Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Learning from Katrina

The outpouring of support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina continues but what is amazing me most about this the devastation that this hurricane caused. The flood of images that is coming out of the news media and all the stories of hardship are amazing. New Orleans and a lot of other cities affected by the storm are in ruins in many places and in a great many more it’s hard to tell just how bad the situation is because of the 20+ feet of water that’s accumulated.

I think the most important thing that needs to be realized is the fact that the majority of people impacted have survived, most people got out of the way of the storm others in affected areas have survived. But it could have been that much worse. The storm weakened before it struck, what would have happened if it was still a category 5 storm? Would New Orleans simply be a memory that was permanently under water? Hard questions to even think about in the wake of the devastation but it’s definitely something that the city planners in the south should take to heart.

Hurricanes are a fact of life in many parts of the world and precautions should be taken by people living in those areas. These storms don’t just magically appear out of thin air, there is more than fair warning with our current technology so that virtually no one should die in them. I hope that when the clean up after this storm is done that people will learn from this and plan their cities and lives accordingly to better survive and weather such storms (especially the civil engineers that build levies)