Friday, August 29, 2008

Going back to 1932

So we've got Gustav coming our way and are every so often glued to the set to find out its path. We're prepared - tub filled with water, windows taped up, sandbags ready (just in case), phones charged, stocked up on food & supplies - the works. Technology is unbelievable in today's world, where hurricane predictions are able to warn us before hand, much before hand, so we can prepare, evacuate, do what we need to do. Which brings to mind, what did people do in the olden days when there was no form of mass communication, no satellite images to aid meteorologists in their hurricane and tropical storm predictions and no forewarnings. While we were talking about this very same thing yesterday with friends they asked if we had heard of the Storm of '32. I looked it up further today and what I read complied with what they told me was so sad and unfortunate.

The 1932 Cuba Hurricane was apparently the worst that the Caribbean has seen in the 20th Century. It was responsible for over 3,000 deaths in Cuba and 69 in Cayman Brac. The storm path can be seen here. In the days before shelters existed, many seeked in caves. One such story about Rebecca's Cave and why it's called just that, can be read here. I was told that because there was no way to track a hurricane back in those days, no one knew when a hurricane had completely passed. While the eye of the hurricane hovered over the island, there was dead calm, blue skies and the sun blazing. Not knowing that it was just the eye that was passing over, and the latter half of the hurricane was about to pass by, many thought the hurricane had completed wreaking its havoc and that it was time to leave the caves and go to what was left of their homes. It was when the eye began to leave, bringing with it the latter half of the hurricane, that people we caught in the storm and sadly perished.

Today we have infinite technology at our resources, tracking mechanisms that are able to tell us when exactly the hurricane is bound to pass over and when it's finally safe to come out. How fortunate are we to be able to take advantage of such resources and prepare accordingly. Yes, we have to deal with hurricanes but at least we're better prepared now than anyone in previous history.


mad bull said...

True words. You should check out Rebeccas Cave.

bichonpawz said...

I cannot even imagine what life must have been like back then. We rely so much on technology today!