Hurricanes here are just as much a fact of life here as Friday Night Fall Football and Mosquitoes. That does not mean that we cannot be prepared for these events. It merely means that the State Government should be proactive in putting measures in place to use after a disaster hits the area.
As many of you know the recent Hurricane Harvey left us with devastating floods and massive repairs. Some of us were left with no homes at all, and others who have just had to walk away. But for those of you who had flood insurance and still have not received the funds that you have paid for, or you, (as I,) have not received enough to repair our homes, you can thank your current legislator for voting for the Blue Tarp Program.
The Blue Tarp Program allows for insurance companies to pay pennies on the dollar and to withhold those payments indefinitely. We do have the right to take them to court at our own expense, and they can keep us there for however long they wish until we run out of money or just say “Forget It.” We have watched many businesses raise their prices for items that have rendered us with not enough to cover actual expenses of fixing our homes.
I WILL NEVER VOTE AGAINST MY CONSTITUENTS IN FAVOR OF THE BIG INSURANCE COMPANIES. THIS IS A PROMISE THAT I WILL ALWAYS KEEP TO YOU.
We must be ready before the disaster even hits us. We know that no matter the disaster, we will need assistance, so let’s be sure we are prepared:
- We know we will at least need shelter after the disaster.
- We know that we will need cots, blankets, etc. after the disaster
- We know that we will need food and water after the disaster
- We know that some areas will be flooded and will be rendered unable to enter or exit.
- We know that some areas might have hurricane wind damage and have trees blocking roads and bridges. We know that we could have tornadoes, and forest fires.
- We must be prepared before it happens.
- We need to have a much better means of keeping track of each person rescued and evacuated to a certain location. While I personally live in Sour Lake, I had people from Jasper calling me because they could not get their legislator to respond and they had heard that I could get things to happen. I helped them locate their loved one who had been rescued and taken to two separate locations in Beaumont.
So, why not make sure our shelters are stocked with cots, blankets, non-perishable food and water BEFORE the disaster hits. Let’s make sure we have portable showers ready to set up should those of us who are to surely flood and be cut off from all incoming and outgoing help. Waiting two weeks or longer for help is not acceptable!!!!!!!
That is exactly what my little town went through.
My oldest son, who is a City Councilman had to call Dollar General Corporate Headquarters and coordinated with them and a young employee who agreed to open and allow him to put on his own credit card what items that were needed by the two shelters. He was later reimbursed but had not known that at the time.
My younger son coordinated with Special Ops to send a helicopter drop in the local park with food and water. Portable showers were also brought in but were turned away because they were told there was nowhere to set them up. Why did our elected officials drop the ball and wait two weeks for Red Cross when all it took was a little effort on the part of quick thinking young individuals?
We know our town becomes an island with much less rain than Harvey dumped on us. We have one grocery store and when they run out of food, milk, etc. We have no way to replace the items. This is exactly my point of being prepared BEFORE the disaster. We have to be more prepared with all these things BEFORE we find ourselves cut off with no way to provide them.
Let’s take the lessons from Harvey and not repeat these mistakes.