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Forces of Destruction

There's an old saying: Don't live in fear.

But you still have to prepare.

This is all in light of Hurricane Florence and its recent landfall.

I was inspired by a May 27 Sunday New York Times article, "The Places in the United States Where Disaster Strikes Again and Again," subtitled "A Pattern of Destruction."

The point of the article: taxpayers are bilked out of billions of dollars for construction going up, after repeated natural-disaster storms, in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida coast, Texas and up and down the Atlantic seaboard.

The argument: why spend billions knowing that what is repaired and reconstructed will be ripped apart again and again, in the years to come, by natural disasters?

Reminds me of something else.

Just the other day there was another motorcycle accident in Berks County, a couple of doors to the east of us.

Motorcycle riders mystify me. If you are going to do something as stupid and dangerous as ride a motorcycle, where you have little or no protection, mostly no, why would you be having road rage with a big rig? (Only in Berks, they say.)

I don't feel comfortable in a jeep.

Probably the two safest vehicles you can travel in that are not tanks:


Big rigs.

Why isn't motorcycle insurance, as a result of bad drivers and bad decision-making by motorcyclists, and some of their devil-may-care, reckless, egoist attitudes, like really sky-high?

(Yes, I am sure there are decent motorcyclists out there. I have met one or two among a dozen. The remaining 10 all drive by, gunning their engines at 4 in the morning near my place, just so they can piss me off. I kid you not. I don't exaggerate. Why else would they be gunning their cycles so early in the morning? There are no noise ordinances in this town. You would be surprised how many times, late at night or early in the morning, some jerk is gunning his cycle. I was perfectly OK sleeping at 4 a.m. until you blatantly, without provocation, pissed me off.)

Back to the disasters thing.

I have to agree. Why would you put more trailer parks and dirt-cheap housing in tornado alleys up and down the Atlantic and in the Gulf? Just so they could be blown apart again?

I survived the worst natural disaster in Hershey's history on Sept. 7, 2011, which costs millions of state dollars in flooding. FEMA and PEMA and name-your-acronym helped us out. Massive flooding destroyed a wide consumer commercial district near Hummelstown.

But you know what? One of those commercial operators was McDonald's restaurant, a franchise that has a place on the strip, in Hummelstown.

They rebuilt it.

I affectionately refer to it as Fortress McDonald's.

Bring on another storm. The owner out of Reading built that place to last another flooding. Sure, it probably cost a tooth, arm, leg, and many fingers, but it will last.

Build Fortress Wendy's and Pizza Hut. Build Fortress Office Complexes. Build fortress homes that no flood or disaster can destroy. It should happen. Build those places to last . . . or don't build them at all.

Andrew M. Andrews