September 7, 2017 – Storms on the Horizon

Well, between Harvey and Irma, we have been experiencing some of the most severe hurricane activity than we have seen in a very long time.  Sure, we had Katrina in 2005 and Andrew in 1992, but to have two hurricanes of this ferocity within a couple of weeks of each other is a first in recorded US history.  Several people have immediately jumped on both sides of the man-made climate change argument in an effort to prove their respective points, but the plain fact of the matter is that natural disasters have happened before and will happen again.  Whether it be earthquakes like those in Haiti and Pakistan, volcanic eruptions like Vesuvius, Krakatoa, or Tambora, tsunamis with waves as high as 1700 feet and typhoons half the size of the US, mankind has been subjected to extreme damages to the extent that we have regularly referred to them as “acts of God”.

The key is not the fact that they occur or why they occur, but rather, how we should prepare and react to them.  I have always found it interesting that there are people who, upon hearing of an impending hurricane head towards it in an effort to “experience” the raw power of the storm.  While I can understand the fascination with storms, I cannot understand what would drive someone to knowingly head into them.  Indeed, I have a little bit of trouble understanding why people in the storm’s path choose to stay and ride it out rather than seek safer havens.  Granted, I have opted to stay put in some storms, but they were of dramatically lesser ferocity.  In any case, it is important to follow a few fundamental rules when confronted with a coming natural disaster.  First, choose to put some distance between you and the worst of it.  Second, prepare a “go bag” in advance with sufficient supplies to keep you for a short period of time.  Third, make sure your means of transportation are fueled up and in good working order.  Finally, exercise tactical patience, because you probably won’t be alone.

Interestingly, I believe this applies to the “natural disasters” of life that threaten us.  Storms will arise in life, and some of them will be on par with a natural disaster in terms of severity and ferocity.  In these times, though, if you can put some distance in between you and the storm, you can retain perspective.  If you prepare in advance, you will have resources to help you keep going.  If you maintain your ability to stay mobile, you buy yourself the flexibility to maneuver as the storm winds it way along its track.  Finally, if you can maintain your ability to stay patient, you can outlast the storm as it winds down in its intensity and finally dies out.  I know this isn’t new thought, but in the current environment, I thought it might be a good reminder.  Have a great rest of the week and try to stay dry.

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