October 5, 2013

Getting Ready for Karen

Tropical Storm KarenI think I am ready for Tropical Storm Karen, expected to come through my area later today. It appears to have weakened considerably since I started watching it, and I'm not expecting much more than a bit of wind and rain. I'm actually looking forward to the promise of somewhat cooler weather for a day or two.

What does getting ready for a storm involve? In the case of a mild one like this, it is fairly simple. I have looked over my supplies to make sure I can get through a few days without power and water, hit the grocery store to pick up a few of the things I needed, gassed up the car, picked up anything in the yard that could do damage if turned into a projectile by high wind, pulled some flashlights and candles out, charged batteries on various devices, and ran the dishwasher in case I can't do so later.

What getting ready for a storm of any magnitude does not involve is prayer or any other sort of superstitious ritual. That would be completely pointless. Better to prepare in ways that could actually make a real-world difference.

Going through Hurricane Katrina taught me quite a bit about the sort of preparation that can make a difference. I had to learn the hard way because I was poorly prepared for that storm and did not fully appreciate what it would be like to have no power or water for several days in the Mississippi heat. There are things I now know to make sure I have on hand that I never would have thought of before Katrina (e.g., garbage bags, paper plates, plastic utensils). In fact, one of the things I remember doing to pass the time without power was making a list of the things I should have had but didn't. Judging by the damage some of my Christian neighbors sustained, prayer is not going to keep a tree from going through one's roof or make safe drinking water appear from nowhere.

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