Are You Prepared?


Major disasters are a fact of life. Now and again Mother Nature simply has to “do her thing.” I’m not trying to make light of the terrible events that can occur when I say this, but since nearly all of us are vulnerable in one way or another to her whims, I feel the central question becomes … Are You Prepared?

Nearly every state in the Union is susceptible to some kind of disaster. Based on the whims of Mother Nature, one might experience any one (or more) of the following: forest fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, major snowstorm, hurricane, landslide, tsunami, or … ??

Admittedly, some areas of the U.S., because of their location, are relatively immune to the massive disasters that Mom Nature can inflict, but this does not make them totally safe. In these days of climate change, many are experiencing drought conditions and even insect infestation. Some readers can probably name other inflictions common to their state.

So, taking all this into account, the question remains: Are You Prepared?

Do you have reserve provisions on hand? What about a generator? Do you have some freeze-dried food stashed away? Medical supplies? Pet necessities? And most importantly, have you stored a LARGE supply of water bottles? The value of this last item becomes evident in the following incident that happened to a fellow blogger.

“Scottie” and his hubby recently suffered through the Florida hurricane. Wisely, they took heed of the warnings and left the area where they lived, so they stayed safe. However, when they returned, they found a section of their home had received some major damage. Fortunately, the rest of it was still livable and this allowed them to at least “make-do.”

However, the water and sewer systems in the area were damaged and they had no electricity. He wrote the following in one of his updates to his readers:

We dipped buckets in the pool to get water to pour into toilets when the desperately needed flushing. With no sewer system working we had to be careful not to fill the lines or it would backup into the homes. 

As soon as I read this, I wondered how many of us realize the many and several uses that water plays in our daily living.

In any case, if you are someone who has not made any emergency preparations, perhaps it’s time to give some thought about stashing away at least a few supplies … both in your home and in your car. The potential dangers of the area in which you live will help you decide what you need and where to store it.  Since my other-half and I live in an earthquake prone area and don’t know what the shaking will damage, we have supplies stashed away in several locations.

In any emergency, it is the “unknowns” that always need to be considered, which is why it’s so important to take a few moments and ask yourself … if a catastrophic event were to take place where I live …  Am I Prepared?

Image by Lavir Hamil Lavir from Pixabay

Climate Change Wakeup Call

Another article I came across that I feel needs sharing …

The Future Has Arrived.
These explosive fires are our climate change wakeup call

Too much of the western United States is on fire, and many areas not suffering directly from fire are enveloped in choking, acrid smoke.

Sidenote: The US is set to exit the Paris climate agreement on November 4, 2020.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

The Valor Of Fire Fighters

We worry about opoids. We worry about measles. We worry about vaping. We worry about Trump. We worry about health issues and health costs. We worry about a LOT of things on a daily and seemingly unending basis.

But do we ever take the time to worry about firefighters? Do we spend even a minute of our day thinking about what these men and women do to protect homes, people, lands, and forests?

And most of all — do we think about what happens to them in the long term? Do we consider how the smoke and the fumes from burning buildings … especially from prefabricated homes that were prevalent in the Paradise, CA fire — affect them? No one knows for sure the aftereffects of the “noxious mix of plastics, metals, household cleaning chemicals and who knows what else” that escape from burning residences, but there’s little doubt firefighters will suffer toxic consequences.

In fact, everything that burns has the potential to cause harm. Even the neon-pink fire retardant that’s used to control wildfires can result in harmful after-effects.

Yet these brave men and women put all this aside to climb hills, clear brush, dig lines, trim trees, and hike for miles in their efforts to control a wildfire.

You may be fortunate enough to live in an area where wildfires are a rarity. Because of this, it’s probably difficult to imagine what it’s like to “breathe smoke.”

Which is most likely why Trump (who lives in a state with a low frequency of forest fires)  has made budget cuts related to various fire and emergency response programs.  And why he tweeted — falsely — about the “gross mismanagement of the forests” following the deadly Camp Fire in California … and vaguely threatened he would cut funding if the policy didn’t change . (Odds are the only fire this man has ever experienced is the one burning in the fireplace of one of his extravagantly plush homes.)

In case you’re wondering, I have no skin in this game. I simply felt more people need to recognize the dangers — and the after-effects — these brave men and women encounter every time they put on their flame-resistant apparel, gather up helmets, boots, flashlights, tools, gear bags, etc. and head towards a blazing inferno.

IMO, they are a special breed of humans.

The incentive for writing this post came from this article in The Guardian. Trump’s quote related to funding can be found here.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The Time for Prayer

Illinois Valley Fire District photo

There currently are a LOT of fires burning in the state where I live (Oregon), as well as in neighboring states (Washington and California). As a result, people in the affected areas post frequently on Facebook with updates, pictures, and other news about the fires in their areas.

Among the many resulting comments to these posts, one word consistently pops up:  “Praying …”

Generally, people are directing their prayers to those who have been affected by the fire — either from having to evacuate (or even lose their homes) or, on a couple of occasions, the death of a firefighter.

While either scenario is terrible and one can’t help but experience empathy, the thought that keeps coming to my mind is … isn’t it a little late?

If you’re going to pray, why don’t you do it before the fire season starts … and then continue to do so throughout the entire summer? Pray that your god God prevents lightning from hitting trees during summer thunderstorms. Pray that your god God influences others not to use mowing and weeding equipment on dry grass and weeds. Or better yet, pray that your god God sends buckets of rain during the rainy season to keep the forests wet and less susceptible to fire.

Once a forest fire has ignited, the scene has been set. There is going to be destruction and sometimes loss of homes — and even lives. So prayers to your god God “after the fact” are pretty much next to useless. It may make you feel better because you’ve expressed your sympathy this way, but such prayers have little effect on the big picture.

Therefore, if you truly believe your god God is all-powerful and hears and answers prayer, wouldn’t the time for prayer be better before rather than after?

P.S. The picture above was taken just recently and was happening about 3 miles from where I live.