With the disasters that have gone on in our country lately, I feel it is time to get back on my soapbox.
First and foremost, please become better prepared. If it is nothing more than understanding the difference between a warning and a watch and what to do in each situation. Do you have a plan for your family? Do they know it? My two daughters are grown (25 and almost 30!) and they still know if the weather is threatening, they can come home to the safe house. We live in an earth contact house, so most of it is underground, our bedroom is the safest place in the house and they know Momma has enough food to last for several days (if it doesn’t get blown away and if it does, we are in trouble because that is one of the first things I will grab.
Do you have enough food to feed your family if there is a run on the grocery store after a disaster? Do you have enough to share with others? Would you be willing to share food that you have stored with others that did not prepare? Only you can answer these questions for yourself. Some people have strong opinions both ways and I know what I am willing to do and what I am not willing to do and in the event of a disaster, I do have a plan and it makes me feel more peaceful when those spring storms hit.
I also don’t want to tell you to jump in your car and head toward the disaster, sometimes that can cause more harm than good. If you are down there and they don’t need you, you are taking valuable resources from those that need them. There is usually a phone number set up to contact for donations (whether it be money or services), please contact them to see what you can do to help. It might be more valuable for you to stay where you are and organize a local drive to take once the rescue is complete and they are in the rebuilding phase. If you are rescue personnel, you know the protocol, please follow it.
My heart breaks for each and every person down there that has been affected by all the tragedies and was glad to hear a teacher say that she prayed. Never underestimate the power or prayer. It can give others comfort and peace, but know that God hears every one of those prayers. Hug your family and friends a little tighter, call them up and tell them you love them, let them know you care. We are not guaranteed another minute on this Earth. My grandmother and grandfather didn’t expect to lose their oldest child at the age of 19 but they did. My grandmother spent many years being mad at God (her words, not mine) and she said there wasn’t anything good that came of it. She missed a lot of time basking in God’s love but came to the realization that sometimes we don’t know when we have to say goodbye so we should make the most of each day.
This time last week, we were laying to rest a beautiful soul (who just happened to be married to my cousin) and the preacher said he saw a sign that said “Choose your Attitude” and he believed that is what Susan did every day, she chose to be happy. I noticed several people they interviewed in Oklahoma that had that same attitude. They were grateful they were still alive and loved ones were as well. In the midst of all that destruction, they chose to look at the positive. If they can, how about you? So now go back to the questions in this post and ask yourself them again.
Stay safe, become better prepared, make a plan, make sure those close to you know your plan, don’t count on others to help you out. There is nothing more liberating than being self-sufficient when others are not. Continue to pray for those that need our prayers (so basically everyone, everywhere) and most of all, tell your loved ones that you do truly love them.