Devastating hurricanes in Texas and Gulf Coast areas, raging wildfires on the West Coast, and an overly zealous North Korean leader testing nuclear missiles--it’s been a rough 2 weeks.
It seems we barely catch our breath before the next devastating news cycle begins. Fear can paralyze you until you feel helpless, and think there is nothing you can do. But there is something you can do, even if it may seem insignificant. In times of devastation, taking action and helping others can go a long way.
Here are a few things you can do now:
•Prepare, prepare, and prepare. Watching people panic during a crisis, from the comfort of your home, should do more than cause you to have sympathy. It is a wake-up call to get your own house in order. Here in California, we’ve been pretty fortunate when it comes to natural disasters. Sure, we do have occasional earthquakes and seasonal wildfires. But the quakes are usually minimal and fires often burn far enough from people’s homes not to cause injury.
But all of this can change in an instant. Since we have the grace to be a witness—and not a participant—in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, now’s the time to put together an emergency supply kit. Officials recommend enough food, water, clothing, personal and pet items for 3 days per person. Also don’t forget to make a list of important account numbers and contacts, and make sure you have extra cash, batteries, and a battery-operated radio. Prepare now while you still have time.
•Open your heart (and your wallet). Thank God we live in a country that has enough resources to respond to emergencies. But, as anyone who’s been through a crisis can tell you, neighbors helping neighbors can make all the difference during the early stages.
During Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and now Harvey and Irma, we’re moved by the touching gestures of people coming to the aid of strangers, pulling together so everyone is safe. But don’t just feel sorry for them, open your heart by making an online donation to a disaster relief organization.
•Get your priorities straight. There is nothing that makes us get our priorities straight more than facing danger. Don’t wait for disaster to come before telling people you love and appreciate them. Make people a priority over everything else. Possessions can be replaced. People can’t.
Sometimes all you can do is keep your head up, be kind and donate a few dollars. But if we all chip in, it will be enough. Please remember the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and do whatever you can. Donate to www.hands.org.