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29Aug, 2011

Surviving the Storm

<This post was also published on Life Teen’s CatholicYouthMinistry.com’s blog>

I’m writing this Friday morning because who knows what Monday morning and Hurricane Irene will bring… Will there be power? Will there be cell phone coverage? Will there be internet connectivity?

Anyway, it occurs to me that the same steps involved in emergency preparedness are good steps to also be taken to ensure making it through any storm of life – emotional, professional, etc.

1. What is the Plan? – Some “storms” you cannot see coming, but often you can sense the change in the environment and/or hear reports of its approach. What is your plan regarding supplies and needs in time of crisis?  What will be your limits regarding “hunkering down” and the proper time for evacuation?

Determining these things in advance will make a difference.

2. Stick to the Plan – Whatever your decision is, stick to it. If you decide to leave town at the first sign of warning, then do so as planned. No dilly-dallying. Changing your mind or changing the plan often leads to unnecessary accidents, as you are no longer prepared.

3. Supply the Plan – Winter Blizzards usually involve a “white sale” locally at the grocery stores involving a rush on the essentials of toilet paper, milk, and bread.  I’ll be out this morning for those supplies as well as to restock my refrigerator for post-WYD supplies.  I’m making sure to have bottled water, just in case, and refilling the car’s gas tank. I’ll be making sure that there at least two books on reserve for entertainment and that candles are also available. And, I’ll be following my mother’s tradition of baking, so, office mates should expect cookies and/or brownies when we return to the office.

4. Listen to Advisories – Stay tuned to trusted sources of information as well as to the authorities. Your emergency plan has already determined your response to changes in conditions, but you must keep your ears open for updates in your situation. Burring your head in the sands or living in denial will not serve you or your plan.

5. Watch Out for Your Neighbors – It is very easy to only think of self when a moment of crisis occurs.  Of course, you are not in this alone. Take care to be attentive to neighbors, especially “the least of these” who might be seniors or those who have been impacted in harsher ways than yourself.

6. Stay Calm – Figure out how to best ride the storm out (brownies and cookies do make a difference!) For yourself as well as all others around you, maintain a calm demeanor. It is not only a smart practice, it also is a faith-driven expectation: (Psalms 46) God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea, Though its waters rage and foam and mountains totter at its surging. Streams of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High. God is in its midst; it shall not be shaken.

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