Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Atlanta winter storm gridlock - who is responsible?

So far, I have received over 70 emails wanting to know how we did in the storm. Storm? On our part of the mountain we got a little less that 2 inches unless you count the snow-blow piles, like some people do. Then I turned on CNN and saw that all the headlines of the world had vanished. Atlanta was in gridlock. I then realized why I was getting so many emails.

Being raised in Atlanta (just outside of Atlanta, in Decatur), I can tell you that Atlanta is not as prepared as Boston or New York to prevent gridlock when an ice storm hits. It never will be. If citizens want their taxes raised to keep and maintain salt, sand, and machines for events that seldom happen I say, "Bring it on."

First of all, I do not think it is fair to blame Governor Deal. If he called for a city-wide or state-wide shutdown every time a weather forecaster cried, "Snow!," it would be extremely foolish. I kept an eye on the predicted storm using different weather apps on my Kindle, iPad, iPhone, and on my computer. No two forecasts were the same. CNN, my preferred channel, keeps reminding us that Chad Myers predicted the storm well in advance. As much as I like Myers, I can't count the number of days I cancelled picnics due to rain only to find the sun shining, or went on sunny road-trips to find myself drenched in rain. No one can predict Mother Nature.

We can blame the mayor, the governor, and everyone else, and yes, perhaps the city should have been shut down, but each and every business, school, and individual,  has a responsibility to be wary when potential inclement weather rears its questionable head.

If events unfolded in Atlanta, as they did at my house (we are 2 hours north east of Atlanta), ice-flakes began to fall and  rapidly coat the ground. Everyone in Atlanta panicked and hit the roads. From my experience, that would have been a time to shelter in place. And yes, perhaps there should have been an announcement from officials, but it happened fast and I think people had already grid-locked the roads before the scope of the ice had been realized.

Bottom line, individuals need to take some responsibility. Letting the government make your decisions is not the best idea in any situation. Each parent had the right to keep their child at home, school districts had the power to close their schools (some did), businesses had the choice of opening or closing based on the forecasts, and no one would have been fired if they had chosen to stay home. BTW, Chad Myers sent his 9 year old to school.
The over-hype on this debacle is ridiculous when you compare it to what is going on in the world. Officials are working to make sure roads are cleared, people are safe, and in a few days, all will be back to normal. So, can we move on?

Tip: Don't drive in ice. Don't go to work if you think a storm is coming. Don't send your kids to school if you think they are going to be bused home 2 hours later. I can't tell you how much that used to happen when my son was in school. Also, both my husband and myself keep end-of-world  bags in our cars. They contain 3 days worth of food and emergency water, warming blankets, hats, scarves, med-kit, and other assorted items. We even have a deck of cards. Bring on the zombies.

 Climate change is real.


Jackie said...

Great ideas; I especially like the part about people taking responsibility(ies) for their own well being and safety. Enough already of depending on and blaming government. Enough!
Well said!

Patty said...

Yes, Jackie, there is some blame but CNN needs to quiet down and let the officials do some work instead of answering questions. And for Pete's sake, next snow storm, people need to use some common sense. If people trust the weatherman then I have a house in a ghost town for sale. Ha!