Monday, August 29, 2005

American Resilience

There's anticipatory lip-smacking in the Euro-Moonbat media about the massive damage Katrina may be inflicting, right now, on New Orleans. They'll be disappointed - Americans recover much more effectively from disasters than do Europeans.

Based on my experiences (regular readers will have now have figured out that I'm something of a disaster-magnet), Americans take much more responsibility for their own lives, have more efficient work processes, and work better as teams. Probably inherited from frontier days, only a few generations back. Here's what I've seen

Ugly car crash in the middle the Arizona desert

Everybody stopped their cars and sprinted towards the huge column of smoke, many clutching First Aid kits.

Gypsy Moth attack in New Hampshire

These are caterpillars, not life threatening, but they defoliate huge areas and make everything sticky. We and our neighbors banded together to hire a crop duster and took them out.

San Francisco Earthquake

Marina district was on fire when I made it back from Berkeley. There were a few city fire appliances but most of the work was being done by an enormous crowd of locals - mixed teams of Yuppies and Village People hauling hoses up from the Bay, where they'd moored their resident-owned fireship (rescued from destruction by the City). And we all just worked round the problems in the following days of no power.

Tornados

People carefully track them & when a big one headed for a town near us in Minneapolis, the folks in the next town mobilized. The men loaded up their pickups with winches, saws, ladders, and First Aid gear and headed out. The women stayed to prepare sandwiches and hot drinks and headed out after the men. After 24 hours the local cops were pleading for them to go home!

Many places have a tornado shelters and we've several times needed to take refuge.

9/11

Remember people carrying disabled people down the stairwells, while the doomed firefighters sprinted up past them to rescue more?

Post 9/11

Most people we know in DC (prime target) have family survival procedures for terrorist attack. Grandpa in the boondocks as information center, detailed plans to get the kids from school, exit routes, grab bags with basic survival gear.

New Orleans

Friends there have walked us round the problem - the lake is 10' higher than ground level. Like everybody else in New Orleans, they have a plan and (we pray) will be safe.

Recovery

Americans are very good at fixing things. They use lots of equipment, they organize the work very well, their superb tool carriers hold everything to hand, they have gadgets you never see in Europe - plasterers use stilts to reach the high ceilings, much faster than platforms.

Bottom line: New Orleans will recover through the efforts of the folks who live there.

There is another point here. People reared to look after themselves in this way are invincible. Which is why I believe that the Iraqi insurgency has been largely defeated - but that's another post...