We’re More Prepared…But We Knew That

by Curt Kovener

The Times received a news release last week from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security stating that rural citizens are more likely to be prepared for weather related emergencies than their big city neighbors.
Well, duh. They should have also included the sun comes up in the east and water flows downhill.
Results of a statewide readiness survey show that people who live in rural areas are nearly 12% more likely to be prepared than those who live in and around urban areas.
In case you think we make this stuff up, the online survey of 2,000 Hoosiers was a joint effort between the Survey Research Center at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).
The big city folks couldn’t possibly know anything about those of us in the self-reliant rural areas because their vehicles are reluctant to drive on anything that isn’t paved and multi-laned.
A pattern of clustering is clearly evident in multiple areas of the state; the Interstate 69 corridor from Marion to Allen County shows a relative low level of preparedness.
Four of the five most populous counties in Indiana (Marion, Lake, Allen, and Hamilton) scored in the “low preparedness” category. For the Indiana geography challenged Marion County would be Indianapolis, Lake County includes Gary & Crown Point, Allen County is Ft. Wayne and Hamilton County includes the communities of Fishers, Carmel and Noblesville. By any definition, the state’s most affluent areas are also the state’s least prepared to deal with weather emergencies. And I suppose we could make the case for sames area being the biggest whiners when, because of the snow, they couldn’t get out of their cul-de-sac to go to their yoga class.
It is interesting that the most populous counties are the ones relying the most on government services to bail them out in a weather emergency are also the ones, as evidenced by their voting history, who complain the loudest about taxes and government intrusion into their life.
Out here in the sticks of Indiana, our citizens are more self-reliant and have the benefit of helpful neighbors.
Remembering back to some of our larger snowstorms, it wasn’t town, county or even state highway departments which cleared the outlying roadways. It was benevolent farmers who, using their own equipment and fuel, cleared a path along county roads for themselves and for their neighbors to get to town.
Following damaging windstorms the buzzing of chainsaws aren’t in the hands of government but of homeowners clearing tree limbs from their homes and those of their neighbors.
A survey telling us that rural areas are more prepared for emergencies than big cities might have also included that grass is green and rain is wet.
Those of us who live out in the hinterland already knew that. It’s how we live. And our big city colleagues can’t comprehend why we would really look with a jaundiced eye at the upstate know-it-alls, particularly the metropolitan politicians, who like to tell us how we ought to be doing things more like them.
No thanks. We’ll count on our neighbors for help when things get tough. They are more reliable.