It warms your heart to see compassionate responses to disaster, whether it’s an individual’s personal tragedy or a crisis that’s citywide/statewide/nationwide or worldwide.
In the beginning, help pours in:
- People volunteer their time and skills (Angel Flight is one for those who are pilots – scroll to choose your state).
- They share the funds they have, whether large or small.
- They donate bottled water and good clothing they aren’t wearing.
- They prepare food for victims and other helpers.
- They go to animal shelters to care for rescued pets who were abandoned deliberately or in the panic of having 15 minutes to get out.
Hopefully, we’ll all remember that the need for our help is and will be ongoing. Rebuilding a life takes years.
Just to illustrate that last statement: During a donation drive for Hurricane Harvey, a Salvation Army officer in Southern California told a news reporter during a TV broadcast they were still assisting victims of Hurricane Katrina. That happened in 2005!
And for the cynics out there, I don’t think SA is enabling beggars from Katrina. You can’t work when your health is broken, and often these people don’t get disability payments, even when they meet the requirements and have earned the checks! Or they can’t afford the legal assistance to get them. Many remain homeless. Ever tried to get your disability checks from Uncle Sam on your own? Even when you ARE disabled and have EARNED them? Been there, done that myself, on behalf of my husband.
What Doesn’t Warm Your Heart
What doesn’t warm your heart are looters, usually gangs of them. The only possible excuse for looting might be when you desperately need food, water, baby or other hygiene supplies, and help just isn’t on the way. Then you plan to pay back the loss to the store later, or donate the equivalent to another charitable cause.
Outside of those dire circumstance, nobody needs to steal: not electronics, sporting goods, racks of fashionable clothing, hundreds of pairs of designer sunglasses, fancy-schmancy handbags, leather couches, weapons, jewelry OR family heirlooms that looters plan to hold for ransom or sell, often knowing where they came from. The behavior of such guys (and gals) is disgusting.
To list a few clichéd but true circumstances: For every action, there is a reaction. You reap what you sow. Cast your bread upon the waters; for you shall find it after many days. For every crime there is a punishment, seen or unseen by the rest of the world. Cheaters never prosper, and neither do looters. It only appears that way on the surface.
Where looters’ dads have been is often anyone’s guess. Yet most looters had God-fearing mothers or grandmas who taught them better, so few can claim ignorance. When kids hold their elders in contempt, crime means nothing to them. And this includes elder abuse which is rampant and takes many forms. Elder abuse also carries the extra penalty of “special circumstances”. So can people use their brains before going on a spree? It seems they can’t.
Contrary to popular belief, insurance doesn’t cover much and usually never covers losses during civil unrest and/or rioting. (Heaven forbid the Insurance CEOs should have to live in a normal house like normal people, even a normal mansion, instead of an obscene palace.)
The store you looted, for example, can no longer pay its employees, most of whom are your own neighbors! But what’s a dummy to do? Nobody ever ‘splained to you that people without a job can’t buy things and that puts even more people out of work? Get back into high school, night school, or trade school. Learn a few key facts of life, and some job skills. Work your buns off and join the smarter people.
Finally, please remember the Mom and Pop businesses whose lives were destroyed by a hurricane (or other disaster).
Whether they live in Houston (TX), Florida, Montana, the Pacific Northwest, tornado alley, or the other flooded states, please consider ordering products or services from small businesses. Then be patient while you wait for shipment and delivery. Those orders will be morale builders and help them get back on their feet, especially right now the victims of hurricanes and wildfires. But it’s something we can always do for disaster victims.
Please stay compassionate and keep helping those who are in pain and distraught.