Letter from the Editor Issue 52

Fall 2004 CSANews Issue 52  |  Posted date : May 15, 2007.Back to list

The media frenzy is over - Hurricane Charley is history! This disastrous event of Mother Nature led to billions of dollars in damage, approximately 20 lost lives (there will be more) and tens of thousands of displaced people. The path of devastation left behind by Hurricane Charley remains, and it will take years to return the lives of those affected back to normal. We have many friends who live (perhaps "lived" is a better word) in the Charley corridor and many of our readers have lost their winter homes.

Perhaps the most stressful part for Canadian Snowbirds was not really knowing what had happened to their home-away-from-home. Information trickled out of the affected areas at a snail's pace. Telephones were inoperative, friends had been evacuated, and on-site access to the damaged areas was severely limited. Unless you have been physically present at the site of a national disaster, you can have no real idea of the enormity of the problems and of the suffering.

We have all opened our fridge after a power failure and reeled at the stench. Take that feeling and multiply it by hundreds of thousands of fridges, and do not forget to add in the grocery and convenience stores filled with rotting food. Now look at all the doors and windows and screens that are gone. Combine that with a zillion tons of rain water that forces the insects to the surface and you are overrun with ants and mosquitoes and other assorted bug-life. Now try and live with all this, with no roof, in 100 degree weather, without air conditioning, without lights and, at times, without hope. Oh, and the hospitals are destroyed, the gas stations have no gas, the stores have no food, and criminals want to root through your ruins to steal whatever is left. Did I mention the roads are impassable, the water is contaminated (you cannot even get a drink of water), the toilets are unusable, and there is garbage and debris as far as your eyes can see. Destruction, pestilence, and disease!

Our hearts go out to these people, caught up in Charley's aftermath, and we must each do something to assist them, however we can. Medipac has sent two staff members, and hired several others, to assist in the Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda area. People will need help for many months, and I am sure we will each have an opportunity to contribute our talents, and perhaps our money, to those in desperate need.

It also appears that U.S. federal disaster aid may not extend to "non-residents". Be assured that the CSA will do everything in its power to try and make sure that our snowbirds are treated fairly and equally. And we should all say a silent prayer for those lost, and for those in trouble, and be thankful for our many blessings.


J. Ross Quigley