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8.9.08

Whiners demand more luxurious state-run shelters

Amidst the widespread plaudits specifically Gov. Bobby Jindal and generally state and local officials and nonprofit agencies garnered for their coordinated efforts in the recent hurricane-related evacuations, there have been some criticisms. But the complaints tell more about the complainers than anything else.

In the large state-run shelters in Shreveport, some evacuees were miffed at the lack of amenities, whining about how they had to trundle almost 10 yards to portable toilets that sometimes smelled obnoxious, or how they had to forgo showers for a few days, or suffer through a temporary lack of air conditioning (fortunately, outside temperatures were not very hot). It led some to protest the indignity of not having hot, running water.

Some portion of those in these shelters were in situations where there wasn’t much they could do about it on their own – those disabled through no fault of their own and the elderly meeting the challenges of abilities diminished by age. But this did not describe the large majority of those there.

And the behavior of those who ranted about these conditions illustrates perfectly why they ended up there in the first place. As point of reference, I’ve been subject to evacuation by reason of tropical disturbances five times in my life and the two times I did so (both while living under my parents’ roof) we secured the house and took off. We didn’t wait on government to ferry us someplace, we struck out on our own and lived with our choices. It’s the same option open to these whiners, but they choose, in the decisions they made in their lives, to depend on the state and not themselves.

Chances are the vast majority of the non-infirm who got free rides and accommodations as a result of the evacuation from the state government are entirely used to government handouts and not only expect them, they demand them whether they lift a finger ever to deserve such rewards from Americans who work and who through the goodness of their hearts allow taxes to be levied on them to pay for these others’ lifestyle choices. These ingrates have a better life than some of our troops, for example, who work and sleep in scorching heat, with no bathroom or showers for days on end, and facing lethal force on top it all – any many of them probably make less in regular pay than the abled complainers get from government for doing nothing.

This doesn’t mean government-run shelters shouldn’t try to provide the best they can in a cost-effective manner and not try to improve performance at all times. It does mean that somebody choosing to have his hand out constantly has little room to moan about conditions that the vast majority of the world’s people would be deliriously happy to enjoy. Anything more than some gentle suggestions from them is unwelcome and pathetic.

4 comments:

T. Wong said...

There you go again-- blaming the victim.

Dr. Sadow, precisely what research did you do for this entry? Did you visit the facilities? Did you speak with anyone who was personally there?
Did any of them tell you that one of the State facilities had 3 toilets for about 3800 people until the City of Shreveport stepped up to the plate? That the DHH-approved contingency plans, required of nursing homes and reviewed by DHH, apparently ended with "we put them on the bus and they go somewhere else?" How else could they get away with sending NO CNA's to the shelters? Or how the City/Red Cross run shelters were a lot better on more limited, local government resources?

You compare the troops' situation with that of evacuees, knowing full well that some/many of the evacuees are children and/or not the able-bodied youngsters who volunteer and are PAID to be in the military?

Then, you would like to ignore the fact that some people are not as fortunate as your parents, you, and me. Yes, we would make arrangements for our own transportation and accommodations. Unfortunately, this is not an option for many.

Mind you, I do not wish to blaspheme your messiah. He is doing a good job. The shelter contracts, DHH protocols, and the like were probably in place long before he took office.

Nevertheless, I once again take issue with your mischaracterizations and misinformation.

Anonymous said...

I believe the problem is two fold. First, there were problems with some of the state run shelters. We all realize that picking up one family, deciding what to take and what to leave is very difficult. But the way folks respected other peoples property were violated as well and went without being reported.

Buses that were used to transport folks were vandalized. Seats were ripped and I want to know why wasn't that reported. The folks that provide maintenance for the city buildings reported that the toilets and urinals in the Sam's building were pulled up from the floor and off the wall not once, but twice. Finally, when the portable showers arrived those that used them decided to smear human waste on the walls.

Now let's be sure that when we report the facts related to the stories that all of the facts are reported.

Anonymous said...

When I was out there reporting the story, I didn't see any damage, and there were no showers to smear. Fact.

What did you see when you visited?

tjc said...

Actually I worked there thru both Gustav and Ike for the contractor hired to help there. Things weren't great when we arrived after finally gettin the call on Sunday and started shipping people out the following morning. Our people came down and busted their butts and were often met with racial slurs and other derogatory statements from many of the shelter residents. It wasn't the staff(both paid and volunteer) that defecated in the showers but they had to clean it up, it wasn't the staff that stuffed shirts and whole rolls of TP down the few flush toliets clogging them and rendering them useless.
Guessing you didn't see the showers since you either visited either early on or were to busy listening to the complaints from evacuees to look around....
funny all the ones holding up the signs handed out to them never volunteered to help maintain the cleanliness of the shelter either...
The amount of trash that was removed after the Gustav evacuees left was staggering... after emptying 3 of the large construction site size dumpsters filled up while they were there we immediately filled them all up again with all the refuse left lying on the floor such as food containers, alcohol containers, dirty diapers, blankets soiled with all kinds of nastiness...
Personally things like enough toliets and showers should of been ordered earlier then they were but some people also need to take responsibilty for themselves also.
The difference between the Gustav evacuees and the Ike evacuees was night and day. Granted we had fewer evacuees and more facilities in place but we also had many more volunteers help out keeping it clean among other things