress won't fix it, and on top of it they've cut significant funding from Homeland Security for New York, L.A. and Washington.

I'll grant you the compass of blame here points in a few different directions, but calling George Bush a mere scapegoat is absurd.

kisrum's picture

okay you're right...

everyone do nothing...then climb in a car that you didn't gas up.

Anonymous's picture

evacuation

Thank you for stating what should be obvious to everyone. I took care of a mentally disabled person for thirty years. Thirty years of living on SSI takes its toll. These people don't have the means to "get out of town" or to stock supplies.

I get a kick out of these stupid disastor plans, and I live on Cape Cod! where supposedly we are wealthier than are people in our inner cities. Ha!

When I looked at the pictures of the Katrina aftermath on the news, all I saw were disabled people and their faithful heroic caregivers.

If we are going to continue to be a civilized country, we have got to update all of our communities to reflect the fact that disabled people are living at home and cannot get around the way the able-bodied can.

It's time to address this! Where are the hospitals, doctors, politicians, police, fire, and rescue people?

Perhaps the logical place to get this effort going is in the rehab facilities across the nation.

This planning should have happened twenty years ago when we began the home-care movement.

Katrina Coverage's picture

99 Cents store

Notes added to list above; 99 cents means something that's available at such stores:

Batteries $15 [for that price you could get a set of rechargables and a recharger]
Food* $66 [very high fat freeze dried noodle meals are very cheap]
Aspirin $5 [99 cents]
Antacid $3 [99 cents]
Laxative $5 [99 cents]
Mess kits $15 [lexan utensils=~$2]
Utility knife $5 [spend more]
Can opener $3 [99 cents; buy two]
Tent $40 [depending on the environment you're in, that's too cheap]
Compass $10 [you probably won't need a sighting mirror, buy a couple small cheap compasses unless you need the gimmicks]
Matches $1 [spend a little more for waterproof]
Storage containers $25 [99 cents]
Toilet paper $4 [99 cents]
Towelettes $3 [99 cents]
Soap $1 [99 cents; get hand sanitizer too]
Plastic bucket $5 [99 cents]
Rain gear $18 [spend a few times more for something good]
Blankets/sleeping bags [space blankets too]
Hat and gloves
Thermal underwear
Sunglasses $15 [99 cents]
First aid kit $15 [99 cents; get several as well as addl supplies]

As for the clothing, avoid cotton especially if it could get cold.

Dave H.'s picture

survival

With all due respect the comments that assume (1) even when you are cut off from aid by a natural disaster,you should be unprepared because presumably it is the job of government to save you or (2) you need sufficient food rations of properly tasty type, and no contamination of water by plastic, etc....

We're talking SURVIVAL here, for a limited period of time, 3-7 days. If you don't like water with bleach, army surplus stores have water decontaminating pills. Yes, it'll look like iodine, but that's better than going thirsty or winding up with a gut-clearing case of the crud. If you don't have enough money to stock a week of prime rib, how about a sack of beans or of rice? Ten bucks, maybe? Both survive forever. Yes, it's gonna be a bland diet, and play hob with a low carb cuisine, and in the former case contribute to ozone depletion, but we're talking surviving for a short time. Our ancestors lived on that and a little rabbit or venison for a lot longer than three days. Or a few cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew for dinner. Another five or ten bucks?

3-7 days of supplies need not cost more than anyone can afford, or be heavier than they can carry, if they recognize that they're debating survival. When I was a kid in the boy scouts, we regularly toted 2-3 days of food, water tablets, equipment, and sometimes tents, and I'm talking groups of 10-12 year olds on mountain trails. Yeah, Dinty Moore gets a bit boring after a while. We skipped putting it in pots and just sat the cans on the coals. But it beats starving while cussing at the government for failing to move trucks over washed-out bridges.

metulj's picture

99% of what the Boy Scouts

99% of what the Boy Scouts tell you to do in the woods assumes that you are white, American and Christian. The other 1% is good advice. Example: You shouldn't take groups of twelve out on mountain trails. That is heavy ecological impact as defined. If I saw you out in the Smokies in the backcountry I would ask you to break the group up.

Anyhow, your comment speaks to why, why, why conservatives can't handle disasters. People think that Katrina as a disaster started the day it formed out in the ocean. This is wrong. Katrina is a structural disaster. I don't mean buildings,. I mean it laid bare the fact that social structures of the US are ill-prepared for disaster of any sort. The Right cannot wrap its mind around Katrina other than reify its beliefs that the people who got hurt, killed or displaced by the hurricane "deserved" the outcome. It can't wrap its mind around Katrina because it lays bare its basic assumption that government is not only not here to help its people, it isn't here to protect either. It is here to control it people. The Right is happy about that, but any beneficient form of government is to viewed suspiciously even when bodies are floating around in flood waters in a great American city.

 

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

rho's picture

Obviously there are people

Obviously there are people who are completely helpless. As indicated by several commenters, they can't afford to put away some extra water or food, since an extra can of 39-cent beans every week or so is far beyond their capabilities. There is, after all, a vast underclass who live only on what they can redeem from deposit-return bottles and nickels fished out of storm grates with sticks and bubblegum.

My solution to this problem is simple: put these people in jail. Obviously they are incapable of caring for themselves, and if they live in dangerous areas like New Orleans or Pensacola or Newark, they just might be killed when the next storm comes through as the Republican-led government sips brandy and dismisses them as "darkies".

However, if they're in jail, they get *wonderful* benefits: a place to live, three meals a day, free health care, and often a job! This is surely heaven on Earth. Let's all come together on this issue: PUT POOR PEOPLE IN JAIL! The world will be a better place!

Tom Penn's picture

A caution about broad brushes

I agree with Glen that Katrina was largely a failure of individual responsibility. The local, state and national response was ineffective, but the "Nanny help me" mentality of most of those affected was the biggest problem. There is no way any government on this planet could have effectively responded considering the girth of the storm (90,000) square miles, and the sheer numbers of people who could have fended for themselves but chose not to.

Even among the poor, sick, and elderly. How many of these could have forgone a few six packs and cigarettes to save by for hard times to facilitate their evacuation or disaster preparedness? How many of these did not have friends and family who could have assisted their evacuation/preparedness? OK -- some don't have family and friends and could not evacuate. Of those, what percentage could really not have collected 3 or 4 days of water? What percentage couldn't afford a box of crackers and some potted meat?

Someone above mentioned the homeless. My spouse works with the homeless in Knoxville. Many homeless are mentally ill, and their are some working poor. Many have addictions and refuse available treatment. For some, it's actually a lifestyle choice. Many homeless, between 30% and 50%, get fairly large government checks (more than my spouse makes). They disappear for the first week or two of the month, they tank up on their drug of choice and shack up in a hotel. When they've blown through their monthly money, they come back to live off the generosity and compassion of others. Seriously, go to one of the charities providing meals the last week of any given month, and then go back on the fifth day of the next month. Notice the population differece.

I think many don't understand that most who did not evacuate, chose not to evacuate. Most who weren't prepared for this disaster, chose not to be prepared. There is a small percentage that the local and state authorities should have tried to perform a deus ex machina operation for.

R. Neal's picture

but the "Nanny help me"

but the "Nanny help me" mentality of most of those affected was the biggest problem. There is no way any government on this planet could have effectively responded considering the girth of the storm (90,000) square miles, and the sheer numbers of people who could have fended for themselves but chose not to.

Wow. Talk about a broad brush.

Socialist With A Gold Card's picture

"Chose"?

Chris Floyd says it well:

Most of the victims, as anyone with half a brain could have expected, are African Americans, disproportionally trapped in the claws of poverty. This simple fact apparently eluded or was of no compelling interest to the entire political establishment, from Bush on down to the local professionals. Race and class have seldom marched so tightly in step to aggravate a catastrophe.

[...] Much of this is embodied in the odd phrasing that even the most circumspect mainstream media sources have been using to describe the hardest-hit victims of the storm and its devastating aftermath: "those who chose to stay behind." Instantly, the situation has been framed with language to flatter the prejudices of the comfortable and deny the reality of the most vulnerable.

[...] Yet across the media spectrum, the faint hint of disapproval drips from the affluent observers, the clear implication that the victims were just too lazy and shiftless to get out of harm's way. There is simply no understanding - not even an attempt at understanding - the destitution, the isolation, the immobility of the poor and the sick and the broken among us.

The meme that the poor, sick, and elderly victims of Katrina "chose" to stay behind is nothing more than thinly disguised racism. The ludicrous idea that people who couldn't afford a bus ticket across town somehow had the resources to pay for their own evacuation doesn't merely avoid facts -- it attempts to blame the victim. Are we supposed to believe that it's merely a coincidence that the overwhelming majority of those who "chose" to stay behind and die were dirt-poor, sick, or elderly?

--Socialist With A Gold Card


"I'm a socialist with a gold card. I firmly believe we need a revolution; I'm just concerned that I won't be able to get good moisturizer afterwards." --Brett Butler

 

Peter's picture

Racists.

Most of the victims, as anyone with half a brain could have expected, are African Americans, disproportionally trapped in the claws of poverty. This simple fact apparently eluded or was of no compelling interest to the entire political establishment, from Bush on down to the local professionals. Race and class have seldom marched so tightly in step to aggravate a catastrophe. Yes, black people are too stupid to evacuate. Thanks for pointing that out, you racist slime. Poor people are also too stupid to evacuate. Yep, you're an elitist, too. Let's also forget about the vast predominatly white areas of LA and MS that were destroyed. I lived in Florida for years, and whenever there was a hurricane approaching, *most* people didn't evacuate. Not because they're too poor. Not because they can't. Because they don't WANT to. They figure that they'll be able to ride it through. And they're right. Most of the time. Sometimes they get unlucky...
R. Neal's picture

For some, it's actually a

For some, it's actually a lifestyle choice. Many homeless, between 30% and 50%, get fairly large government checks (more than my spouse makes).

Your spouse needs a new job.

Why the rant about homeless people? They were probably less than 1% of the "problem" in NOLA.

A huge number of the rest were working people and home owners, now scattered to the four winds in Houston and Atlanta and Detroit and wherever, wondering if someone has bulldozed the home they still have a mortgage on and when the government is going to make good on promises to help them get home and rebuild.

Idiot.

Faustagain's picture

Probably less than 1%

Sweet...welcome made up statistics to the internet debate, we thought you would come along at some point.

Glenn Reynolds made a nice point about how we could all be served well by being a bit more prepared for disasters, and now he is speaking for the superrich and is out of touch...

New Orleans has seen a dramatic drop in crime post Katrina because so many of these people who just had "no other choice and no way to go anywhere" defrauded FEMA and took their ATM and set up their criminal enterprises in other cities. Houston particularly has struggled with increased crime after welcoming in the refuse of NOLA.

People in America comparing any period of struggle to today have no sense of perspective, history, or current reality. Come back from outer space and realize that sometimes blaming the victim is the result of the victim being a person who made stupid choices. I was equally frustrated with the "victims" of flooding in the Midwest who were angry when FEMA refused to provide funds again to rebuild in a flood plain. They were stupid white people for the most part. This debate is not about race, it is about responsibility, ignorance and entitlement.

R. Neal's picture

I will pray for you.

I will pray for you.

bizgrrl's picture

"Rebuilding a city that is

"Rebuilding a city that is sinking into the ocean..."

Most of the Dutch live below sea level. Their major cities would be in the same boat as New Orleans if the Dutch government didn't care as our government does not care.

The Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, that area you remember was decimated by the US Corp of Engineers levess breaking, has (had) a higher homeownership level than most of New Orleans.

Parents too wealthy to get financial aid. Then you, oh foolish one, apparently have no concept of what many of the poor, homeless, disabled, and elderly experience daily, unless of course your parents completely disowned you and even then you are ahead of the game. He who is raised by wealthy parents would inherently have trouble truly relating to those raised by the dirt poor. Your attitude, "How can anyone not afford college?", shows your lack of knowledge.

Ah, yes, the Irish immigrants. When was that, the potato famine? How has this country progressed (or not) since then?
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

Unless, of course, you are poor and from New Orleans.

I suggest the Sudanese war orphans, when they arrived in these Great United States, weren't dumped in an arena or convention center for 5 days with no food, water, clothing, etc. surrounded by unpotable water, refused admittance to the next town to escape.

Faust's picture

Relating

He who is raised by wealthy parents would inherently have trouble truly relating to those raised by the dirt poor. Your attitude, "How can anyone not afford college?", shows your lack of knowledge.

Bzzz your lack of knowledge is demonstrated in your inability to stick to your assertions and provide responses that bolster your argument.

I say college in America is affordable and you can go to a state school you can work to pay for. You say that is false. Why dont you explain to me how someone cannot afford pellissipi? You describe their circumstance (poverty, social background etc) and I will list their private and governmental options of having college paid for by someone else.

The people from Sudan are the perfect example...when they had no food and water they did not kill each other or steal each others things. If the people in the Sudan had 3 days of warning to leave, and had the ability to do so but did not, then they would be akin to those who stayed behind to protect their hovels in NOLA. If instead of getting a job, often more than one, and studying hard to better their lot, they were whining about assistance and demanding FURTHER handouts, then they would be quite similar.

I brought up the Sudanese to say that no one in this country is stuck without job options or educational options. My brother is in a wheelchair, and he has a job and pays taxes, his life is harder than most peoples but he is independent and does not take the governmental money available to him and to all other disabled folks, who as I said on that financial assistance alone could easily afford the week supplies you wrongly intimated to start this whole tempest in a teapot were out of reach for "the poor".

By the way, do you climb down from your ivory tower long enough to talk to poor people? I can relate to them not only because I was cut off and had to make do with what I earned, but because I still work with them and I am friends with them. A flawed educational system, specifically the breakdown of the public education system in rural and urban areas, is the reason many of them are mired in poverty with a long road out. Predatory lending practices are another societal ill, but I love working with them to help them see that they do not have to stay poor, that they do not have to stay jobless, and that they do not have to continue to demand that other people give them some of their money.

Perhaps you should give it a try. Helping the poor is even more fun than making silly and baseless arguments on the internet backed by poor ad hominem....

R. Neal's picture

OK, yeah, I was making shit

Sweet...welcome made up statistics to the internet debate, we thought you would come along at some point.

OK, yeah, I was making shit up.

I googled, and it says there were approx. 6300 homeless people in NOLA prior to Katrina. The high estimates are that 90% of the 465,000 population evacuated. That would leave 46,500 shiftless poor people who were too lazy or entitled to evacuate.

If all of the homeless stayed, that would be about 13% of the "problem" population. Estimates are, though, that there are now 2000 homeless post-Katrina. That would put it closer to 4%.

Not sure what happened to the other 4300. Guess they got on buses and they are now Houston's problem. Or maybe they drowned. Which I'm sure would be fine with you.

Anyway, we were mainly talking about the other 40,000 people who stayed, or the other 400,000+ people who evacuated, about half of whom have not come back because they have no home, job, schools, or health care to come home to.

Anyway, you have a lot of growing up to do, so I can excuse your youthful ignorance and heartless insensitivity. You obviously haven't had enough pain in your life yet. Hope you become enlightened without suffering too much or any at all.

bizgrrl's picture

Hey, Dave.The first 19 items

Hey, Dave.
The first 19 items on this list assume you have a stove, oven, electricity, pots/pans, or something so that you can assemble and cook the ingredients. Three items are fresh veggies which one could only assume they won't go bad before getting eaten. The fresh veggies could get contaminated. What good are vinegar, Cinnamon, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Salt, Pepper, and Bouillon Cubes if I can't use the other 22 items. Maybe the bouillon dissolved in water. Of course, water is not on the list.

Then there are 6 cans of vegetables, a can of tuna, a jar of peanut butter (now this is a good suggestion, but bread was not on the list), and a jar of jelly (not sure how this will hold up without refrigeration).

Hey, Tom.
You said, "My spouse works with the homeless in Knoxville."
I know quite a few people that work directly with the homeless, disabled, poor, and elderly. They generally refrain from speaking publicly (if at all) about their patients, clientele in the manner you have spoken about your spouse's homeless clients. If your spouse feels the way you do, then your spouse should change the type work she/he does. There is a high rate of burnout in that business.

hb's picture

carless

I was very surprised that hurricane evacuation plans are mostly "hop in your car". Many people don't own cars because they can't afford them, or have disabilities that prevent them from driving. Many people who live in cities don't own cars because we don't need one, don't have parking, and would have to pay too much for insurance.

How do we evacuate?

redmondkr's picture

Amtrak offered to evacuate

Amtrak offered to help evacuate New Orleans by rail - at approximately 1600 per train - several hours before the storm hit.  Their offer was ignored by FEMA.

This week's Trains Magazine Newswire (paid subscription required) contains an article about a $700,000 grant to refurbish passenger cars for reserves in case of a similar future emergency.  Hopefully FEMA will avail itself of the help next time.

A large white onion, if eaten slowly, will remove the scent of vanilla ice cream from your breath. - Archie Campbell

Faust's picture

Absurd

These assertions are more than a little frustrating. People cannot afford to save 14 packs of ramen noodles? Please...as a college student there in Knoxville I lived on 5 dollars a day for food as my budget for a semester, it was all I could afford as I worked to pay for school and my apartment. Krystal? People can afford a week of food. The myth of a poor underclass that is starving is...a myth.

Racism is not the problem here either. Appalachian poverty has long been decried and it is almost exclusively WASPs who are "trapped" by their own foolishness in staying in a place with no jobs and no future. I have no sympathy for new orleans because people want me to pay for them to rebuild on a place that due to damming is falling into the ocean. If you want to live in New Orleans that is fine, but do not expect me to pay for it...I feel the same way about earthquakes in California. When an earthquake happens, I will feel more sorry for people who lacked a few days warning to leave, but I will not feel like paying to rebuild an area devastated by a repeatable phenomenon. It makes no sense to do so.

Knoxquerious's picture

sniff....sob

Your story about your college days was heartwrenching faust. Do you want a hankie? I agree with folks living in earthquakes, mudslide and hurricane prone areas, but if you don't have any sympathy for people in New Orleans than you should check your pulse to see if you still have one.

bizgrrl's picture

You, Faust, are a fool. You

You, Faust, are a fool. You poor little college student. So many of us could not and cannot afford college. You poor little college student. So many of us could not or cannot afford transportation to work.

Yes, we should move! I said that one time to my brother, who had been recently discharged from the Navy. In the 80s, I asked my brother, "Why can't the poor people in Harlem move to a better place?" My brother said, how can they move? They can't afford to move. What would they do when they get to "a better place"? In this "better place" there will be no family or friends.

Yes, you poor little college student, too bad you have not really experienced life. Ramen noodles? Hah, that's the best you got? You poor little college student.

Socialist With A Gold Card's picture

Faust doesn't feel like it

If we followed your standard of "not feeling like paying to rebuild an area devastated by a repeatable phenomenon," there would be absolutely no federal response to any of the following:

  • Hurricanes along any part of the US East Coast or Gulf Coast
  • Tornadoes in any state between the Appalachians and the Rockies
  • Volcanic eruptions in Alaska, Hawaii, or the Pacific Northwest
  • Earthquakes along the New Madrid fault
  • Terrorist attacks on any American city
  • Avalanches on either side of the Rockies
  • Rebuilding electric grids, etc., after a blizzard or ice storm
  • Epidemic outbreaks of flu or other contagion that threaten American cities (see 1918-1919 for an example)
  • A repeat of the "Dust Bowl" of the 1930's and the massive crop failures and dislocations of people that it caused
  • Crop failures and widespread property damage due to massive flooding of the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers (like in the early 1990's)

Whether you "want to pay for it" or not, these are all events that have happened in the past and are therefore repeatable. Whether you "want to pay for it" or not, these disasters have had catastrophic effects on the local and often national economies. Without a federal response (the only entity capable of responding on a large scale), the busiest ports in the United States would still lie in ruins from past disasters, cities would lie uninhabited, cropland would lie fallow, and our economy would have long ago slid into backwater oblivion.

If we followed a national policy of only paying for reconstruction when "Faust feels like it," we'd be a Third-World economy within a generation.

There isn't one square inch of land in the United States that is immune to a "repeatable phenomenon" that could threaten large numbers of people. Sadly, I think this "I don't feel like it" myopic selfishness is part of the reason the Bush administration failed so miserably in their response to Katrina. I'm afraid Bush probably agrees with you.

--Socialist With A Gold Card


"I'm a socialist with a gold card. I firmly believe we need a revolution; I'm just concerned that I won't be able to get good moisturizer afterwards." --Brett Butler

 

metulj's picture

Here's two books to read on

Here's two books to read on race and poverty. After you have read them, please come back and discuss. You seem to be another person whose UT education has failed them. Both books are assigned in courses taught at UT, so it is your fault for missing out on them:

"Worked to the Bone: Race, Class, Poverty and Privilege in Kentucky" by Pem Davidson Buck

"No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in The Inner City" by Katherin S Newman. 

 

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Faustisimpressed's picture

Do you speedread?

You read every book on every course syllabus at UT?

Here is a book you may enjoy, it is called "The Tragedy of American Compassion" by Marvin Olasky. I read many books regarding this issue during law school, both in poverty law and critical race theory. While many professors in this area come to the table with a strong socialist leaning, it is interesting to note that many I have discussed this with find themselves struggling to explain why increased governmental spending on poverty did not correlate on a decrease in poverty. I believe in what that body of literature calls "a culture of poverty" wherein individuals grow up with a sense of hopelessness and terrible schools and a firm belief that the government is an enemy that owes them.

I am opposed to a failed war on drugs that I think punishes individuals who are only hurting themselves. I am opposed to predatory lending practices that deny financial opportunities to the poor and take advantage of people who do not understand the contracts they are entering. I am for low or no interest loans to those seeking to start businesses to serve communities that are struggling economically but who are not falling into the ocean.

One square inch in America without repeatable disasters? How about East TN. What repeatable disasters do we have where we requested federal funding? In fact this will irk you socialists even more, but if not for our failed governmental health care plan provided by the state and the city of Memphis, Tennessee would be a model for small government giving us services and liberty at low cost. Now we have a lottery the libertarian in me does not want to protest, as the paternalistic part of me feels pity knowing that stupid poor people are giving more of their money up so that the government can give it to the children of the middle and upper middle class who would have paid for college anyway.

metulj's picture

"You read every book on

"You read every book on every course syllabus at UT?"

Yes. And many more. I have added you little book to my reading list. You should read the ones I suggest. I think you are assuming what 'race' is being talked about.

"How about East TN. What repeatable disasters do we have where we requested federal funding?"

The Tennessee Valley Authority. East Tennessee is particularly suspect to mass wasting, earthquakes, tropical weather, tornadoes, gypsy moths, the wooly agelid and floods. The statement that there isn't a single square inch of the US that isn't under the gun of a natural hazard is accurate. I also suggest "Crucibles of Hazard" by James K. Mitchell. He sits on my doctoral committee and is probably the world's expert on human/environment interaction under disaster conditions.

 

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Socialist With A Gold Card's picture

Don't forget "nucular"

Not to mention the possibility of a "nucular" accident at Oak Ridge or a TVA nuke plant. Sure, it's never happened here, but it's happened elsewhere and is therefore a "repeatable phenomenon." New Orleans had never been drowned before 2005, but apparently Faust considers the possibility that it could drown as sufficient warning to qualify under his somewhat squishy definition of stuff he doesn't want to pay for.

Faust's standard would therefore mean that Oak Ridge or TVA nuclear plants endanger us, and that if we had a lick of sense, we'd vacate immediately. Or should we just grin & bear it when a meltdown happens, or when a dam bursts and floods everybody downstream?

East TN is also geologically active; although we haven't had a significant earthquake in recorded history, we have little bitty ones all the time. Shouldn't that be a warning signal to vacate the area?

Face it, Faust -- "civilization" does not mean "every man for himself." It means that we have entered into a compact with each other to keep things as prosperous and smooth as we can, to the mutual benefit of all. In purely economic terms, we cannot afford to let our fellow citizens drown, or wallow in bone-crushing poverty, or die under the rubble of collapsed skyscrapers. When disasters happen, it is in our collective best interest to respond quickly and efficiently, if for no other reason than to mitigate the disaster's economic impact. Your nihilistic and simplistic philosophy acts in direct opposition to the needs of a civilized world, and seeks to serve no one but yourself. That isn't civilization; it's anarchy.

--Socialist With A Gold Card


"I'm a socialist with a gold card. I firmly believe we need a revolution; I'm just concerned that I won't be able to get good moisturizer afterwards." --Brett Butler

 

R. Neal's picture

Ah, the basis for your point

Ah, the basis for your point of view is becoming clearer and clearer. I'm almost ready to sign on to Stacy Campfield's call for no political indoctrination in U.T. classrooms. And a call for students to, you know, read the material assigned to them in class.

Anyway, don't' know if you are from around here, or haven't been paying attention (or haven't been outside much) but we have ongoing environmental and public health disasters here in E. TN with regard to TVA coal-fired power plants. And we are one TVA nuclear plant meltdown (or terrorist attack, although the Sweetwater flea market is apparently a higher value target accordin to the DHS) away from Chernobyl. Hope you have your week's supply of food and iodine ready.

And don't talk to us bleeding-heart-liberals about "low-cost service and liberty." We are first in roads, last in schools. And near the bottom of just about every category of public health and social well-being in the nation.

But apparently that's the right-wing/libertarian outcome you desire, so congratulations. (Or maybe you blame that on shiftless poor fat people who smoke cigarettes and buy beer and lottery tickets at the Pilot, thus excusing yourself from any responsibility.)

EDIT: Oh, I see Metulj and I cross-posted. Take it away, Metulj. This guy should make an interesting project for you.

Tom Penn's picture

Excuse you, Bzzgrl

Hey, Bzzgrl.

"I know quite a few people that work directly with the homeless, disabled, poor, and elderly. They generally refrain from speaking publicly (if at all) about their patients, clientele in the manner you have spoken about your spouse's homeless clients. There is a high rate of burnout in that business."

First of all, I don't see how you can consider two married people talking at home "publicly". "In the manner you have spoken about your spouse's homeless clients" -- what "manner" do you mean? Do you mean "HONESTLY"? Why should I not speak honestly? Isn't the truth the only way to begin to effectively address homeless issues?

"If your spouse feels the way you do, then your spouse should change the type work she/he does." How very presumptious of you. You have no idea how I feel. I feel it is very sad that people are homeless in any situation, particularly those with mental illness or disability. I am less sympathetic toward those whose homeless condition is chosen or self-inflicted. I never said we should let crack addicts on government benefits starve in our streets. I just spoke factually about the truth of homelessness.

WHY should acknowledging the truth disqualify one from dedicating oneself to helping the homeless? Shouldn't MORE people be working to address homeless issues? I'll have you know that my wife is a wonderful, hard-working and giving person who has INSPIRED A NUMBER OF HOMELESS PEOPLE TO GET BACK ON THEIR OWN FEET. They are eternally grateful for what she does everyday, so you can shove your unfounded judgements of me, and your unwelcome opinion on my spouse's choice of occupation, where the sun don't shine.

s'n'm's picture

Care to buttress the

Care to buttress the statement "Many homeless, between 30% and 50%, get fairly large government checks (more than my spouse makes)," with something more than "my spouse says so"?

bizgrrl's picture

Posting your comments here

Posting your comments here about the homeless is "public". Your comments suggest your "feelings". Acknowledging your "truth" and alluding to your spouse's comments regarding her clients in a public forum is not necessarily a great idea, whether or not help is given to these homeless of which you speak your "truth".

Faustthefool's picture

hahahahhah

Terrorist attacks on any American city

This is a repeatable phenomenon? How is that in any way analogous? Did your dad give you a gold card? Rebuilding a city that is sinking into the ocean is not the same thing as rebuilding a place that is targetted in a way that could not be anticipated by terrorists. Further if there is to be cost associated with "rebuilding after terrorism" it is a cost that I have already glady paid and will continue to pay in giving up my time and my liberty because of mostly ineffective safeguards that are supposed to make the likelihood of another attack decrease.

Bzzgrrl

Cannot afford college? What are you talking about? How can anyone not afford college? My parents were too wealthy for me to get financial aid although they thought I should pay for school myself, and I was the wrong skin color to qualify for several scholarships I would have otherwise been given, so I worked jobs that are always available to those who seek them (waiter and pizza delivery driver) and I lived frugally.

Is Ramen noodles the best I have? The best I have is an example that I can use when I work with the homeless and the impoverished of living on a very tight budget where you do not have a cell phone, buy alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets because you cannot afford any of those things. The best I have is the knowledge that when I was poor (and no I do not have a trust fund) I recognized that hard work and education could set me on a different level career wise where I would not have to do construction or so many of the other difficult jobs I had. I also have my dignity, having never taken government financial assistance, even in a time period (after college and before graduate school) when I was jobless and qualified for it.

If you want examples of people who were not part of an entitlement generation, you can look to the irish immigrants who moved en masse, giving up "friends and family" in their impoverished communities who went to where the work was, so they would not starve. In todays America, starvation is a choice in urban areas due to the massive amount of governmental and private assistance like food stamps and food kitchens. The better example then are people from the Sudan, the war orphans. They come to our country without an educational background, with absolutely no money and with emotional scars from childhood that rival any experience of growing up in the ghetto, yet somehow they get educations and within a single generation become financially successful....the crazy secret behind that? HARD WORK. They face racism, they face discrimination because of their accents, they face all kinds of hurdles, but rather than sitting around asking for a hand out, they better their lives through working 2 or 3 jobs.

That is what I would have told your brother, well that and thank you for your service to our country, now enjoy your free education you deserve which is another example of a route for a poor person to go to college and even graduate school for free...

R. Neal's picture

Care to buttress the

Care to buttress the statement "Many homeless, between 30% and 50%, get fairly large government checks (more than my spouse makes)," with something more than "my spouse says so"?

Uh, Tom. We are anxiously awaiting your response to this...

Champion Rose's picture

After reading this article

After reading this article and some of the drivel in this discussion, I must say I am nauseated.

My husband was in New Orleans during Katrina. He was staying at the Hyatt. He said that when the wind shifted, the stench from the Super Dome was unbearable. This was after they had lost power at the hotel. All they had were cold sandwiches and warm beer and soft drinks.

But my husband is a successful man so he was able to pay his own way for shelter from the storm. Unlike the ungrateful animals at the Super Dome, who have lived their entire lives on welfare and handouts, expecting normal people they call racists to bring them food and water.

The stories my husband told me are shocking. Looting, rape, mass murder, cannibalism. Right out in the open on Bourbon street. People at the Hyatt were afraid to leave their rooms. My husband thankfully got out of there when his company chartered a helicopter.

We worked hard for what we have. These vermin can do the same or quit crying. With the tiniest bit of effort, anyone can afford a week's worth of food. They can have an escape plan. But no. Boo hoo. Bring me free food and water. Give me a free ride. Give me a free place to stay. The government is run by racist oppressors. I deserve it.

Thank you Instapundit for continuing to expose how the sick liberal mind works. You other people just keep talking. When those people try to take over the government and install socialism we will be fighting them until the bitter end. And we will remember which side you were on.

redmondkr's picture

Let them eat cake, huh,

Let them eat cake, huh, Champion Rose? 

*

 
A large white onion, if eaten slowly, will remove the scent of vanilla ice cream from your breath. - Archie Campbell

Woobie468's picture

Disaster Planning

I keep a weeks worth of MRE's, supplies, and handgun in a packed backpack ready to go in an emergency and I live in Ohio -- which rarely has terrible weather but has had, from time to time, pretty destructive tornados and winter storms. Last year, after I moved from Evansville, IN to Ohio, my condo in Evansville took a direct hit from a tornado and I hit the road for Evansville to survey the damage. Having the pack ready to go made me feel a lot better about being able to effectively navigate the distaster area without taking up resources that could be going to the less fortunate (some folks in a trailer park near my place lost everything, including 28 love ones)

But it's important that each of us prepare best we can. I have a friend who has the same sort of pack arrangment (Those he's a bit more heavily armed that I am). His wife, very much the city girl, asked him if they were in an event similar to Katrina, would they take their 2 dogs with them and he, of course, said yes. His wife thought this was very sweet -- that is until he told her she didn't understand why they were taking the dogs -- "Honey, that's food we don't have to carry!" I THINK he was joking...

The point is that if you can, please take care of yourself and your family first. And after you take care of yourself and your family, try to make sure you take care of someone less fortunate or disabled -- and the best time to take care of them is long before the disaster ever begins.

One more point -- we often think of the government and especially the federal government as big brother. Well, the government didn't get to be as imposing on our daily lives as it is without our consent. So everytime we fail to prepare for a disaster and the government has to bail us out, we give a little more liberty away. And everytime we blame the government for something we should be taking care of ourselves, we lose the freedom to control our own destiny. We're Americans and our forefathers (and mothers) dealt with far harsher things than we ever will.

Live Strong, Be Safe

zoomfactor's picture

Fooled once, shame on you.

One more point -- we often think of the government and especially the federal government as big brother.

Brother, you are forgetting the Government is supposed to be us. We are supposed to be helping ourselves by way of the Government, not giving away our "freedom to control our destiny" by treating the Government like it is something separate from us - like you are doing. You are right that we should take control of our destiny, by recognizing that the Government (that is, our future) is being hijacked by a bunch of corporations and their representatives (not your representatives, nor my representatives).

redmondkr's picture

Well put, SKB.

Well put, SKB.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people who profess to be Christians so totally ignore the words of the man whose example they supposedly follow.  These are the very people who have hijacked the Republican party.

As an old friend used to say, "It's the red letters, stupid."

Rachel's picture

So everytime we fail to

So everytime we fail to prepare for a disaster and the government has to bail us out, we give a little more liberty away.

That's some of the most incredible bullshit I ever read.

Should individuals who are able prepare for a disaster as best they can?  Yup.  Should we throw out the "promote the general welfare" clause of the preamble to the Constitution?  I don't think so.

Tom Penn's picture

The point of my comment from

The point of my comment from 10:29 was that MANY, even among the sick, disabled, elderly and poor (and even the homeless of those -- as the point was raised earlier in the thread) have the means themselves, or with the assistance of family and friends, to evacuate or provision for a disaster.

My post was not a rant on homelessness. I didn't say anything disparaging about the homeless. I said many are mentally ill and disabled. The estimate that 30-50% receive government benefits is, as I said, based on the number that receive services after the first of the month when checks are recieved, and those that receive services at the middle and end of the month.

I was just stating the truth and have been personally attacked for it, like I violated a sacred cow. I guess to be considered a compassionate person by some on this board, one must ignore reality. By all means, go back to your little Utopia where there are no government benefits or crackheads.

R. Neal's picture

By all means, go back to

By all means, go back to your little Utopia where there are no government benefits or crackheads.

OK, thanks. We will. See ya.

(Because, acutally, "liberals" are working towards that Utopian world, against the interests of wingnuts like yourself, who seem to need poverty and drug addiction for your system to work.)

P.S.

I didn't say anything disparaging about the homeless.

Uh...

they tank up on their drug of choice and shack up in a hotel. When they've blown through their monthly money, they come back to live off the generosity and compassion of others.

And...

I was just stating the truth and have been personally attacked for it, like I violated a sacred cow...

Try speaking the truth, and we'll treat you to a Chik-fil-A.

(And we are still waiting for substantiation that homeless people get bigger checks than your spouse. He/she should get a better job!)

Tom Penn's picture

Your spouse needs a new job

If you will read my post from 10:29, it was not a rant against homelessness. My point was that even among the sick, elderly and poor (and even the homeless of those), MANY have the means themselves, or the assistance of family and friends, to evacuate or provision for a disaster.

I did not in any way disparage the homeless. I merely stated facts. I said many are mentally ill or disabled. The estimate of 30-50% receiving government benefits is based on the number seeking services at the first of the month after checks are received, and the middle to end of the month. Don't take my word for it. Go see for yourselves.

I've been personally attacked for just saying what is true as if I've violated some sacred cow. My spouse loves her job and she loves the people that she helps. Even many of the addicts are nice, sweet people.

Ignoring the realities of homelessness will not help us help them. But, by all means, go back to your ignorant Utopia where there are no government benefits or crackheads.

R. Neal's picture

Memo to Instapundit: Please

Memo to Instapundit: Please send better monkeys with their a-game next time. This stuff is weak and not very sporting.

metulj's picture

True. I am have been priming

True. I am have been priming a bedroom before painting and listening to Leonard Lopate on a podcast while popping in on this bunch of natterers occasionally. It's like swatting flies in a horse barn. 

 

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Fause's picture

Pathetic

You are such a sad lot. Go ahead and slap each others back. I did not ask if he read everything on his syllabus, I asked if he read every book on every syllabus at UT. He said he has and many more...he is a bald faced liar or too stupid to understand the question as a mockery of his hilarious assertion that it was my fault I didnt read two of his favorite steaming piles while matriculating. The reading list for every class within every major at the University of Tennessee is not something he could tackle in the next 2 years for this academic year, and it changes every year. I tutored within the humanities departments and I am certain that metulj has not read all the books on all the syllabi for just the classes that meet in that building, which would include classics in latin, the books of the English majors with all their course offerings and classes in foreign languages he does not speak or read in...then again he admits a hypocrite, so perhaps making obviously false claims does not bother him.

EAST TN IS THE SAME AS NEW ORLEANS?

Do you really feel good about your argument? Chernobyl could never ever ever happen in the United States and has never come close to happening and therefore is not a repeatable event. However human disasters like say a large car crash on the interstate are not the type of repeatable event I was discussing and earth to the "brilliant liberals" on this board...NEW ORLEANS HAS FLOODED BEFORE AND HAS BEEN DAMAGED BY A MAJOR HURRICANE BEFORE.

The difference between the Netherlands and New Orleans has to do with the fact that hurricane activity does not threaten Holland whereas it will certainly thrash NOLA again in the next 10 years.

The most pathetic thing is that as you pet your cat and eat your snackwells you think you are validated as a great mind because your other buddy who cannot argue says you have one. Glenn does not know me, but I am glad to be grouped on a side with him that is clear thinking.

Start back at the start of the "debate"

Poor people cannot afford a week of food was the assertion.
It was proven to be absurd.
That became "poor people cannot move or get a job or get an education"
When that was challenged, bzzz girl flew away.

Now we have some pseudo debate about I am not sure, a guy saying he will pray for me who probably wants God taken off the money and a guy who says he has read every book offered in every course at UTK...Wow...

metulj's picture

Hey, Faust: See the thread

Hey, Faust: See the thread about Bush's reading list. I was being a smartass to your freshman attempt at a red herring. I do feel confident that I read more than you though. I am fascinated that UT has a law professor teaching critical theory. I can't imagine too many of the probate and corporate law types pile into that class to bone up on their Frantz Fanon, Judith Butler and Foucault. Who taught it?

Anyhow, you can whine all you want, but when Glenn Reynolds, a law professor, starts talking about natural hazards and such expect to get a response from people in the know (like people who study them as part of their jobs). I like how his little minions go plowing around after his linked posts. The man doesn't allow posts at his little corner of the world because people say mean things. Phhbt.

 So, does East TN receive money and benefit from federal programs to mitigate natural hazards? The answer is 'yes.' Why? Because natural disaster can and do occur there. Now go back to getting your back stroked at Powerline, you twerp.

Faust's picture

Powerline?

I honestly do not even know what that is. I usually read political theory and discuss it with friends rather than reading about it online. I have heard and or read some of the kos guy, instapundit, andrew sullivan and the national review site. I think the best analysis online is worldmag.org

What federal money does TN receive for natural disasters? No sorry you said East Tennessee. When have we ever had a telethon? You study this as your full time job?

While I am glad I went to UT for undergrad, the law school was not ranked nearly as highly as it has gotten under Glenn and others and did not have the lovely new building when I was in undergrad. I also realized with 3 more football seasons I would not be studying much (I spend my internet posting time on sports message boards) so I went to a top 20 school which thankfully gave me a scholarship so I didnt have to accrue crushing debt.

Where do you work with the homeless? Knox Area Rescue Ministries? Do you build Habitat homes? Just curious since the conservatives are decried here as not caring and not doing anything to help the poor.

I actually gave money to some relief in the gulf, but overall I would rather rebuild in other places not certain to be destroyed again.

My prof in poverty law said he had actually never met a compassionate conservative before I was in his class. Unlike the talking heads in my class I went with him and worked to help poor people. We both agree that helping the poor is the right thing to do, we just disagree about how to do it. I see systems that the U.S. is compared to like Norway and do not see how in a society as different as ours we could deal with poverty the way they do. I think private aid is much more helpful in general than governmental because it is not as wasteful.

I do not know everything about the history of East TN, but I remember being buried in the Blizzard of 93 and I do not think we got any kind of federal money. We had no power for 2 weeks in the area I lived, no water etc, but we managed. Shotgun rifle and my four wheel drive...country boy can survive.

R. Neal's picture

Shotgun rifle and my four

Shotgun rifle and my four wheel drive...country boy can survive.

What is a "shotgun rifle"? You definitely ain't no "country boy".

Faust did 4H's picture

Country boy

You barely have enough money to get by day to day, much less purchase a week's worth of supplies not to be used for who knows how long.

Sorry for the missing comma...I guess you are so country you have never heard the Hank song...

There is the assertion. Top of the page.

Shotgun, rifle and my 4 wheel drive and a country boy can survive. You should check out some music. Shame on you. I am sure that song with its apocalyptic vision of America was assigned by some UT professor in the music department.

metulj's picture

"What federal money does TN

"What federal money does TN receive for natural disasters?"

TVA, you dullard.

"When have we ever had a telethon?"

Which is equivalent to what? 

"You study this as your full time job?"

Yes.

 

 

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Faust's picture

Are you speaking of the

Are you speaking of the flood of April 1977? Is there another instance where East TN received federal funding for disaster relief?

TVA is your full answer excepting the part of the sentence where you called me a dullard. Earlier you said I was nattering...I suppose either you are one of the most annoying examples in academia, the faux british person who feels less illiterate by bastardizing American english and spelling theater as theatre, or you really are British in which case your desire to see us tank our economy so we can be more like your country pre Thatcher is rather sad.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is not an answer. While it was a disgusting example of the government abusing power and along with the park it did unconstitutionally take land so it could destroy the environment by damming streams, sometimes flooding whole communities to provide power to places that the market may never have brought it, it is not a current example of federal disaster relief funds. It is a sad program we should let die where the federal government in an attempt to keep people in jobless communities where power never came because there were not enough people to bring it interfered and brought them electricity.

In fact thanks for bringing up TVA...another stupid governmental program, bringing assistance to people who needed to move. It slowed that migration but did not stop it. Unlike NOLA which is falling into the sea, the problem with many of the areas TV brought power to is that there are no jobs and no opportunity. Tons of white people in failing schools with no future prospects sit around in these hills with TVA power and collect welfare checks....Sad....and like NOLA there should be a dramatic cut off of funding for those who do not get jobs but want others to pay for their existence.

metulj's picture

Res loquitur ipsa.  True

Res loquitur ipsa. 

 

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

woobie468's picture

So everytime we fail to

So everytime we fail to prepare for a disaster and the government has to bail us out, we give a little more liberty away.

That's some of the most incredible bullshit I ever read

That the government has a responsibility under the Constitution to promote the general welfare does not release us from our responsiblity to take care of ourselves at the lowest possible level first -- and what I mean by lowest possible levels is this -- individual, community, local gov't, state gov't, federal gov't. When my place was hit by a tornado, what I saw was the primary assistance came from individuals, community organizations, and local gov't. The state and federal gov't were there, but did not have to "take over" because the plan on the ground worked.

Now, when I was living in the area, I knew the plan would probably work because I had been a private business member of the emergency planning board -- and the plan was practiced. What we didn't plan for and, thank God happened, was the amount of individual empowerment that took place. People were not going to wait for the calvary to come save them -- the calvary was nice and made life better and was certainly appreciated -- but not necessary.

Hence, the federal gov't isn't still in Evansville today getting in the way of progress. No doubt Katrina was different. It was different for several reasons and many of those reasons (poverty, geography, engineering, lack of leadership) came together in a perfect storm. I'm not discounting the effect of poverty -- it was huge. However, the leadership of NOLA failed the people in two main ways. One, leadership of NOLA failed to put together a plan for the worst possible scenario and then practice it. NOLA planned for events they knew they could handle with existing resources instead of thinking of the worst possible event. Two, the leadership of NOLA failed to let the people of NOLA know that local gov't could not do everything and the expectation in an disaster would be that people would have to have a plan in place.

It's not that I don't feel bad for people that go through a disaster -- I do having seen first hand what can happen. It's that every disaster is an opportunity for each of us to demonstrate our responsibility as citizens to take ownership for ourselves, our families, and our communities.

R. Neal's picture

Poor people cannot afford a

Poor people cannot afford a week of food was the assertion.

Where? By who?

Tom Penn's picture

Srry for the double post.

Srry for the double post. And yeah, I guess that one comment was somewhat disparaging -- but, ONLY about those who blow their money on hotels and drugs. Regarding my wife's salary, life is more than money, folks. She gets a lot of fulfillment serving the homeless, and is much happier than she was stuck in an office. Besides, we're simple people with simple needs. Anyway, sorry for the disruptive intrusion. The thread was more interesting before it got untracked, so this will be my last post and hopefully I'll just post it once.

R. Neal's picture

She gets a lot of

She gets a lot of fulfillment serving the homeless, and is much happier than she was stuck in an office.

Good for her for doing good work. We need more people trying to make the world a better place.

bizgrrl's picture

The assertion is that the

The assertion is that the statement, "week's food and water, some other disaster supplies, and a plan for where to go if you have to leave your home.", is so simplistic. It is not that easy for everyone, but it keeps getting repeated as the answer to New Orleans problems and all future natural disasters.

I do understand how someone who would say, "How can anyone not afford college?", does not understand the plight of the less fortunate.

One of the primary reasons for the creation of TVA, in 1933, was FLOOD CONTROL. Sort of like the US Corp of Engineers building the levees for New Orleans. Now, if one of the TVA dams failed, as did the levees, then there would be flooding, LIKE NEW ORLEANS, and it could be catastrophic. Many homes would be lost, many people would need Federal aid.

Prior to Chernobyl, the Three-Mile Island accident (1979) occured, which was considered the world's worst civilian nuclear accident. Three-Mile Island is in Pennsylvania in the USA. 25,000 people lived within 5 miles of the facility prior to the accident.

We are not invincible. We, citizens of the USA, do make mistakes. 

Oh, and dissing people because they don't know a country music reference is pretty lame. Not all of us have been in ETN forever and even if we had, living in ETN does not require an indepth knowledge of country music, must less a requirement to like it.

Update: "What federal money does TN receive for natural disasters?"

Just one of many possible examples, Bredesen requesting money for disaster aid.

redmondkr's picture

Isn't it about time for a

Isn't it about time for a pie recipe in this thread?

bizgrrl's picture

Yeah, great idea! And, oh

Yeah, great idea! And, oh yeah, make sure to have a week's supply on hand.

 Here's the Southern Living key lime pie recipe  (it makes two pies, halve everything to make one):

8 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup grated lime rind
2/3 cup Key Lime juice
Dash of salt
1 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
Graham cracker* crusts
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Garnish: lime twists

Combine first 5 ingredients in top of a double boiler, and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, whisking constantly, until thickened. Add butter, and cook, whisking constantly, until butter melts and mixture thickens. Pour into Graham cracker* crusts.

Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes or until set; cool. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Stir in vanilla, and spread over filling. Chill. Garnish just before serving, if desired. Yield; 2 (9-inch) pies

*A couple of notes. First, on the graham cracker crust. In our view, this is not proper. A proper Key Lime Pie has a regular flaky pie crust. Those frozen Ritz pie crusts work great if, like us, you can't make a good pie crust (we don't keep lard around, and that's a must for a pie crust).

Second, although the whipped cream (or even Redi-Whip in a pinch) topping is fine and generally acceptable, many traditionalists consider meringue a more proper finish. In that case you would whip up your meringue and put it on for just a few minutes to brown after the pie has finished baking.

Oh, and one last tip. Don't skimp on the grated lime peel. This is the key, so to speak, ingredient. And grate lightly. Try to just get the yellow/green outer part of the peel. Don't go too deep into the white, bitter tasting pulpy part.

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