Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday again. Disaster preparedness

How can the time be going by so fast? I know, I know, it's creeping old age. The fall weather has become warm and brought firestorms to southern California. This is always so sad to see. If I had not flipped channels to the news last night at 10pm, but simply gone directly to bed, I wouldn't have seen anything about it until this morning.

How does the news influence our lives? Do most people have it on as a constant backdrop? I don't, but I rarely miss checking it once a day either on television or on the internet. Does it really help me to know and does it help the people to whom it is happening that I know? I sit here and ponder these questions and wonder further if the quesions themselves have any use. Sometimes the outpouring of charity after a disaster, especially a spectacular disaster, does help, of course. That outpouring would not occur if it were not for the news. Still, I wonder. The does the news make us voyeurs in other people's tragedy and sorrow?

How does this relate to a Christian life, a spiritual or contemplative life? On the one hand, I think it moves us to compassion for those in the news and to pray for them as though they were members of our families. It also moves us to send aid.

On another level, it may also remind us to take care and make our own preparations. Is the house and content insurance adequate for the area where I live? Do I have important and necessary documents, house title or mortgage, insurance policies, bank and credit account information stored in a safe place? Are business documents backed up and stored? What about family pictures? Pictures can be stored online and are much easier to share this way. Pictures that constitute a household inventory and a memory album of family treasures and heirlooms can be stored this way too.

Well, I didn't start out to write this, but this is what came out today. I hope it will be useful and I pray for the firefighters and people in southern California.

1 comment:

Terrie Modesto, PhD said...

Emergency Preparedness means being a good steward of what has been given to us

Thank you for such an honest and a thoughtful reflection. I so appreciated it. I too have those sorts of concerns at times when watching disaster related news. I personally think there must be a balance between learning from what others experience and determining how to address these concerns in my own personal life. The worse side as you mentioned is receiving some sort of pleasure or smugness as voyeurs of others who are experiencing challenges and pain.

If we do not allow ourselves to be in a position to see and thus to learn about the types of disasters out there in the world, then we will not be inspired to help others or to help ourselves in the need for disaster preparation. God gives us teachable moments if we will be open to them.

We are called to be good stewards of what has been given to us. That means that we need to be disaster prepared at all times. Remember in scripture the parable / story of the bridegroom and the virgins? Some were prepared and others were not. Well we can consider that parable on many levels including how well prepared are we for a disaster as well as how well are we prepared to welcome the many comings of Christ in our daily lives.

It is imperative for us to have as much disaster preparedness information as possible as well as sound emergency preparedness plans. For Christians that includes spiritual and ministry plans for our personal and community life.

Each person should have emergency preparedness essentials that included a low cost emergency survival kits for all household members including the pets. Perhaps as part of our Christmas greetings we should also give a gift of an emergency preparedness checklist as well.

Many people do not know where to start to prepare, this would be a great way to help others become disaster prepared as well. It costs a few cents to print out a checklist and maybe an extra minute to write a note of encouragement in the Christmas card but imagine if we all did that what a powerful suggestion and encouragement that would be for those we love and hold dear!

If you need an emergency preparedness checklist, contact me through my blog and I’ll be happy to send you a copy free by email.

Thanks again for a great reflection.

Blessings to you and those you love and serve!

Rev. Dr. Terrie Modesto

Dr. Terrie Modesto, PhD, author of Train For A Hurricane is an international expert in dying, death, loss and critical incident individual and community disa
ster preparation and response with 20+ year’s experience. She has over 60 courses, books and training manuals to her credit and is available for consulting, lectures and interviews. Website: Blog: