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wiiiiiiiiiilllllmmmmaaa!!!
why there's a duh in florida.
by jeff wilder
11.5.05
news

Perhaps Charles Darwin was right after all.

Looking around South Florida, almost two weeks after Hurricane Wilma walloped the sunshine state; it’s painfully obvious how the residents of Broward County (the Fort Lauderdale to lower Palm Beach area) were unprepared for the storm. Nearly close to half of the county is still without power. Mangled debris is still all over the place. Meanwhile, Palm Beach, Dade and Monroe counties are going through fairly quick cleanups.

It’s possible to say that Broward County doesn’t have much reason to rant at this point. Sure, we’re being inconvenienced. Being without power and cable TV is annoying. Sure it’s frustrating having to toss most of the food in the refrigerator because it’s spoiled. But at least we’re alive and not living in refugee camps.

Sure Wilma did a good deal of damage. Sure it will take us a while before we fully recover from the after-effects of Mrs. Flintstone. Sure we will doubtlessly have to contend with the likes of Hurricane Fred and Hurricane Barney and Hurricane George and Hurricane Elroy (“Jane, stop this crazy weather!”)

But for the most part, Broward County is lucky.

Yet Broward could’ve been a lot luckier. It could have easily weathered Wilma and not suffered the damages and outages that it did suffer.

It’s fairly easy to mutter Wilma’s name in disgust or yell it in the way Fred would. However, when one looks at one happened in Florida, a good part of the blame for the damage must rest on the people who live there. Not to mention the people who built the cities.

A little over half of Broward’s residents have no power. Broward’s power infrastructure suffered much damage from Wilma.

Can one change the course of a hurricane? Not yet anyway. But can we build a power grid that as close to hurricane proof as possible? Sure we can. So why don’t we?

Look around most neighborhoods in Broward County. We see lots of downed trees. A number of the trees have fallen on cars or homes. And there are many instances of trees on top of power lines.

Now trees can be fairly dangerous creatures (as Sonny Bono could tell you). However, they are not inherently dangerous. They are only dangerous when they are planted right next to power lines or houses. And they only become deadly when they are made to plow into people or things (such as in very strong winds).

A tree next to a house in a hurricane has a great likelihood of winding up in one’s living room. A kindergartener could figure that out. But what about the people who insisted on planting trees right next to their house because it looks “pretty”?

At my job, I take calls from many people who are pissed off because their Internet access is out in the wake of Wilma. Many of them will say that their business is “dependent on the internet”.

So your business is dependent on the internet and it’s now losing business because your Internet access is out in the wake of a hurricane? Hmmmm. Seeing as you live in Florida, I’m surprised you didn’t have a backup plan in the case of a hurricane.

Perhaps I shouldn’t preach here. After all, I held off on purchasing a generator until after Wilma.

Which goes to show: There is a DUH in Florida for a reason.


ABOUT JEFF WILDER

Jeff Wilder is a writer-filmmaker-philosopher who lives south of the south.

more about jeff wilder




COMMENTS

tracey kelley
11.10.05 @ 3:12p

Heh - the cartoon hurricane image is funny!

It really surprises me that many do not seem to be prepared for certain area-specific disasters. It just doesn't make sense not to have a contigency plan.



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