Medium Articles

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Major Disasters Are Always Worse for the Poor

    As we all watch the horrible tragedy of hurricane Harvey unravel in Texas and the loss of people's homes and livelihoods and even lives, our hearts go out to all of the victims and first responders.  Many of us ask why not everyone heeded the advice of public officials to evacuate. It seems that the victims who suffered the most with injuries and loss of lives are the least fortunate in our society.

    But stop and think for a while.  How many of us would be prepared to leave everything, our homes, our belongings and our  memories in just a matter of hours, if an evacuation was ordered in our community?  How many of us would not have cars? How many of us don't have relatives or friends living nearby who could take us in?  How many of us wouldn't have the money to pay for possibly several tanks of gasoline?  How many of us don't have credit cards?  How many of us aren't healthy enough to drop everything, including our medications or devices such as wheelchairs, oxygen tanks etc. and travel quite a number of miles?  How many of us could simply leave our pets behind to suffer or die?

    There's no question about it,  natural disasters, such as hurricanes, are not as devastating to those more economically advantaged.  If you look at disasters all around the world, whether they be hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes or war it's always the poorest among us who suffer!
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