The Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind viewpoint exacerbated by an almost complete lack of historical knowledge and perspective in our society exaggerates the effect of reports of current events on public awareness and opinion. The Houston flooding is a current example.
There’s no doubt the flooding in the Houston area is devastating, and is comparable to some of the worst flooding the area has experienced in the last 100 years, but–and this is in no way intended to minimize the property damage and loss of life–while the flooding there has approached record levels, several floods in the past 100 years have had higher crests and been at least as widely spread and devastating.
Of course, Houston is more populous now than it was during what was arguably THE most devastating flood of the past, in 1935, but heck, even though I’m not really conversant in Texas history, I’ve had enough relatives from Texas (including grandparents who were Texas transplants in Oklahoma) to have been aware that Houston has experienced many floods in the past.
As always, when I hear of folks devastated by natural events in locales where such things are common, I have to wonder, “Why were folks so very unprepared for such an event?” (Let alone wondering, “Why live in a flood plain?” *heh*) Now, readers here may recall that in April we were surprised by a flood that affected our own property–even invading our basement, a flood that exceeded “100 year flood” levels and was widely, throughout the county, well above and beyond any flooding in the historical record, cresting over even a 100-year-old “historical” bridge that had never been flooded.
And yes, there were folks living in flood plains who were flooded far, far worse than we were, outside any known flood plain (and I have FEMA maps–outdated NOW!–showing we are not in a flood plain, for that matter). Yes, even with the commonsense precaution we took years ago to deliberately NOT buy a home in a flood plain, though we looked at some nice places that were in a flood plain–we experienced flooding, but. . .
Lil tidbit from the link above, for additional perspective:
“Dec. 8, 1935: Flooding to second and third floors of downtown buildings; Houston central water plant inoperable for weeks. . .”
- My Wonder Woman had a bugout bag ready in case it got bad enough. We also had plenty of supplies on hand in case were had to “bug in,” as it were (including both wash water and potable water, as well as a means to filter and sanitize more, if necessary). Most folks I know were similarly prepared.
- Most folks in the county handled things expeditiously, WELL before FEMA blundered in.
- No lives lost. While some of that might be related to our sparse population, I suspect the most likely reason is that most folks didn’t need to be told when to seek higher ground, and also knew to not stupidly drive into high water.
Non-stupid behavior pays off.
While its nice to be able to depend on the kindness of strangers1, NOT having to depend on it is smarter, IMO. Just sayn’.
But, it’s so much better for Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind ratings to “celebrate” (as it were), or at least not condemn, mass stupidity.
Again, not minimizing the property damage and loss of life (stupid people are people too), just noting: no one who is at all aware of past events finds the Houston flood at all surprising.
1With a tip o’ the tam to Blanche DuBois. 😉