|Photographer: David Goldman/Associated Press|
I tuned in to The Weather Channel off and on during and after Hurricane Michael and like many of you, was shocked at what was happening. Where did this hurricane come from? There was at least a week of buildup for Hurricane Florence but Michael, which made landfall as a high level category 4 hurricane (just one mph less than a 5 one meteorologist reported)... kind of blindsided everyone.
Except some people did see the possibility. A weather researcher who was interviewed on CBN said he and other hurricane researchers saw the possibility of a major late season hurricane making landfall somewhere in that part of the Gulf. They had documented the possibility.
The weather researcher said the problem was that the national media was looking somewhere else, at politics and the battles in Washington, and completely missed everything leading up to Michael. The symptoms were there, the signals were all there... but they were not reported via the news sources most people watch for their news.
Actually, the hurricanes are reminders of two different needs for preparations. One provided a fairly long time period to prepare (and even then when a large population is buying supplies at the same time, it didn't take long to run out of items) while the other came in leaving most people no time to prepare.
One of the truths that good survival websites will tell you is that you must learn to depend on yourself for survival. Well, I would add God but you get the point. You need to find trusted sources to find out what is going on in the world that you need to know. Although I doubt any person was created for the 24/7 news coming in through even trusted media.
Then you must see it as your responsibility to be able to survive situations. I have seen... and experienced... situations over and over where God was leading me to stock the pantry a little more or to make a purchase when I had the funds available and I ended up needing everything at a later date.
Even when the government information suggested three days worth of food and water, I knew that couldn't be right. If nothing else, I have been through winter storms that prevented food trucks getting into town for a week. I know many people that I trust today who are still hearing that "still small voice" to keep a very deep pantry of food, nonfood, and essential items. To the extent each person is possible to do so given storage space and budgets.
When I was watching the devastation of the area where the hurricane made landfall, where everything was destroyed, it was a reminder of the necessity to have some items ready to grab and go. I've written about that a lot in the past. However, one thing I heard so many people heartbroken over was losing their photos.
I recall information given on a survival blog years ago that I thought was excellent. The writer recommended having copies made of important photos (such as wedding photos) and sending them to a dependable friend or family member in another part of the country. That way you would have hard copies made already.
These days, professional photographers often provide a CD of the photos taken that could be kept in the same place as your important papers. A thumb drive (aka: USB flash drive) that is updated with the photos on your computer can be kept in such a place. One woman that was interviewed before the hurricane said she put her smaller photo albums in her dishwasher. After Katrina, it was found that the dishwasher did not take in water during the hurricane. That is worth a try.
If nothing else, Michael showed us of the importance of keeping important items and documents in a place where you can grab them and go quickly. (Another item to have in such a place is a list of those things which cannot be kept there so you remember where they are kept to grab them in a hurry.)
Insurance companies recommend taking photos of your house, the rooms in your house, the furniture, etc. and keeping those hard copies in a safe place. Our house was hit by lightening when the sun was shining so one never knows (yes, lightening travels many miles as we found out).
Make certain you keep a hard copy list of all the important phone numbers in this same place as well as placing your address book in the container. Most of us use our cell phones to call and rarely call an actual phone number, just the name! I know my son's cell phone number because it is similar to ours but I couldn't tell you my daughter's area code. Your insurance agent's phone number and the phone number of their national headquarters should be kept with the most important numbers.
There are so many other things to think about ahead of time but by thinking them through before they are needed, we are less likely to forget something important (like medications!). God willing, most of us will never suffer a catastrophic natural disaster but being prepared just in case will make our lives much easier once the calm has returned.
Did you read about the Christian pilot who felt God was telling him to take off before he was scheduled? This is fascinating... here.
If you are looking for a book that is easy to read but provides a lot of information about preparing for emergencies, I recommend Survival Mom. It is written in a way that is easy to read and practical. I own the book on the Kindle but I think a "hold in your hands" version would be better if you want to come back to it often as a reference book. Info... here.
By the way, I was given a gift of the Kindle Paperwhite by a dear friend when my eye troubles became complicated. I have a second generation Kindle but I had heard so many good things about the Paperwhilte and they are all true. It holds a large percentage of my Kindle books (and there is plenty of storage room left), it is compact and has a great cover (sold separately), and a LIGHT to read at night so as not to disturb others.
I will be writing more about it at another time but it is the perfect size for slipping into your purse in an emergency to make sure you have reading material. ;) More information... here.
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