By Mark Antony Rossi
I live in the path of Hurricane Irma.
This is not my first hurricane; probably not my last either. My children are trained on what to do. My home is equipped for disaster but we still might have to evacuate. During the last few days as I travel the community and interact with people I am disappointed and sometimes disgusted by nasty behavior and poor attitudes.
I have seen people physically fight over bottled water. I have seen women cry when discovering items in their cart were taken the moment they turned their backs. I have heard of hotels refusing to accept pets from evacuees even though it’s a Federal Law that they must during a disaster. There are people who will risk their lives in stay in homes with their pets. I admire their devotion but better to leave animal in a car with window rolled down a bit and sneak it in later that night in the hotel. You are not breaking the law.
It can be very difficult to focus on work in general when the schools are dismissing children early, police roam the streets like martial law was declared and you are forced to have three plans: stay plan, leave plan, return plan. Each plan is based on imprecise information of telegenic weather nerds who would rather scare you with death-laden videos from distant locales or run footage from the last disaster. This might be good for ratings but doesn’t help my blood pressure.
I write this column at the moment in time where I am called to be a good husband, father, worker, writer and citizen. I must base all my decisions on weather forecasts that change faster than my underwear. I am forced to make life altering actions based on a group of people, meteorologists, whom I suspect if had their salaries tied to their accuracy, might be the poorest people on the planet.
I plan to survive this and do something about this before the next hurricane strikes. Facts; not fear must be the guide line to protect lives yet retain our core humanity. When we stop being humane we start becoming no different than the soulless storms that sweep our shores. We can be better than frantic fools. This is what I teach my children. Time for me to teach my community the same, may God help keep us safe.
About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York.