Posted by R. Neal
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is taking the heat for another bungled hurricane relief response in Florida. Yesterday in a press conference he said "Don't blame FEMA. This is our responsibility." He also blamed the victims:
The governor added, however, that people seeking relief should have done more to prepare for the storm.
"People had ample time to prepare. It isn't that hard to get 72 hours worth of food and water," said Bush, repeating the advice that officials had given days before Wilma hit.
Well, he certainly seems to have gotten the White House memo on how to play the blame game, and he's a loyal GOP subject to take one for the team.
One wonders, though, if he knows what it's like out in the real world. I know from personal experience that employers often won't let people take off work to prepare. They want everyone working up until the last minute, or until a mandatory evacuation is declared. Even if you are able to get time off, Home Depot runs out of plywood, plastic sheeting, and duct tape days before the storm arrives. Grocery store shelves are emptied of bottled water, pork & beans, toilet paper, and diapers. Long lines form at gas stations, and many run out. That's the situation even in affluent communities where people have money and transportation. That's the real world.
Which reminds me of a story from when we lived in Florida. A storm was approaching and even Disney had shut down for the first time in their history. On the way home from scavenging for hurricane supplies, we stopped by the local 7-11 store looking for batteries. I walked in and announced "OK, I need Spam, beer, batteries and ammunition!" Folks in the long checkout line chuckled, and the cashier said "Sorry, we're all out of Spam and batteries." "That's OK," I replied. "If you've got ammunition I can get everything else."