Hurricane Sandy Gives Us All the Chance to Rally…Again
As Hurricane Sandy hammers the eastern seaboard of the United States, I look out my window and see a beautiful, sunny autumn day. It would be easy to turn off the television, avoid the news websites and enjoy my sunny day. But the fact is, most everyone either has a relative or knows someone affected by Sandy. If it's not you directly, you probably have a neighbor or coworker who's got the safety of a loved one in the front of their mind.
No matter how sunny and pretty the weather is in Abilene, as humans - and Americans - I think we can all find a life experience that easily puts us in the place of people on the east coast. We have all been caught in a disaster situation, whether it was natural or man-made. The cool thing is, our nation has always rallied and persevered in disasters. Always.
9/11 changed everyone. We all experienced loss, and so many people who knew nobody in those towers and on those planes helped in any way they could. Emergency service people from all over the country dropped what they were doing to go to New York City.
When thousands of residents of New Orleans and other gulf cities saw everything - including their homes - washed away in Hurricane Katrina, people all over the region opened their homes and churches to those refugees. I had the chance to meet some of the kind people who took in families and children while I lived in east Texas. What amazed me about those people what the matter-of-fact way they talked about what they did.
I was in east Texas when Hurricane Ike hit, knocking the power out for 3 days at my home. I learned my lesson, as my family was less prepared than we should have been. But our neighbors and the Red Cross and their volunteers were there to help us when we ran out of drinking water. They also handed out blankets and meals ready to eat (MRE's) to others who needed them.
My personal connection to Sandy is my sister, Sherry, who lives near Philadelphia. She was great in reassuring me and the rest of her family and friends that she was prepared for Sandy via Facebook. She shared, as the storm was intensifying, that she spent the day preparing her family for no electricity and to be stuck in the house for a while. We haven't heard a word since just after the power went out at her house (my positive thinking has me believing she, her husband and kids are playing cards, bored out of their minds).
The decision to go to the east coast to help families recover, or hold a local fundraiser, or make a donation to the Red Cross, or say a prayer is completely up to you. Do something, because everything positive makes a difference in the wake of disaster. Here's information about how to help through the American Red Cross.
I just saw on television that Christ Christie, governor of New Jersey, is calling the damage in his state "Unthinkable". I'm confident that emergency services are capable of handling the situation, no matter how bad. But remember, we're all a part of emergency services, and every little bit helps. Respond to the 'unthinkable' with unthinkable kindness.