Hurrican Ike Aftermath: 1 week later
Monday, September 22, 2008
Some rambling thoughts that have been tumbling around my mind lately...

We have electricity, air conditioning, internet, and cable. In so many ways, our lives are back to normal. My sister is staying with us for a while until she gets electricity back.

And then... you'll be driving down the street and pass a gas station, the canopy twisted and upside down.

You'll be cruising, and slam on your brakes when you realize the light at this intersection is dark.

You'll go to the store, and there are no fresh vegetables, frozen foods, eggs, or bread.

Many gas stations have gas, but not the capacity to pump it. There was a shortage last week - no gas to fill up the tanks in the gas stations that were open; no way to pump gas at the gas stations that had fuel.

We live in the lucky end of the city.

Houston is in store for an economic meltdown. Many, many stores are still shuttered, a week later. Many others are on shortened hours, closing at 6 pm instead of 10 pm. Thousands of hourly workers - the type most likely to live paycheck to paycheck -have missed at least a week of work.

Office Depot is trying to help businesses, offering free copies, free faxes, free internet service in store, and free cell phone charging. Walgreens also is offering cell phone charging. I went down on Saturday to get some copies made - and while Office Depot was opened, Barnes and Noble, PetsMart, Linens N Things, and Subway were all closed. No sales = no pay for workers.

The schools are closed, and my school district won't open until Wednesday, 10 days post Ike. Daycares and preschools are closed. How many parents have a job in a business that is open, but can't leave their children home alone? How many more are used to leaving their preteens and teens, but are wary of leaving them now that there is no power?

How many man-hours have been lost?

Meanwhile, FEMA is not the joke it was during Katrina, but still very much a bureaucracy. In order to get food or ice, one must register. The only way to register is online or by phone. Most people who need assistance have no electricity. Ummm... hello?

Many more have unlivable homes and are given vouchers for hotel rooms. The qualifying hotels are booked. FEMA tells these residents they must relocate to another city - except they have jobs to go to here. They need to work to get back on their feet, but need a place to live. FEMA is unable to provide trailers, RV's, generators, or any other temporary forms of housing.

Between the Wall Street meltdown and the coming city's meltdown... I'm plantin' a garden! A little boot-strapping always makes me feel better.

Oh, and it turns out we do have some water damage - seeping up through the foundation and buckling our baseboards. Thanks goodness we're renters on this one!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/22/2008 08:03:00 AM | Permalink | |