Does preparation breed complacency 

14 Jan

It was something of a surprise yesterday when I turned on the BBC1 lunchtime news to find my home town a main feature! Didn’t think the rest of the country knew anything existed east of the M1.  

Numerous warnings had been issued, plans were being implemented, preparations were unfolding as the east coast braced itself for a weather phenomenon that seems to be happening more often. A mixture of super high tides, plus full moon, plus strong gale force north/north-westerly winds were converging to push the seas at the land and cause significant flood risk damage; add winters rain, sleet, hail and snow and all things being as they are, things were rather grotty out there.  Sand bags were being filled, flood boards were being screwed into place, police were door knocking advising people to evacuate their properties and where the evacuation centres were.  TV crews were everywhere looking for that photogenic story, the housebound nonagenarian and the cute cat being housed upstairs on a warm duvet, the neighbourly community spirit, the over exaggerated precarious deathly risk. 

Back in 2013 when similar weather got together there was significant coastal and inland flooding and there were those dramatic images of bungalows falling from the crumbling cliffs into the crashing seas. Then, as yesterday, plans had been implemented but possibly too little too late; the sea enveloped the promenade and cascaded into many seafront businesses and homes, the surge along the river breached the walls turning roads into babbling brooks. In the aftermath there were calls for better protection and better warnings and these were heeded, which was a factor in yesterday’s action.

Thankfully last night the surge was not as high nor as strong as had been predicted, few areas were flooded and there was minimal damage to property. Today’s local papers have a handful of washed up debris shots. It ‘could’ have been far worse.

One thing that did strike me yesterday throughout the days numerous reports and the social media up-dates from plentiful agencies, news sources and groups, there seemed to an edge of complacency that because all the warnings had been issued, that gates and blocks were in place, with the Police, even the Army in presence, alongside Environmental Officers and Coastguard personnel, everything was going to be okay and that joe public did not need to do anything.  I’ve not seen any comment or columnists complain that yesterday’s reaction to the potential threat was overboard, but I am sure there will be. It’s a damned either way situation, prepare and its doesn’t happen it’s over reacting, under prepare and have flooding and it’s not doing its job properly. 

But I am concerned, the more often these flood preparations are implemented and no significant flooding occurs, the reaction should be “phew, it worked, we are safe” but will more likely be “they always say/do this and nothing ever happens I’m not doing this next time” which really will put people and property in danger.


Posted by on January 14, 2017 in General, Grumble, In The News, Life, people


Tags: , ,

12 responses to “Does preparation breed complacency 

  1. menhir1

    January 14, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    So many issues here. Delighted that the affects on land were minimal, something worked this time and maybe, the weather altered its ferocious course as well. I heard a poem on the radio this morning about same type weather conditions where you are and their aftermath, dated from about early 18th century. Not exactly living memory; however, a bit of history and living memory has to be enabled and reminded at every possible stage when there are true humanitarian concerns, as indeed there will be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • AnneMarie

      January 14, 2017 at 8:21 pm

      Did you get an email notification this time? *fingers-crossed*


      • menhir1

        January 14, 2017 at 10:31 pm

        I must have had an email notification AnneMarie, as I didn’t go searching for posts this time. (I honestly never thought about it…daft or what!) As you say, fingers’ crossed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AnneMarie

        January 14, 2017 at 10:33 pm

        We may have solved your gremlin, it’s developed a new one for me, lol.


      • menhir1

        January 14, 2017 at 10:34 pm

        P.S I got the usual follow-up, as previously, that you liked the reply. If we have before and after this is gooooooood.


  2. menhir1

    January 14, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    What gremlin have you got?

    Liked by 1 person

    • AnneMarie

      January 14, 2017 at 11:08 pm

      The iPad app refuses to mark a notification as read, consequently every time someone likes or comments anything on my blog it shows everything as unread since I posted the blog “Reluctant Read” a few days ago, lol.


    • menhir1

      January 16, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      The Apps are developed by WP and approved by Apple before they are put on the App Store. I try not to use the iPad for comments as it drives me up the wall. It work s for some sites and not on others, WP keeps wanting sign-in. Do I travel with absolutely all my info, NO, I do not. I prefer to wait till I get back to my desktop. It is quite possible that the App is buggy, or is just not being kept as up to date as it should be.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AnneMarie

        January 16, 2017 at 4:34 pm

        Yes, I use my iPad often to check on comments and read blogs I am following, only recently have I had issues. Might be a temporary thing *fingers-crossed*


  3. deacongill

    January 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    I know exactly what you mean and yes, I think there is a danger of some people becoming a bit complacent. It’s a greater evil than being over-ready. Your title made me think about myself – if I’m prepared, does that make me complacent? No – because life has taught me that preparation does not always = success! However, I do like to prepare well for things as it helps me to be less anxious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • AnneMarie

      January 15, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      I can foresee a day when people don’t listen to warnings, don’t move valuables to upstairs, don’t sandbag and prepare their properties and don’t evacuate and there will be mass damage and possible loss of life. Then the cynical part of me chimes in “Yeap, and they will blame/sue everyone else”. I think I am fast loosing any faith or patience in joe public (not that I had a great deal to start with).


      • deacongill

        January 15, 2017 at 4:14 pm

        Me neither … tho’ there are some great people out there!

        Liked by 1 person


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