Superstorm Sandy and Sensitive Semantics

Well, I survived my first hurricane day as a non-Floridian. I thankfully have previously lived in an area notorious for its lack of a direct hurricane hit *knocks on wood* for nearly 200 years. But that never keeps me from taking these things seriously. I make sure there’s extra water and canned food on hand, that the refrigerator and freezer are turned down in case we lose power, that candles aren’t too far away, and that I have a nearby area with no windows to retreat to.
Even though I’ve been blessed to be missed by hurricanes for over a quarter century, there are elements of the reaction to storms that I find…unsettling. My least favorite phrase surrounding storms: “Nothing’s happening.”
I generally have one of two reactions to this sentiment:
(1) That just means, “Nothing’s happening…to you.”
Yes, Boston was lucky to escape the brunt of this storm, just as Tampa has managed to avoid serious storm trouble for so many years. But for the people in New York, New Jersey, and parts of Rhode Island, something’s happening. And it’s nothing good. People are losing their homes, loved ones, and ability to feel safe in their own home. It’s a tremendously individualistic attitude that can look at a storm like that, and think only “Why isn’t this more dramatic?”
Would you have preferred this?
Related to that: (2) Would you prefer the alternative?  If you were lucky enough to stay home from work in case of an emergency, and could spend the day looking up false pictures of storms and stream Netflix without an interruption of power, why are you disappointed? Would you rather spend the day cowering from rising winds, nervously watching trees in anticipation of them falling, and inspecting damage and trying to catch up with loved ones who are unaccounted for? Embrace an attitude of gratitude, say thank goodness you were spared, and find out what you can do for those who weren’t so lucky.
My thoughts and well wishes are with my friends and family in the path of the storm, and I hope that the video below makes you smile a little bit. Stay safe, everyone!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s