Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lessons To Be Learned From Moore, Oklahoma Crisis

As of this writing it has been about 36 to 48 hours since a reported F5 tornado obliterated a large swath of Moore, Oklahoma.  The death toll is now 24 with 9 being children.  If I was not working out of state, then I would seriously contemplate hopping in my truck and running down to see if I could lend a hand.  Folks did this for the crisis in Joplin, Missouri 2 years ago and I always regretted not being able to do something for them.

Rahm Emanuel, the current mayor of Chicago once used the phrase, "Never let a good crisis go to waste."  The context he said that in was of making political hay from people's woes and misfortunes.  Despicable.  However, the phrase in the context of what happens in mass natural disasters can be applicable.

First and foremost, do not waste the chance to help others.  If you are too far away to help, then send prayers and donations.  Several local churches and non-profits are organizing as I type this to collect physical goods to truck down to Moore.  Every little bit helps.  Spiritual support is equally if not more important.

Second, do not waste the opportunity to learn from the situation.  It was reported that this tornado was unique in that it quickly escalated from a few cells to a full blown F5 within 15 minutes.  The time to get the word out was minimal.  However, what little warning was given did include advice to evacuate if possible.  This was especially true for anyone who did not have a basement or safe room.  Always, always, always, take a threat from Mother Nature seriously.  Many people did just that and preserved their lives because of it.

Finally, do not waste time putting together a bug out bag because you think it will not happen to you.  No part of the country is immune to significant natural disasters.  Have at least 72 hours of the basic necessities including food, water, first aid and personal protection.  Even having some basics will put you ahead of the game when you have to grab that bag, hop in your vehicle and get out of Dodge.

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