Should we have sympathy for flood victims?

Eamar

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Yuno Gasai said:
But in addition to feeling sorry for you, I will question your choices. Particularly if it is revealed you were aware of the flood warning risks in your area, and chose to ignore them. I get it's easy to adopt the "it'll never happen to me" mentality, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared.

Hopefully these people will learn from the floods and will be better equipped to deal with them next time. Or will move out of flood risk zones. Whichever.
A lot of the people who lived there were both aware of the risk and prepared for some degree of flooding. They were not, nor could they reasonably have been expected to be, prepared for this:


This isn't a case of "what did they expect?" This was unprecedented.

Sorry for banging on about this, but as I said before, I grew up in the area. I know what the risks and reasonable expectations are. It really irks me that people would suggest this is anything other than a disaster and that the people living there should somehow have been prepared for this.
 

MeChaNiZ3D

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If you choose to live in a disaster-prone area without taking precautions against the disaster the area is prone to, it is somewhat your fault when a disaster ruins your house. If you don't choose to live there (money or space restrictions) or the disaster is unexpected for your area, you get a bit more sympathy from me. I think that while the OP has possibly underestimated the amount of people forced to live in disaster-prone areas, subsequent responses have possibly underestimated the amount of people who choose to live there. I'm not saying they deserve to have a disaster happen to them, not many people do, but they had to expect it on some level. It's like the people who moved into houses behind Luna Park in Sydney and complained about the noise, only not petty.

dyre said:
If you get shot/raped/mugged in a high crime area, no sympathy for you! You should've known that it's dangerous to live there!
Yes, you fucking should have. How do you live in a high crime area and not take precautions? I'm not saying I wouldn't have sympathy for someone in that scenario, but common sense.
 

Vegosiux

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Eamar said:
This isn't a case of "what did they expect?" This was unprecedented.
And therein lies the rub, I think. Yes, sometimes planning just doesn't account for problems one could reasonably expect. Like an earthquake in San Francisco or Japan, moderate ice glazing in Slovenia, or flooding around Somerset. But nobody can plan for unprecedented scales of natural disasters.
 

DoPo

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MeChaNiZ3D said:
dyre said:
If you get shot/raped/mugged in a high crime area, no sympathy for you! You should've known that it's dangerous to live there!
Yes, you fucking should have. How do you live in a high crime area and not take precautions? I'm not saying I wouldn't have sympathy for someone in that scenario, but common sense.
I am interested in finding out what those "precautions" are. Just to be clear - you must be talking about something 100% certain to prevent anything, it's affordable, and is is not "do not live in dangerous areas". Because otherwise...how are you so certain no precautions are being taken?
 

Eamar

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Vegosiux said:
Eamar said:
This isn't a case of "what did they expect?" This was unprecedented.
And therein lies the rub, I think. Yes, sometimes planning just doesn't account for problems one could reasonably expect. Like an earthquake in San Francisco or Japan, moderate ice glazing in Slovenia, or flooding around Somerset. But nobody can plan for unprecedented scales of natural disasters.
Exactly. I think a lot of people (including plenty of my friends who live elsewhere in the UK) are hearing about these floods and imagining a few people's basements getting wet and maybe some carpets getting ruined, a scenario for which a lot of the residents would have been more prepared. The actual situation is on a whole different scale, and there's no way anyone could have expected it. There's flooding and then there's flooding.

And yes, the same applies for earthquakes, ice, and any number of other things too.
 

MeChaNiZ3D

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DoPo said:
MeChaNiZ3D said:
I am interested in finding out what those "precautions" are. Just to be clear - you must be talking about something 100% certain to prevent anything, it's affordable, and is is not "do not live in dangerous areas". Because otherwise...how are you so certain no precautions are being taken?
I'm not suggesting that. From the post I quoted I got the feeling that it is not even partially a person's fault for being the victim of a crime in a high crime area regardless of what they do. Of course no precaution is going to work all the time. I'm suggesting self defence weapons, walking in a group and having your phone on you, which won't help if someone has a gun. I realise even prepared people will be victims sometimes, but unprepared people are taking a greater risk.
 

Vegosiux

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Eamar said:
Exactly. I think a lot of people (including plenty of my friends who live elsewhere in the UK) are hearing about these floods and imagining a few people's basements getting wet and maybe some carpets getting ruined, a scenario for which a lot of the residents would have been more prepared. The actual situation is on a whole different scale, and there's no way anyone could have expected it. There's flooding and then there's flooding.

And yes, the same applies for earthquakes, ice, and any number of other things too.
In the recent weeks, we had stuff like this:


Even the oldest residents don't remember anything like that ever happening. The capital, where I live, was less affected since it's urban, the part of the country I'm from also, because a while ago the power companies planned well and put a rather sizable chunk of their power lines underground. But other areas, the rural, remote, foresty parts were really suffering, cut off from power, water, even road access and the damage was immense.

Just...something you simply can't be prepared for.
 

DoPo

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MeChaNiZ3D said:
DoPo said:
MeChaNiZ3D said:
I am interested in finding out what those "precautions" are. Just to be clear - you must be talking about something 100% certain to prevent anything, it's affordable, and is is not "do not live in dangerous areas". Because otherwise...how are you so certain no precautions are being taken?
I'm not suggesting that.
On the contrary, that's exactly what you said. By your very own words, if somebody gets shot/mugged/raped, they should have taken precautions. Thus suggesting that if they had, they wouldn't have been.
 

Vegosiux

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DoPo said:
MeChaNiZ3D said:
DoPo said:
MeChaNiZ3D said:
I am interested in finding out what those "precautions" are. Just to be clear - you must be talking about something 100% certain to prevent anything, it's affordable, and is is not "do not live in dangerous areas". Because otherwise...how are you so certain no precautions are being taken?
I'm not suggesting that.
On the contrary, that's exactly what you said. By your very own words, if somebody gets shot/mugged/raped, they should have taken precautions. Thus suggesting that if they had, they wouldn't have been.
The "precautions" thing is iffy because of foresight/hindsight. "You should have taken precautions" indeed implies "and this wouldn't have happened". But I see no problem with saying "You should take precautions", as in, in the future, to reduce risks.

So, in hindsight it's problematic unless the person did something truly, monumentally dumb so that pointing it out is just common sense (like, "You really shouldn't have tried to pull a front wheelie while riding your bike down a long set of stairs, what the hell did you think would happen?").

In foresight, "That area of town is shady, if you can, you should avoid it at night" isn't "victim-blaming" though, because there's no victim.

But, on topic, I'm with Eamar: It's hard to be prepared for unprecedented things. And most natural disasters that break the news are of an unprecedented scale, that's what makes them "breaking news".
 

DoPo

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Vegosiux said:
DoPo said:
MeChaNiZ3D said:
DoPo said:
MeChaNiZ3D said:
I am interested in finding out what those "precautions" are. Just to be clear - you must be talking about something 100% certain to prevent anything, it's affordable, and is is not "do not live in dangerous areas". Because otherwise...how are you so certain no precautions are being taken?
I'm not suggesting that.
On the contrary, that's exactly what you said. By your very own words, if somebody gets shot/mugged/raped, they should have taken precautions. Thus suggesting that if they had, they wouldn't have been.
The "precautions" thing is iffy because of foresight/hindsight. "You should have taken precautions" indeed implies "and this wouldn't have happened". But I see no problem with saying "You should take precautions", as in, in the future, to reduce risks.

So, in hindsight it's problematic unless the person did something truly, monumentally dumb so that pointing it out is just common sense (like, "You really shouldn't have tried to pull a front wheelie while riding your bike down a long set of stairs, what the hell did you think would happen?").

In foresight, "That area of town is shady, if you can, you should avoid it at night" isn't "victim-blaming" though, because there's no victim.
Yet, that is not what was said. The premise was that if somebody suffers due to living in a bad area then they should have just taken precautions. Again - suggesting that if something bad happens to somebody, it's their fault for not taking enough steps to ensure that absolutely nothing ever would happen to them. So, it's not hindsight/foresight, it is literally saying people are responsible for whatever bad thing happens to them. You got shot? Sorry, son, maybe you should have tried not being shot. Yeah...that's not exactly how it works.
 

Vegosiux

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DoPo said:
The premise was that if somebody suffers due to living in a bad area then they should have just taken precautions.
Yeah, that can't fly because at some moment there the temporal causality got all reversed...

Again - suggesting that if something bad happens to somebody, it's their fault for not taking enough steps to ensure that absolutely nothing ever would happen to them. So, it's not hindsight/foresight, it is literally saying people are responsible for whatever bad thing happens to them. You got shot? Sorry, son, maybe you should have tried not being shot. Yeah...that's not exactly how it works.
Indeed, it's not. We're in agreement, I was just helping myself to a clearer picture of it all.
 

BeeGeenie

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I live near Yellowstone National Park, which is essentially a massive volcano. It hasn't "erupted" in thousands of years, but it is hypothetically possible. So if it did blow up and wipe out all life within several hundred miles, am I unworthy of sympathy because I choose to live here?

Any place can be hit by a natural disaster. If not a flood, then a tornado or earthquake... or giant meteor. There is no 100% safe place to build a house.
 

Erttheking

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Seriously? We're moving on to victim blaming people who are harmed by natural disasters? Can't we just accept that bad things happen to people and not constantly say that they should be held accountable for every less than ideal things that happens in their lives.
 

Yuno Gasai

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Eamar said:
I understand your opinion, and I'm sorry if I upset you, but I think you've misinterpreted me.

I'm not trying to imply it isn't a disaster. I'm not trying to imply anyone is to blame. But those who live in flood risk areas essentially knew what they were signing up for when they moved there.

I'm not saying they don't deserve sympathy, I'm not looking down on them or anything of the sort - simply stating a fact.

The people open to judgement would be most likely to be the councils and government, though admittedly news coverage often suggests they're doing the best they can in terms of both dealing with the disaster and in taking preventative measures to ensure it doesn't happen again.
 

Vegosiux

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Yuno Gasai said:
I'm not trying to imply it isn't a disaster. I'm not trying to imply anyone is to blame. But those who live in flood risk areas essentially knew what they were signing up for when they moved there.
How can you know you're signing up for something unprecedented? It's not something you can know. Disasters that make it to the news, they're exceptional, that's why they make it to the news in the first place. They're not what one could brush off as "Oh, just another day in -someplace-".
 

Yuno Gasai

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Vegosiux said:
How can you know you're signing up for something unprecedented? It's not something you can know. Disasters that make it to the news, they're exceptional, that's why they make it to the news in the first place. They're not what one could brush off as "Oh, just another day in -someplace-".
Flood risk areas are labelled as such for a reason. Natural disasters are natural disasters, I get that, but it makes sense that they would be more likely to occur in areas which are prone to flooding anyway.
 

Vegosiux

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Yuno Gasai said:
Flood risk areas are labelled as such for a reason. Natural disasters are natural disasters, I get that, but it makes sense that they would be more likely to occur in areas which are prone to flooding anyway.
Well, floods are more likely to occur in areas that are prone to flooding. I've asked the question earlier in the thread, actually, just where could people live at all without being exposed to nature's whims? Floods, droughts, blizzards, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, ice, tides...is there a place safe from all of them, and if not, why "call anyone out" on living where they got hit by one particular type of disaster?
 

Sarge034

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KingsGambit said:
Also worth mentioning, for those living in areas for a long time who have the landscape changed around them, local councils who save money by ceasing river dredging and farmland turned to housing, etc, I do not question their suffering at all since the area was knowingly fine when they chose to live there. My question really concerns those living in high-risk areas. Should the taxpayer support the relief to these high risk areas? Should we feel sympathy for victims struck by a disaster that was easily predicted? What do you all think?

Of course we should have empathy for the victims but not all victims get my sympathy. If the disaster is a very rare occurrence or is particularly worse than normal they get my sympathy. If the disasters are regular or increasing at a predicted rate then no sympathy from me. Now there is also something to say for people who can't afford to move. They get my sympathy simply because they do not posses the means to correct the situation if they wanted to. However, if you knowingly move to an extremely disaster prone location... "You'll get no sympathy from me. You want sympathy, look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis. That's where you'll find my sympathy." - Major Payne (1995). As for the money bit... I don't know. Both giving aid and not providing aid have their pros and cons so at this point I am torn.

As an example I have no sympathy for Louisiana, none. You can't live in a hole next to the ocean and expect that hole to not fill up with water.

 

Yuno Gasai

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Vegosiux said:
Well, floods are more likely to occur in areas that are prone to flooding. I've asked the question earlier in the thread, actually, just where could people live at all without being exposed to nature's whims? Floods, droughts, blizzards, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, ice, tides...is there a place safe from all of them, and if not, why "call anyone out" on living where they got hit by one particular type of disaster?
I don't see how that's relevant. I'm not saying they're wrong for living there, I'm saying they should have been aware of the risks they were exposing themselves to.

I'm also not "calling anyone out", but if you want to interpret my post that way, that's your prerogative.

Sarge034 said:
However, if you knowingly move to an extremely disaster prone location... "You'll get no sympathy from me. You want sympathy, look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis. That's where you'll find my sympathy." - Major Payne (1995).
I think I love you. You have succinctly summarized the point I was trying to make. So thank you.
 

Vegosiux

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Yuno Gasai said:
Vegosiux said:
Well, floods are more likely to occur in areas that are prone to flooding. I've asked the question earlier in the thread, actually, just where could people live at all without being exposed to nature's whims? Floods, droughts, blizzards, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, ice, tides...is there a place safe from all of them, and if not, why "call anyone out" on living where they got hit by one particular type of disaster?
I don't see how that's relevant. I'm not saying they're wrong for living there, I'm saying they should have been aware of the risks they were exposing themselves to.
And I'm pretty sure they are aware of the risks of natural inconveniences that are at least a semi-regular occurrence.