On Friday 16th October 1987 I was planning my trip from Derbyshire to Southgate to attend a party the following night. During the day television news reported on hurricane winds and fallen trees across the south of England. Undaunted, I set off in the afternoon of 17th October for the M1 and London. In those days motorway driving was a reasonably pleasant experience. It was only when I headed off the motorway towards Barnet that the extent of the devastation became apparent. On arrival at the party I noticed that a tree in the next door garden had crashed into the house and branches covered the roof on mine host's house. The news items had not prepared me for the extent of the damage wrought by the hurricane
In those days there was no 24 hour news service, no websites, no smart phones, certainly no Twitter or Facebook.
Compare and contrast with today, as hurricane Sandy heads for the USA. Now we can watch and comment on the drama as it happens thousands of miles away, such has been technological advance since 1987. We have ringside seats. Now we can rubber-neck on the misfortune of others anywhere in the world in real time.