Have you seen this news story? It’s not really new. Two years on and many victims of Sandy are still waiting on their promised government help in rebuilding. The Archdruid wrote something interesting recently, that’s stuck with me; measure the gap between the needed crisis response, and what is actually getting to people on the ground, to measure a part of the Long Descent.
As a second New Year since Superstorm Sandy approaches, many coastal residents are still waiting for New York, New Jersey and New York City to distribute billions of federal dollars that were intended to go directly to people struggling to rebuild their homes.
Only a fraction of that money has been spent, leaving storm victims at the mercy of a frustrating maze of bureaucracy. Depending on where they live, the checks could be anywhere from days to many more months away.
I fully expect government help after disasters like this to get longer, slower, less helpful and more iffy as my life goes on. Sure, there will still be rescue helicopters plucking people off of roofs for a long time yet. But the cleanup, the rebuilding? Those will probably get shoved back onto states and counties to deal with. Gradually at first, quietly, but there’s no chance the suit-monkeys in Washington won’t do it.
Clearly a better idea is to plan to take care of yourself. Buy a small enough house and live below your means, save enough so that you can rebuild if necessary. With the price of materials doing nothing but going up, that could mean a house that’s shockingly small by modern American Standards. But when it’s the difference between having your own roof over your head again in a few months or a few years? Surely that has to outweigh the need to keep up with the Jones.
It’s just my opinion of course, but preparing for your flavor of regional disaster probably needs to be more than just lining up a shelter place during the crisis. You need to consider, how are you going to rebuild? Are you going to have the funds available? You’ll be much more comfortable in the long run if you’ve got a plan other than waiting for your government check to arrive.
– Calamity Jane