Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Lesson in Preparedness

view of the city through the raindrops from our apartment as Sandy beat on the city

Hurricane Sandy brought in its wake destruction and the loss of home and productivity for so many New Yorkers.

But in our home, 28 floors up, it brought little more than blustery gales that beat against our building, raindrops splashing on our windows, a little bit of flickering lights, and two days free of work and school (and not being able to get to Philadelphia for classes Wednesday and Thursday).  We were grateful and guilty all at the same time that our lives haven't been disrupted as it has for so many millions along the East Coast.

But Sandy did bring me something more than physical terror--a new sense that I was not as prepared as I should have been.

You see, my faith teaches that its members should be prepared in all ways--physically, financially, and spiritually--for storms in whatever shape they come.  We don't preach hellfire and brimstone and the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it, but a doctrine of steady, careful, and ample preparation.  Things such as having a 72-hour-kit, a three month storage of food and water, and longer-term storage for those who can.

I bought a 72-hour-kit and 3 month food storage from Costco when we lived in Washington, DC.  When we moved to London, I rebuilt it by hand, one can and and one bean at a time.  Yet the move here to New York was only temporary--for one year only--and I haven't bothered, especially in a town where food prices can make your head spin.

When I learned of Sandy on Sunday during church (OK, so sometimes your head can be stuck in the sand when you are really into things like a doctoral program or closely following the goings-on in the Middle East rather than domestic happenings), it was too late to do a big shop or make any kind of real preparations.  I was not prepared, and I feared.  I had shopped on Saturday as if it was a normal week--me in Philadelphia from Monday-Thursday, my husband at work for two meals a day.

A scripture was called to mind, pointed out by the old Young Women's president and her husband in a short Ensign article about them being a place temporarily. It comes from the Doctrine and Covenants (revelations mostly given to Joseph Smith, but all to latter-day prophets - perhaps you could call it the Mormon equivalent to the Koran) and comes from a bit where the Lord is instructing the Saints when they expect to be temporarily in a place:

And the hour and the day is not given unto them [when they will live], wherefore let them act upon this land as for years, and this shall turn unto them for their good.

As for years.  I hadn't treated New York in this way, especially as it related to being prepared.  It was a great lesson to me.  I have already begun to review the Church's instructions regarding emergency preparation, and have started building my stockpile of food, one bag of beans at a time.  Next time, I won't be caught off guard!

The dangling crane is two blocks from our apartment - we were lucky we weren't evacuated.

The subways just re-opened (partially) on Friday.  I will also be able to get to Philly tomorrow morning - hurray!

The line for Whole Foods on Tuesday in the Time Warner building.  I was amazed that the workers somehow found a way in to work even though all public transit and most tunnels were closed.

See the crane, 90 floors up?  The CNN sign also sustained some damage.

Natural disasters effect things you wouldn't think of --like trash pickup services.  The smell has been horrendous.

No comments:

Post a Comment