Hurricane Panic!

“Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy.”  Max Mayfield, Director National Hurricane Center

The news that the hurricane was getting stronger and was now more likely than ever to hit us made me immediately uncomfortable. I had a business to protect and my own home to board up and supplies to purchase. What could have been done easily the day before with no lines or pressure was now a major effort to get done. Lines were long and the fear of some supplies running out was real.

To top it off, as part of my church assignment I was responsible to watch out for several families in our congregation. As I called them to see if there was anything that I could do to help them, I was hoping that they would decline and not need my help. Thank goodness they didn’t need me. I was in trouble myself and I might have just had to say that  I was actually over my head and only called to seem like I was a real friend but the reality was that I needed their help!

It all worked out ok however, and after the hurricane passed life returned to normal in our area. This time we were lucky. It makes me ask the question though…..Why do we wait for the last-minute to get prepared?

Having grown up in Florida it is nothing new to hear that a hurricane is on the way. My first memory of a hurricane is from Hurricane Donna in the early 1960s. I was only 4 or 5 years old and I remember all of us sleeping in the car in the car port because my parents were afraid that the shack we were living in would not make it.

We have had some severe hits in Central Florida. One of them was from hurricane Charlie and a few pictures of the aftermath at our water park are below.


Now in my fifties I have experienced the full “interest or anxiety” curve caused by an approaching hurricane. At first mention several days out, a hurricane announcement is met with a simple nod from most of us…yes there is storm out there somewhere but nobody knows for sure where it is going. We are all too busy to do anything else but continue with our normal lives and all that entails. As it gets closer and closer, we start to pay more attention. We might discuss it more with our friends. We watch the news a little more carefully. We begin to think about homes and property. Finally a day or so from impact, when the predicted path and strength of the hurricane is clear and you know that you are going to be hit, your survival gene kicks in and all of a sudden everything is a panic. The trouble is that everyone’s survival gene kicks in at the same time!

Why we wait to the last-minute to get prepared is just one of those darn questions that is answered generally better after a person has had the panic experience of non-preparedness. Too lazy, didn’t take it serious enough, it won’t happen again are just a few of the answers that come to mind for those that are surprised the first time. After the first time, there is never a good reason.

The HighFive Your Life principle to consider is that when the sky is sunny is when we should prepare for rain. When the ground is dry is when we should prepare for a flood. When the wind is still is when we should prepare for a hurricane. When we are employed is when we should prepare for unemployment. When we are healthy is when we should prepare for times of disability. When are yet alive is when we should prepare for our passing.

The message of preparation is one that is easily found in our history  and  yet it is rediscovered and taught year after year after year. Instead of reviewing a preparation list with you, may I just offer by way of encouragment….make your list and start getting prepared. Small steps are better than no steps. Start getting prepared!

The HighFive Your Life principle to consider is that when the sky is sunny is when we should prepare for rain.

Please share stories from your life regarding this principle. If you would like to follow the weekly blog, please press the “follow” prompt. Thank you for keeping your comments appropriate for all readers.

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