Disaster Preparedness Part 4
Greetings my fellow West Indians. Sadly, I have to remind you today of the destructive power of nature. During this tornado season in the Midwest of America – Alabama and Joplin especially – devastating tornadoes have claim the levies of almost 500 people, and have destroyed entire towns and neighborhoods. Today, relief supply agencies, Government representatives and insurance companies are all currently assessing the damages in those devastated areas. We all in the Caribbean have heard the news and witnessed via television the destruction those tornadoes have left in their path. And we all hope this never happen to us.
One thing I can guarantee you is that the people of those devastated areas will rebuild their homes, cities, towns, and their neighborhoods. After a mere few months, you would never know there was a disaster in those areas because the American people have home insurance and relief organizations they are contributing to. In addition, their work places and businesses are also fully insured. Even though you are hearing all those bad things about America, they still have an emergency relief program that is second to none. For example, in the event of a disaster, the Red Cross service will bring immediate relief in the form of food, clothing, and shelter. On the other hand, we cannot say the same for the Caribbean.
We could go back in history and take a look at some of the worse hurricanes to hit the Caribbean, and find people still recovering from them on this very day. We are hopeless without an emergency program because we have no line of defense in the event of a hurricane. One thing that we in the Caribbean must understand is; in the event of a disaster, it cost millions of dollars for America or England to send an entire fleet with man power and relief supplies to help us. Do you think they want to do this? Of course not, which is one of the reasons why we never fully recover from a disaster – it sosts to much to recover from a disaster.
We fought hard for our Independence from our Colonial masters. Now we have to put a united front forward for the benefit and well being of the Caribbean and its people. Creating an emergency fine for the entire Caribbean is an urgent undertaking. And it will have to be carefully planned. In the words of John King, “All hands must be on deck”. We can do that. And I am sure Great Britain and America will help us accomplish it. We have an opportunity to do something great for our country and our people. And at the same time we can set an example for the world to follow.
If you think this is hard to do, then think about the amount of money you are giving away each year to other things – money which you will never get back. But if you contribute 52 dollars a year – which you are going to get back at the end of the year – to this emergency fund, accomplishing this task is easier than you think. The mechanism to get it going is already in place. All we got to do is put our heads together and agree to do it. Don’t forget to send me your comment.
Written by Stephen Fanus