For all of those people up in arms because of the New Orleans residents who “chose not to evacuate” before Hurricane Katrina hit.
As someone who grew up not that far north of the poverty line, John’s words – and the subsequent comments – resonate strongly with me. If something like Katrina had hit when my family lived in Pensacola, FL and my dad was overseas, you can bet my family might have been one that “chose not to evacuate.”
It’s fucking hard to evacuate when:
- the only adult in your home cannot drive for medical reasons (for that matter, cannot walk long distances for medical reasons);
- there are five kids between the ages of 12 and 6 to round up, move out and keep track of;
- it’s the end of the month, the last of your monthly money alloted by the Navy was spent weeks ago on groceries and the phone bill (thank heavens for Navy provided housing, utilities and healthcare) and you’re not expecting another check for a couple of days.
Then again, since we were a military family, we might have been lucky enough to have been evacuated by the Navy. Those left behind in Louisiana and Mississppi didn’t have that luxury.
Thank you, John.
[9/8/05 – 3:56pm – Edited to link to an entry by Cherie Priest – more excellent insight. Thank you, Cherie.]