Personal Responsibility and Critical Thinking
By: Tom Chatham
When everything is going right its’ easy to let other people worry about the things you depend on but when everything ceases to function properly who’s job is it to worry about your needs? That should be an obvious answer but in these times its’ not so clear to many people. ITS’ YOUR JOB TO CARE FOR YOUR FAMILY NO MATTER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES YOU FIND YOURSELF IN. You accepted that responsibility when you decided to have a family. Its’ not something you have the right to pass off on someone else. That’s not to say that in difficult times you can use all of the help you can get and its’ good to know there is someone willing to help you but the generosity of others is not something you have a right to expect.
The recent disaster in the Northeast is a prime example that people just don’t seem to take personal responsibility for anything when the norm is breeched and that statement does not apply to everyone but you know who you are. You hear it every time there is a major disaster and the song is getting old. Where is the government and why aren’t they taking care of me? I’m sorry people but it’s not the governments’ fault that you did not listen to the warnings and failed to prepare. It’s not the governments fault or your well prepared neighbors fault that you don’t know how to think for yourself. You can excuse someone who just does not know and will be prepared the next time but with all of the disasters that occur in the U.S. every year, not knowing what the aftermath of a disaster will bring is pure stupidity. You can fix a lack of knowledge but you cannot fix stupid.
The critical thinking ability of many people is sorely lacking. If you know a storm might take down the power grid, you go to the store and the gas station BEFORE the storm arrives. If you rely on the grid for heating and cooking needs and you know you may lose power you make sure you have some type of backup heat source to take care of your needs for the immediate future. With no power you know the lights will not work and the water will not flow so you need a plan to deal with that. With no power the sewage system will not function, unless you have a private system. Lack of knowledge of these basic things is the cause of much suffering after a major event.
When an event is reported many people immediately buy a generator and the local supplies are depleted quickly. One way around this major purchase is to buy a power inverter in the 2,000 watt range. This can be connected to your car, which was filled with gas before the storm, and provide you with limited power to keep your refrigerator or deep freezer running a few hours a day to keep foods refrigerated. This system can also provide you with light and even cooking ability if you have a small hot plate. An inverter of this size will also power most microwave ovens. Just keep the vehicle running while you are using a lot of power to keep your vehicle battery from going dead, AAA may not be able to get to you for a while. If you have the ability to use propane or kerosene units, you can provide heating and cooking ability for several days. There is always a way to get around a problem without it costing a great deal, you just have to think the problem through and come up with a solution that works for you.
And people, if you live near the beach, and only 3 feet above sea level, and the storm surge is going to be 10 feet, you need to pack up and get out. This is basic math but considering the state of public schools today I can understand how this simple fact is lost on many people. This disaster is devastating and the next one will be no different because people will be just as ill-prepared. And after it happens we can all sit back and be lulled to sleep by the chorus of where is the government and why aren’t they taking care of me?