Neighbors need to help each other

To the editor:

My letter is in response to the front page article in the June 23 DMG regarding flood insurance. The article informed readers that they probably would not have coverage for last week’s tragic events. Insurance is a complicated thing. I am reminded that in this nation’s history insurance came down to pitching in to rebuild a neighbor’s burned down barn. Now it is a highly regulated institution to transfer money from the careful to the careless; from the well to the infirm; all the way to transferring from the lucky to the unlucky. This week’s “unlucky” were on or near a pile of rocks placed there 100 years ago and affected by a once in a 100 year rain. Next it might be being in the path of a tornado or forest fire or another disaster. It seems the response to last week’s disaster is to re-pile the rocks and hope for another 100 years before the rains return. Don’t bet on it. And don’t bet that the insurance situation will improve either.

Another suggestion is to go back to thinking that a neighbor’s bad luck should be born by all. That is an idea proven to be shared by many Copper Country residents. But how? And what is each individual’s share? The answers to these questions stand between helping and doing nothing. Our Emergency Manager (EM) is compiling a damage assessment born by the “unlucky”. This takes care of half the problem. The other half — who are the “lucky”? – is another matter. The ‘who’ could be those living in or owning property in an affected township. The ‘how’ could be based on taxable value or net worth. Finding and publishing these values would be another job for the EM.

Collecting and distributing could be the responsibility of churches or the Salvation Army.