As I write this, Hurricane Dorian is barreling toward the East Coast, so my wife and I decided that Savannah, our intended Labor Day long weekend get-away, was not the place to be. Our pre-purchased one-way flight was intentional because we planned to return a company car left behind in the Savannah area recently. Unfortunately, we didn’t calculate Dorian into our weekend plans. So we made a last-minute decision to trek south and west to Gulf Shores, Alabama, just across the Florida State line after landing there last Friday.
Despite heavy traffic on Interstate 10, we were quite inspired by what we saw heading toward the coast in the eastbound lanes. What could only be described as massive support, clusters of utility bucket-trucks, one after the other, ambulances, and military vehicles, passed us on our brief and random movement. To pass the time at some point, we began counting the various vehicles. By the time we exited the interstate, we counted over 200 utility trucks and over 70 military vehicles.
“Be prepared,” drilled into us at every opportunity by my Boy Scout leaders years ago, was my first thought. Now before our eyes, we were literally witnessing hundreds of people responding in a time of uncertainty to do what is needed in days to come. True leadership!
Without knowing Dorian’s full effect at the time of this writing, I am convinced our country is providing the best response possible. To be clear, despite what many Democrats are saying, the Trump Administration is not diverting money away from disaster relief funding. This is money that has remained unspent since the Bush Administration, with still more than $25 billion in the Disaster Relief Fund. Congress has known about these funds for months and was aware of the planned transfer since July. It’s unfortunate that Democratic leaders are trying to use a hurricane to score political points.
President Trump and his administration remain in constant contact and are coordinating with officials on the ground. Last week, FEMA officials were on the ground ready to provide assistance. As the record shows, President Trump and his administration are prepared to assist with storm rescue and recovery, committed to help Americans get back on their feet after devastating storms like Dorian. In fact, the Trump Administration has sent billions of dollars in disaster assistance to Puerto Rico, Florida, South Carolina, Texas and other areas that have been damaged by natural disasters.
Never having experienced a hurricane, there is no way for me to realize the potential devastation of one. But my heart goes out to those who experience the threat and uncertainty of such a storm and the devastating aftermath! I have immense respect for those who race to the front and face the task of rebuilding the communities affected.
If we are unprepared, we fall into chaos. But we are fortunate that our country is ready to respond quickly thanks to a commander in chief who acts without hesitation for those in harm’s way. Thank goodness for modern technology to keep track of storms, like Dorian, and to have the ability to warn residents of the potential severity.
More importantly, it is encouraging to see the positive response of people serving others, risking their own lives as disaster approaches. No doubt this is born from the ethic that says, to “love your neighbor as yourself,” a quote from Jesus, repeated by many U.S. leaders throughout our history. However, not all of us can respond to the scene, but we can say a prayer for those who are there and perhaps in days to come provide some other kind of assistance.
God bless all of those impacted by the Dorian.
Greg DeLancey is the 1st District chairman for the Republican Party of Kentucky. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.