Living through Hurricane Irene was a wake up call for us residents tucked away amidst the protective Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts. Where we’ve mostly experienced Nor’easters and ice storms with power outages in the winter, and severe thunder and lightening storms in the summer, this natural disaster dubbed Irene has been an excellent opportunity for us to wake up out of complacency as a result of manageable weather. We’ve also had our rumbles of not so scary earthquakes. But nothing has prepared us for a hurricane’s effects this far away from coastal northeast!
While I was hunkered down with my parents in their homestead in central Berkshire County, Eastern New York State, portions of Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire surrounding us, and even parts of Southern Berkshire County and Northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts experienced flooding like we’ve never seen before.
The fact is, I guess you could say I’ve been complacent about Mother Nature. Has anyone else??
For many people, coming so close to feeling the loss of basic human needs due to a weather related event or a natural disaster, is an extremely fearful notion. These natural adversities can leave their victims in the wake of feeling such a total vulnerability to the uncertainty of human survival.
While these kinds of events bring people together for support, I think it would be great to see a more concentrated advertising effort by State and Federal Emergency Preparedness Authorities for Emergency Preparedness Planning at the household level. I was minimally prepared. When one lives in a type of geography with manageable weather most all of the time, its easy to become complacent with having to fore go preparedness. Thank God for my Dad and his generator, sub pump, dry and canned goods and especially water.
How about a “Household Emergency Preparedness Kit?” Ready.gov offers some valuable information for such events. FEMA also offers a DVD called “Are You Ready?” An additional website for more information is 72hours.org. Just as we have back up for our computers, we must incorporate into our everyday lives, a back up plan of family emergency preparedness to sustain our human needs during uncertain times caused by weather related and natural disaster events.
A key perspective to consider is that a plan such as this will help us be more emotionally and mentally prepared to understand how to endure such an event. As well, we’ll be able to help ourselves and others more efficiently in times of geographical uncertainty if we’re prepared in such a manner. The time to realize we need to be prepared for weather related and natural disaster events instead of content with manageable weather is now.
Thank God for the extra hype of media coverage by our local news media, who offered a list on their web page of what to do to prepare for Hurricane Irene’s coming. Living as I would perceive to be, far enough inland from coastal Massachusetts, I would not have done the preparations on that list that was offered by our local news channel out of Springfield, Massachusetts. I am very thankful for the news coverage on Irene this past week.
Gloria Goodale of the Christian Science Monitor, in opposition to the critics, who dubbed the media coverage of Hurricane Irene as “Category 5 hype,” states “yet others point to the widespread flooding and the death toll, which has now reached 23, and say that everyone from the national broadcast networks on down to the smallest TV outlets was right to err on the side of caution.” Here in Western Massachusetts, I consider myself and my family very lucky not to have experienced the flooding others around me did.
There is no better time than now, no matter where we live in the United States, to readjust our household mindset to include a plan to be physically prepared for these kinds of events. This will help us be emotionally and mentally prepared to deal with them on a family and community level as well.
Additionally, bringing our communities of faith into this discussion is more than appropriate. Our prayers and work in faith for our Creator increase our community of support in times of trouble and uncertainty. As well, the more united we are with our Creator, the more knowing we will receive intuitively, to guide us in making informed choices to live our lives safely and in a state of well being while we experience these kinds of situations.
The following photo and poem of inspiration is in my book, Walking On HIS Footstool, pages 84 and 85. I offer this photo and poem to all people adversely affected by Hurricane Irene. My prayers are with you.
Frozen and Broken
Like an ice storm that halts the movement of physical existence,
And breaks nature apart in frozen disarray,
The LORD has stopped me.
I am reminded of His power and light,
In my total vulnerability.
Who do I trust when survival is key?
I am jobless like hundreds of others,
From hardships due to our economy,
And fear drives people to get ahead lawlessly.
But me, I shall keep my trust in the LORD.
For with this ice storm He has given me firewood,
To burn through a cold winter.
And He’s opened up the canopy in the forests
For new trees to grow.
I can take this time of survival uncertainty,
And receive His gifts meant especially for me,
To rebuild my confidence and creativity.
©2010 Cindy Eksuzian, all rights reserved.
“Walking On HIS Footstool,”
A trail from individuation to divine respect.
For more information, see my “About Me” page. Or, click on the picture and be directed to my web site.