Florida is within a few days of being hit with the largest hurricane we have ever had. The crowds at the beginning of the week were frantic. Having just seen the damage in Texas many people panicked and grabbed all the water off the store shelves. Greedy establishments were charging much higher prices than they should and the lines for gasoline were backed up down the streets. As I sit here with my puppies I wonder, why don’t we have a plan for such an event? Why don’t more people keep a few bottles of water on hand just in case? Why do we not check our flashlight batteries when we check our smoke detector? Why do we panic?
The media has sent us into that frenzy. I understand the need to be safe and cautious. I wish there was a better way to prepare us. Maybe saying…the people who live in this area go get the things you need. You finished? O.K. next area go get your needed things. Given forty-eight hours to get prepared for a storm what would you do? Put all your important belongings higher up? Scan pictures and papers into a computer? Make sure you have food, water, candles and matches?
What about if you didn’t have any warning? When I got the phone call that there had been an accident and my son was dead, I had no warning. No time to say “Don’t go there”. “I love you” or “Good-bye”. What about those people whose houses catch on fire and they must run out with only a handful of belongings. They had no time. We have time. We have a warning.
In my book Unexpected Change, I had a four-step plan. One, talk to people. Your neighbors, your family, your friends. Two, journal. Writing about your fears, the things you are doing and what changes you may make after the storm. Three, do your research. What zone are you in? What happened when there were other storms in your area? Where are the safe shelters? Four, Make a plan. Get what you need to be safe and live without power and water if needed.
Finally, Talk to your families, near and far. Tell them you love them. Keep them informed. The news can sound more frightening that it is. Do everything you can to make yourself safe and realize what you have control over. The storm is not one of them.