What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
Hi all! Hope your weekend was peach! Mine was good although it, as always, went like a blur. Sorry Meme Week got cut off early. Mediacom had a server issue that blocked me from accessing my site to edit it. After an hour on the telly with them, we all agreed that they would “work on it”…and I won’t know until tomorrow if it is 100% resolved. But, for today anyway, I am working from the Northern Command office at home…so my internet is fine. I love, hate, respect, loathe, have a blast with, enjoy, unenjoy, technology…and I do it for a living and have a dang good handle on the topic. I can only imagine how those with less acumen feel in this area…and, hence, I have a lot of empathy for those of varying skill sets. (reminder…mom used to say with a belly laugh “The only thing I know about a computer is that it starts with a K.” 🙂 One of my favorite recent mom stories… )
Oh there is sooooo much about technology I/we don’t know and won’t know until I/we experience it. The same applies to life as well. I am nearing half a century old and I am amazed at how many things about which I am truly clueless. Veering off topic as I am wont to do, allow me to show you another topic I am, sadly, uneducated on. The Derecho. I took Meteorology class in college with one of the Midwest’s best storm chasers and weather minds: Ted Keller (aka “Tornado Ted”). I have studied weather. I help folks prepare for tornadoes as a part of my multi-hat job. I do disaster cleanup from time to time as well (Joplin Tornado, Hurricane Katrina to name a couple)…but I guess I had never lived near enough to a derecho to have it on my radar. Funny how big things…huge for many, are foreign until we are personally affected, isn’t it? (Sounds of shoe horn being put back into junk drawer because this is an easy transition…)
Weather.com (be sure to see this link too) gives us amazing insight of this natural disaster:
“A derecho (pronounced similar to “deh-REY-cho”) is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to the strength of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. As a result, the term “straight-line wind damage” sometimes is used to describe derecho damage. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho.”
There was a particularly savage derecho in August. I know, I know…it was buried in page 14 or 15 of the paper after 6 pages of COVID coverage, 6 pages of race riot coverage, and the obligatory page or so about loving or hating the president…look waaaay back in the back. It was back there by the car ads and the health code violations but before the positive parts of the paper. This derecho was centered in the neighboring state of Iowa and continues all of the way through northern Illinois, and northern Indiana. Sprinkled among the straight-line winds in this mess were a few tornadoes too…Amazingly, there were “only” four fatalities and very few injuries as folks there, battle-tested by frequent tornadoes, were prepared and took shelter. Think Category 4 Hurricane originating at the Iowa/Nebraska border and slowly plowing through the next few states. Move over insignificant Murder Hornets, these things are a more real threat!
What does this look like? Here are a couple of videos that show more than words can say:
So how do we decide what to prepare for in life? I mean, Alzheimer’s came out of the blue for us a decade ago after my grandma died of it (with congestive heart failure too). COVID-19 wasn’t completely on my radar as I developed the continuity of operations plan for 17 counties of our folks. Sure these states knew a few hours ahead that a derecho was a possibility, but in the Midwest we are always aware that tornadoes and similar storms are possible. Heck, it is storming outside right now as I type. So how can we prioritize what to prepare for? Here are my general thoughts, but I welcome your input in the comments as well.
- Start with the most common disasters/emergencies for where you are. In Missouri, weather-wise, I focus on tornadoes, floods, and winter storms. What is your area like? Preparation for these are similar. The Ready in 3 program offers a great summary.
- Evaluate and work on your physical, emotional and spiritual health. Regardless what may come up, being healthy positions you to be more prepared. When in doubt, whether in signs of dementia or any ailment, talk to the experts…the medical staff.
- Evaluate your family tree. In dementia, there is an element of genetics at play, especially in some types of the disease. Consider genetics in other conditions as well. Do you have a family history of cancer? Don’t smoke and do perform cardio-exercises early and often. Got a family history of alcoholism? Avoid the stuff…or at least limit it and monitor your consumption.
- Consider your occupation. Does your require pose a threat to your physical health? Is it stressful? How is your work-life balance? If these factors aren’t where you want to be, change.
- Count your pennies. Money is at the root of preparedness options. Everyone CAN prepare, but if you save your money it gives you even more options.
- Watch the news? Sure…but limit your intake. The 24-hour news cycle is ok, but overindulging can cause more stress and depression than the good that can come from being “in the know”.
- Guard your relationships. Sorry for the generalization here, but we NEED relationships with those outside of our primary circle of friends and family. I completely agree and appreciate this concept. However, at the root of many folk’s life struggles and lack of planning for disaster comes in broken close relationships. I hope this isn’t offensive…and it may be…I am sorry in advance if it is…BUT, do you think the folks panhandling as you enter our community had lots of strong family and friendships relationships before getting to where they are now? Some do I am sure…but many, I expect, struggled in that area. It is not a judgement on them or their relationships…just an observation. Everyone has their own kind of story. We all need someone…several someones…we can lean into when times are hard, and we should be that for someone else too. If we don’t have that safety net, our ability to withstand hardship is diminished…
- THEN…consider the outliers in order of probability. Murder hornets? Flying spiders? Naaaaah…unless they are spotted within 1000 miles. 😉 Future Pandemics? Always a possibility…although a less likely one in most generations…and they typically last a year or two tops.
- Last…and very importantly…faith. Faith, in and of itself, is only valuable as the object toward which it is aimed. I am a Christian and I place my faith…all of my emergency preparedness eggs in that basket…on Christ. Sure I prepare…early and often. However, at the end of the day my best preparedness…and mom’s as well, is for a better day to come. One with no disasters, pandemics, or murder hornets. Heaven…
Update: Nothing new. I go see mom Wednesday morning. I wish it wasn’t so long, but, until then, I rest my faith on Him who takes care of us both.
Diet update: Lost .8 pounds for a total of 84.8. I am on target to get to my 100 pounds lost by my anniversary. 🙂
Dad joke of the day:
I worked for a soft drink can crusher. It was soda pressing.
and a bonus:
My wife handed me two kayak paddles and asked, “Which one do you want?” I said ” It doesn’t matter. I’ll take either oar.”
and a meme that I missed sharing: