Hurricane Harvey: What’s the Value of a Life?

If Hurricane Harvey hit your area, what would you say the value of your life would be?

A truck is flipped over after Hurricane Harvey landed in the Coast Bend area on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Port Aransas, Texas. (Although this isn’t the documented “life lost”, it appears this dog was a casualty of the storm as well.)

Have you ever thought about it… the value of a human life… or any life, for that matter?

I write this today because I’m sometimes relegated to shaking my head as I watch the news, read articles, and so on. Today and this topic is one of those times.

Hurricane Harvey is hitting Texas hard right now. There’s much damage and torrential rain… with, at this point, more to come. The last anticipation I’m aware of was the greater concern that the storm has a high propensity for losing some impact while inland, but then could turn back to the gulf where it may regain strength, travel a bit more east and hit the coastlines of neighboring states. Still, that’s not what prompted me to shake my head or write this post.

See, as I watched the news just prior to the storm making landfall, there was coverage of areas where a voluntary evacuation had begun. This made perfect sense to me, given the level of strength still anticipated and damage felt to be rendered upon impact.

The newscaster in this particular instance was on-the-ground speaking with a few local residents about how they were feeling, whether or not they were or planned to evacuate, and so on. Then… it happened.

Man, if you ever wonder about how much common sense there is left in this world, you’ve but to only turn on the news and watch a live interview with “common people”. Lol

There was a woman who was briefly interviewed. Although I made no note of her name, place, or even her (I presume small) business, her comments and reasoning did NOT escape me… but rather reminded me of similar events when Hurricane Katrina was heading inland and evacuations had begun in LA.

The journalist asked her whether or not she was going to evacuate, to which she flatly stated no.

Seemingly a tad bit shocked, he then asked why, to which she replied something to the effect that she needed to stay and protect her business from being looted.

Okay, THIS is where my head-shaking began. 🙂

He then asked her if anything could be said or done to change her mind, given the upgrades in categories and damage anticipated. Her reply, “Probably not.”

So, as I (again) reflected on the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina, I began to contemplate how very little common sense this woman had. Did she even realize how LITTLE sense she was making? And further, I wanted to ask if she really felt her own life was worth so little that she’d put it in harm’s way of a storm capable of massive damage (when she clearly had the means and opportunity to do so) JUST to “protect” her business from looters — especially given that she should have insurance for such things and, likely, those looters (should it occur) may very well meet their own injury or demise by staying behind TO loot.

The current death toll from Hurricane Harvey?  One… so far, although city officials where the storm hit hardest are quoted in news reports of telling those who didn’t heed the (mandatory) evacuation to mark their arms with Sharpies — presumably so rescuers could more readily identify them.

What do you say about this?

How would you rate the value of your own life in a similar situation?

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