A friend just sent me the mail the Red Cross’s Charley Shimanski is circulating to drum up donations in light of the East Coast’s hurricane panic. Here’s the lede:

Hurricane Irene, potentially the worst U.S. storm in 70 years, is now heading toward the East Coast, and thousands of Americans in its path are preparing for the worst.

Dear Red Cross: Give me a fucking break. Heathen HQ is on the Gulf Coast, buddy boy, we know a little about hurricanes, and your little embellishment is ridiculous. Don’t believe me? Let me introduce you, Charley Shimanski, to a few folks who’ve come to visit me and mine:

and a bitch called Katrina that erased the Mississippi Gulf Coast and damn near killed New Orleans.

Maybe you’ve heard about one or two of these, Charley. Maybe if you’d been thinking, you wouldn’t have resorted to this kind of hyperbole. Sure, the good folks of the East Coast need to take appropriate precautions. People in flood-prone or low-lying areas in danger of the surge should evacuate. Further inland, people in permanent buildings just need to hunker down and wait it out.

Irene is a category TWO, people. Jesus.

5 thoughts on “Dept. of YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME

  1. Yes, but it’s affecting the entire eastern seaboard. Norfolk, VA, for instance, is currently underwater, and 1) it’s an area accustomed to being hit by hurricanes, and 2) it’s not below sea-level like some major cities I could name, yet it is still being hammered worse than they had anticipated. Furthermore, there are major areas of Connecticut that will not have power ’til the 3rd in spite of their preparations, all because of this little category 1 hurricane that is sitting off the coast and churning. With all due respect to the Gulf, the eastern seaboard is bigger, and may actually be more important if you consider the variety of industries beyond fishing that will be affected.

    So when the Red Cross resorts to hyperbole in order to drum up business, we should probably cut them some slack. Given the number of states involved, it’s not that the “devastation” will be all that expensive on a case by case basis as it was in NOLA, it’s that there will so many people hit over a much wider area.

    A single case of roof damage in Rhode Island is nothing compared to the loss of an entire house in Mississippi, but enough of these “small ticket losses” spread out over an area much greater than the Gulf region add up. Compound this less-than-epic disaster with the fragile state of the entire country’s economy, and the impact of this heavy rainstorm, as you would have it, is that much greater. Thus, when the director of the Red Cross claims that this minor hurricane may be “potentially the worst U.S. storm in 70 years,” he may actually be talking in terms of dollars that the Red Cross will need to shell out, not lives lost.

    Disasters suck, man. Why are you shitting on the people who are trying to help out?

  2. I shit because his hyperbole in service of Atlantic seaboard types does a disservice to Gulf Coast denizens who face this kind of trouble far more often. Calling this storm the worst in 70 years without even mentioning that entire towns were erased just six years ago is fucking ridiculous.

  3. More important? 1/3rd of the world’s energy is processed in the USGC. So no, the eastern seaboard is not more important. Can buy the more people argument. But the media hype surrounding on this borders on the ridiculous.

  4. I think it was because entire towns were erased just six years ago is the reason that the Red Cross sent out that message and resorted to hyperbole. People don’t open their wallets because someone might be in need maybekindasortabutnotreally. Further, I don’t really think it was specifically to serve Atlantic seaboard types, whatever that means. Last week there was an earthquake, and while most people quickly reset their overturned deck chairs, some places sustained some very real damage. Oh, and here comes a hurricane which has made it far enough north to ruin Newark’s day. Better check the coffers; it could be a long night, boys.

    While I understand and agree with your sentiments regarding the Gulf region, I think your ire is better directed at the American public. After all, they’re the ones upon whom this sort of thing works–or more to the point, to whom nothing less than wholesale destruction matters.