Well, despite all the best efforts to get people prepared for Hurricane Irene by the preparedness community and the weather media (and us), there were still 44 deaths spread out over pretty much every state that was hit. In contrast, I didn’t see one reported death in the Bahamas even though 1) the conditions that the majority of the population live in over there are terrible, and 2) Hurricane Irene kicked the living crap out of that country.
Preparedness and Common Sense
I searched around for a list of those killed and the circumstances of their deaths, and ended up flabbergasted about what appears to be the sheer stupidity of some of the victims (God rest their souls) in encouraging their own demises. For Example:
A woman is found dead in the Deerfield River in Wilmington, Vermont after falling in while watching the flooding. Never a good idea to make natural disasters a spectator sport.
A man dies after being tossed off a surfboard off New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County, Florida. An East Islip, N.Y. man drowns while windsurfing in Bellport Bay. Sports enthusiasts or fans of assisted suicide?
2 men in Clark, N.J., die while running outside in Hockessin during the storm. A man dies in Bristol, Ct., after his canoe capsizes on flooded street. A man dies after his inflatable boat capsizes on the Croton River, N.Y. Several people in several states are found dead in their car. I don’t know about you, but did anyone hear something somewhere about maybe staying inside during the storm?
Natural Disasters and Prepping Your Home
All in Virginia: A 67 year-old man dies when a tree falls on a car in Brunswick County. A man dies at a Hopewell hospital after a tree falls on a house he’s in. Another man dies when a tree falls on him. Various other tree-related deaths occur in several states. A little planning would have saved lives: 1) Prune trees before the storm to allow air to flow through the canopy, and 2) Put everyone in the area of the house most downwind from the force of the storm.
At least 2 deaths occurred from carbon monoxide poisoning due to generators in houses (they should be outside). Classic case of not reading the warnings that were probably right on the box the generator came in.
I’m not saying that every death was unavoidable. An EMT died when he was swept away in floodwaters during the performance of his duty. I hope he wasn’t out there because someone wanted to go singing in the rain. However, a little preparation and logical thinking would have gone a long way toward dropping the death toll from Hurricane Irene. A lot of people would have benefited from a serious approach to the storm.