Starting Over…and Over Again – How to Stay Prepared When Disaster Strikes

It’s been quite a while ya’ll – lots of changes going on with me – so I apologize to you all that  I haven’t blogged in a few months.  Sometimes change is good – it definitely makes your spirit stronger!

So I’ve uprooted my life from living 27-1/2 years in Georgia to moving and residing in Mississippi – I came here to spend time with my mother and to assist her with the things she can no longer do for herself.  She’s doing great – especially to be 95-1/2 years old (has a birthday this month).  I’m settling in and getting use to my “new normal.”

I can definitely relate to the victims of Houston, TX and it’s devastating Hurricane Harvey.  When your life is disrupted suddenly and you have to make sudden moves it always  pays to be ready and prepared as best as can be.  Yes, there are things you’re going to miss – people you will miss – things we’ve all come accustomed to doing and way of living – but in today’s society and all of the turmoil that’s going on all over the world, we must start getting a mindset of preparedness.

We must all learn to start having a plan B, C and possibly D when plan A does not work out.  Especially when it comes to our health, medications, important documents, etc.  Way before disasters every strike, we can start by asking questions to our elderly neighbors (those who have no one to come and check on them), family members, neighbors and people with disabilities – asking them what types of medications are you taking and the dosages, asking and knowing where their Living Wills are kept.  In cases like Hurricane Harvey, lots of hospitals in Texas have had to evacuate patients and relocate them  to hospitals in other states!  Doing those types of small tasks will go a long way in assisting others when it comes to disasters – especially weather-related disasters.

I’ve only experienced being stuck inside – (“Snowmageddon” in Georgia a few years ago),  blizzards many, many years ago in my teenage years, tornadoes striking within a 1-2 mile radius of residence, hostage situation when SWAT team had to come for 4+ hours, but never have I experienced  disasters where I’ve had to immediately leave or evacuate such as floods, hurricanes nor a fire disaster.  I HAVE learned, though by watching situations like hurricane Katrina and hurricane Harvey and the fires in California that you must be prepared ahead of time for any disaster.  Your routine that you’ve come so accustomed of living for  years and years has suddenly become disrupted and you are at risk of losing everything!  This is why I emphasize to all who will listen to me that if you’re able-bodied and can work, please get yourself some type of employment where you can save your $$$!   This is why I work so hard (and will continue to work hard and save money as long as I can) because it seems as though when disaster strikes, and you’re already without money or a vehicle you have NOTHING to get you out of that disaster!  Thank GOD for places like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, nurses, doctors and the kindness of even strangers to help those who cannot help themselves!

Below are just a few items I feel are important for everyone to have and things you can do to keep yourself prepared – weeks, days months ahead of any weather-related disaster:

  • Names of all family members and their phone numbers
  • Important documents such as life insurance, burial insurance, homeowners and/or renters insurance info
  • Cell phones, portable chargers and regular wall chargers. Use your ‘notepad’ or ‘memo pad’ in your phone to keep an electronic record of your family members’ numbers, health information, etc.
  • Blankets, jackets, a few days’ worth of clothes
  • Canned ready-made, easy-open food
  • A copy of your health records, dental records, an updated list of medications and their dosages, knowledge of what chronic illnesses you may have
  • A gas can as well as a full tank of gas way in advance BEFORE disaster strikes
  • Prepare in advance to have your vehicle in tip-top condition, i.e. oil change and oil filters changed, tires rotated and aired up.
  • Its important that ALL of us – no matter what our status in life is – have some type of bank card/debit card (with some money on it!) At least if you have to move hundreds of miles from your residence, you can STILL use it anywhere.
  • Vehicle information and its insurance information
  • Enough money to get a bus ticket if you are without a vehicle (5-7 days’ ahead of time)
  • Water, water, water and more water as well as some Gatorade (to keep the electrolytes in your body

I also would suggest that if crisis should strike/affect you, always seek out counseling either through a place like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, a church whose doors are open to everyone or some type of crisis  hotline because all disasters are life-changing and can be a very traumatic experience for anyone to go through – especially for children.

My heart goes out to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey – in all of Texas as well as Louisiana – and I pray that this upcoming hurricane, Hurricane Irma will not affect the US, Barbados, Bahamas or anywhere. Stay safe everyone!

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