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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

After the Toledo water crisis

  Well, we survived the recent crisis and eagerly await the next one. It's somewhat challenging living with tainted water, even for a few days.
  Our local crisis crippled many businesses who depend on a clean water supply.
  Within an hour or two of the announcement at 2 in the morning, stores were emptied of water. Lines at small local stores stretched around the store, something we've never seen before.
  People lined up at big block stores, snatching every bottle of water in sight, regardless the other people who were also there to buy water. 
  This is what is called greed.There's no way those people could use all that water for drinking anyway, while others had nothing, and you had to know those people drink Coke before they drink 7 bottles of water a day.
  Others waited for the "government" to provide water, passively standing in line at government sites, complaining.
  Apparently it's every man for himself in crises like this.
  Someone reported that one woman loaded her car with so much water at Anderson's that her car wouldn't move.
  Some businesses were guilty of gouging prices, while others like Churchills had trucks available to give water away. The state is currently pursuing those complaints.
  The lack of transparency from Toledo officials was disturbing: news update conferences were scheduled and canceled, scheduled and canceled. Test results were not disclosed; obfuscating answers were delivered repeatedly.
  Local Oregon city water's supply was good. Still not sure why that's so, but Toledo's was contaminated. 
  Kaptur took political advantage and immediately blamed the problem on Bush and even Reagan.
  People on social media were furious with local leaders, at the same time posting incredibly ignorant unintelligible comments about their frustration.  Individuals' lack of education became quickly obvious in local news comments' sections.
  Some people wonder why we live in Northwest Ohio.
  Because, overall (at least in my town), in general people approached the crisis with good cheer and concern for others.
  Children went door to door to make sure their neighbors had water. 
  People still went about their business, making do with what they had.
  Churches organized assistance; people with wells openly offered their water to anyone who needed it. 
  Chick-Fil-A handed out water.
  There were many instances of behavior like this.
  A tornado ripped through here not long ago, just a couple miles away from where I sit now; it destroyed a local high school and a number of other buildings and killed 7 people.
  Local authorities put in calls to FEMA but before anybody from the federal government could get here, teams were formed through local churches and organizations to clean up and assist those in need. Donations poured in and even local teenagers arrived on the scene to help.
  By the time FEMA responded days later, the mess had been cleaned locally and arrangements had been made through local schools to accommodate students' needs until new facilities were built.
  Which leads me to my main points.
  Don't count on the feds it comes to crises; local leaders are not only closest to the scene but locally accountable.
  Be prepared. For anything. When crises happen, they happen fast and sometimes without warning.
  Keep your sense of humor. Attitude changes everything.
  I might add that suspicions remain.
  Some visuals:
A drink at Swig: the Lake Erie Algae Bloom - vodka, lemonade, lime syrup and gummy worm!

  And some people are actually returning to the store the water they so greedily acquired a few days ago.

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