Tourists in Disaster Zones

Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery (Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Midwest Region)

Disaster Zones seemingly attract people to them I wish I knew why but they do. I remember when We (Mark, Bug and I) were going to see if the home I grew up in was okay. The Tornado in Joplin had just finished at least 30 minutes beforehand.  Everyone was out and about on the main roads that could be taken in Joplin After the tornado. 

Mark was driving. We first went to check on my car in FPBC parking lot. It was safe, now to just get to my house. We continued driving down Highview (the street in which our Church was on) only to drive by a gas main that could ignite. We stopped to try and tell a cop that a main was about to get bad. A civilian volunteer stopped us and we couldn’t go any further. We told the civilian and then turned around to travel to 7th street (a main thoroughfare) so we could get closer to my neighborhood. 

The traffic was unbelievable. There were people out who shouldn’t have been out and were clogging the streets left and right. What normally took as a 25 minute drive to my childhood home took at least 60 minutes. It was awful. It was not easy to get to or anything. The streets were that crowded. 

During this time, phones were not easy to reach people at all. It seems they were rendered useless when calling each other left and right, but when it came to texting it was doable. 

I know when I say this, and this was after that fateful night on May 22nd. Yes, tourists want to look, but it will never be easy to get up and down the streets of a disaster zone especially when a tornado has gone through and everything is hard to get to.. Many times they drove the outer perimeter, but never on the streets for the sake of not being able to get through to the houses. 

Withing the first hours, road blocks were up and you had to go around the city, but only on the main roads. The residential areas that were hit so hard, you had to have a person with an identity  on them to come in with a survivor who lived in ground zero.

I remember this one particular car coming in to the disaster zone one day while salvaging. Sunroof open, and filming the disaster zone all over. This did kind of hurt me because I felt like a spectacle on display. I can understand why many of those in the disaster zone are not wanting the outside looking in on those who have to salvage their lives and to reset up their lives. 

I can understand their point of view thoroughly. Yet, this is hard for the authorities to deal with. Joplin did however set the precedents on many things. They did however let the tourists in after everything was somewhat cleared, but not at the first. The only ones to come through during the hottest summer that I can recall was those who were volunteering or the families. 

Let me remind those who want to go in and sight-see in the Disaster zone (aka ground zero). That was where people spent their lives and where they will go to say goodbye to what they knew. Let me say they may not be happy that you are there, but please becareful when you do go into the disaster zone and they are cleaning up their lives. Let them clean up their lives and set an example. 

God so wants us to come to him. Sometimes we just have to run to him in the midst of a hard time. He doesn’t want us to be selfish and not to allow others come out and see what happened. It may give you a chance to tell them about what God is doing in your life since the disaster, and what He is showing you. It is also your time to shine to others who may not know Him personally. 

Love those who are curious, but also gently pray that they will be affected by what has happened where you are at. Don’t complain because if you have been through the Life of Moses study in BSF — we had a question about the people of Israel complaining. Remember that if we complain it could

Oklahoma tornado relief

be that we are complaining because it isn’t going the way we thought it would go or complaining for selfish reasons.  What will you not complain about? 


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One response to “Tourists in Disaster Zones

  1. This is a really good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate information… Value your sharing this one. A must study publish!

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