September 8, 2017

Before and After the storm

Before a hurricane watch or warning is sounded in your area, prepare!

The previous post gave tips and reminders on preparing for a hurricane, so I pray you already have all you need to hunker down and wait it out – unless you’re in an evacuation area, in which case, evacuate! Storm surges and floods have the strength to wipe out buildings and bridges, and people are no exception.

Unlike most storms, hurricanes are not usually fast-moving. Some may make their presence known for days! Regardless of the length of time a storm hangs around, stay indoors until the wind subsides enough to be outside with no possibility of a sudden gust knocking you over or hurtling pine cones and debris at you like missiles.

Some ABC’s for after a storm:

• Assess any damages you’ve sustained.

• Be careful of downed wires, standing water, and damaged dwellings.

• Conserve bottled water, especially if told to boil tap water before using.

• Dial your radio to local news for storm assessments of your area.

• Encourage friends and family by letting them know how you are.

• Find out what damages need documenting and reporting to utility and insurance companies.

• Go help neighbors who have more than they can handle.

• Have a meal in mind before quickly opening the frig or freezer.

• If the threat of floods or storm surges caused you to evacuate, don’t go back until local authorities say it's okay.

• Just remember: Nothing is impossible with God! Everything IS possible.

• Keep on praying.

• Let go of anger, worries, blame, and regrets by giving them to God.

• Make today your focus.

• Notice what you CAN do, then do it!

• Observe the overall situation as realistically as possible.

• Pray, listen, and arrange priorities according to God's priorities for you.

• Quit thinking unhelpful thoughts such as “Why?” or “If only….”

• Remain as low-key as you can around kids, but be truthful.

Sacrifice praise to God.

• Thank God for every good thing that comes to your mind.

• Understand this is trauma! Do unto yourself as you'd do unto others.

• Verify each loss or damage with lists and photographs.

• Work as you're able to improve conditions around you.

• X each chore off your list to remind yourself that things do get better.

• Yes! You will get through this, and maybe even help others too.

• Zip valuables and paper in plastic before the storm begins. Someday this aftermath will end and new hopes and plans get started.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2017