Letters & Opinion

We Know We Will Not Always Be Spared, But How Ready Are We?

Image: Hurricane Maria did not discriminate.
Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

AS the saying goes, we have no control of tomorrow. But we can all plan — and take the necessary precautions for eventuality.

As we have observed the weather patterns worldwide, especially in the Caribbean, we must expect that at some time in the future we will become victims of a major catastrophe. It is not my wish, but I am sensible enough to know that we will not always be spared.

Despite our prayers and our self-proclaimed holiness, what has to come must come. The big question remains: Are we going to be ready, or do we take things for granted?

And there are more questions, like… Are we stockpiling essential items? Are we ensuring that our safe-houses for emergency shelters are really safe? Have we enforced a futuristic building code? Do we have property and personal goods insurance? And most importantly, have we decided how to cushion the rising debts that this administration is building?

What do you think? Are we prudent planers? Do you see signs of any of the above-mentioned systems being put into place? Or are we looking for massage handouts from the rest of the world so that more hacks can profit from those exploits?

We have developed a culture of sit-and-wait, hoping all will be fine — just like our hospitals, we behave like there is no rush to make them ready, completed and available, so they are not on the priority list. Just like our forensic lab, we can still seek assistance from elsewhere, so we see no need to see crime as an immediate bother. Just like the need for work — we don’t see the need to have to create mass employment opportunities because we have enough breadfruit, mangoes and dasheen to keep feeding the people.

I wonder when we will wake up and smell the coffee? And with another general election close at hand more empty promises will be spouted out by the powers that be and those on the sidelines hoping to get in.

There is a lot of talk about what we should build or have in place, but we always fall short of implementation. So, as things stand, some see nothing wrong with our snail pace of real development and we keep promising castles in the skies, promising to make this island the envy of the rest of the Caribbean so some political pundits can beat their chest and say ‘I achieved this and that and others could not deliver.’

We talk about a futuristic paradise, but the present is full of loopholes. The small steps that need to be taken seem to still be on the back burner. There’s so much that can be done, or needs to be done. But, as usual, it all remains choked in the pipeline.

I pray to God that one of these days our people will wake up to our true reality. Bullshit seems to be the order of the day — and sadly enough we seem so gullible, we buy into the rhetoric and we do not demand answers and don’t even ask serious questions from the administration.

But one day the chickens will come home to roost. Why? Because what happens in the dark must be revealed in the light. It always happens.

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