Mother Nature can either be friendly or harmful. One thing’s for sure. It’s sure damn near unpredictable. The same weather or climate that waters plants and give biomes life, the same nature that has created breathtaking formations on Earth’s surface is also the same nature that unleashes the world’s deadliest weapons. I remember watching CNN’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, when the hurricane had hit New Orleans hard. Since the city is below sea-level and located along the coast, it has to rely on levees in case of these situations. In the end, the levees broke, lives were lost, and there were $300 million in damages.
These past few days, CNN covered Hurricane Sandy (now a superstorm), so far the one and only hurricane I’ve seen and heard of this year. After Sandy had ravaged the Caribbean, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Philadelphia (tell me if I’m missing anymore states) all braced for impact. Just before reaching shore, Sandy downgraded to a superstorm. NJ Governor Chris Christie had urged everyone in that state to not “be stupid” and evacuate. However, not everyone heeded the mandatory evacuation. Even as a superstorm, Sandy packed quite a punch, ripping up part of the Atlantic City boardwalk and causing massive floods. However, New York had suffered the worst storm in its history. The NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), though open today, was closed for two days due to the storm. Incredibly, the subway system tunnels had also flooded.
Having known all that, and having known the impact of any natural disaster, are you prepared? It doesn’t matter if you’re facing an earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, or whatever disaster-prone area, you need to be prepared. It all starts with knowing the map of your location. If you know your residence inside out, you need an evacuation plan. From there, you need to prepare a safety and emergency kit. For more on disaster-readiness, go to http://www.redcross.org/prepare. Most importantly of all, please use common sense. Your life depends on it.
My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Superstorm Sandy. I wish you all nothing but the best.