Again, I ask you – dear readers – do you have a plan? Do you have some kind of plan, even a slim one, if your area floods or there is a freight train wreck with some lethal chemical or there is a fire or… whatever? Will you know how to get your family together and get to safety? Will you be able to keep them fed and warm and safe from harm?
Yes, I am trying to unsettle you, even scare you a little.
Even something as simple as this could get you started toward a better plan.
I am reading a heartrending story from Reuters about the aftermath of the super typhoon that devastated the Philippines. Excerpts:
(Reuters) – Desperation gripped Philippine islands devastated by Typhoon Haiyan as looting turned deadly on Wednesday and survivors panicked over shortages of food, water and medicine, some digging up underground water pipes and smashing them open.
Five days after one of the strongest storms ever recorded slammed into cities and towns in the central Philippines, anger and frustration boiled over on Wednesday as essential supplies dwindled. Some survivors scrawled signs reading “Help us”.
Some areas appeared to teeter near anarchy amid widespread looting of shops and warehouses for food, water and supplies.
There were reports of gunfire between security forces and armed men near a mass grave in worst-hit Tacloban in Leyte province, but city administrator Tecson John Lim denied the clash based on information he had received from the army.
Eight people were crushed to death when looters raided rice stockpiles in a government warehouse in the town of Alangalang, causing a wall to collapse, local authorities said.
Warehouses owned by food and drinks company Universal Robina Corp and drug company United Laboratories were ransacked in the storm-hit town of Palo in Leyte, along with a rice mill in Jaro, said Alfred Li, head of the Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“The looting is not criminality. It is self-preservation,” Lim told Reuters.
Some survivors in Tacloban dug up water pipes in their desperate need for water.
“We don’t know if it’s safe. We need to boil it. But at least we have something,” said Christopher Dorano, 38.
“There have been a lot of people who have died here.”
Secretary Mar Roxas denied law and order were breaking down. “It is wrong to say there is lawlessness in the city,” he told reporters.
The NYT writes about the predictable rise in diseases:
The aftermath of the Philippines typhoon is now threatening the country with outbreaks of debilitating and potentially fatal diseases, including some thought to have been nearly eradicated, because of a collapse in sanitation, shortages of fresh water and the inability of emergency health teams to respond quickly in the week since the storm struck, doctors and medical officials said Thursday.
Illnesses including cholera, hepatitis, malaria, dengue fever, typhoid fever, bacterial dysentery and others that thrive in tropical, fetid environments, where sewage and water supplies intermingle, could form what doctors fear is the disaster’s second wave. They predicted that leptospirosis, a parasitic disease endemic to the Philippines, could surge. And some said they would not be surprised to see a return of polio. The Philippines is part of an area of the western Pacific declared polio-free by the World Health Organization nearly 14 years ago.
Medical aid groups on the ground in Tacloban, the city of 220,000 that was flattened when the storm made landfall a week ago and that only began to bury its dead on Thursday, have already expressed alarm over the risk of widespread tetanus infections among survivors wounded by shards of corrugated metal and splintered wood.
Some aid groups have already reported exhausting their initial supplies of vaccine to thwart tetanus, a potentially fatal bacterial infection that can cause painful muscle contractions, the inability to swallow and the locking of the jaw. “The population is at increased risk of tetanus as well as outbreaks of acute respiratory infections, measles, leptospirosis and typhoid fever,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the main international conduit for distributing relief to the Philippines, said on its website. The basic health infrastructures “are severely damaged in the worst affected areas and medical supplies are low.”
The USS George Washington carrier group has arrived with aid.
But… my Jesus, mercy!
Reliance on God is necessary. Ultimately we put no trust in any creature. However, we must help ourselves, always. We live by grace and by elbow grease.
When the Jews rebuilt the defensive walls of Jerusalem, they wore their swords while they worked. They were vigilant. When there was to be a 7 year famine, Joseph told the people to store grain. When in the infant Church, during the reign of Claudius, the Spirit inspired Ag’abus to foretell a famine, the disciples sent relief to the brethren in Judea through the work of Paul and Barnabas.
If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1 Timothy 5:8
There are good organizations to which you can donate and help to send aid. Among them, I like Team Rubicon. You might have your own suggestions.
By the way… that’s Joplin, Missouri in 2011, not the Philippines.
Yes, it can happen to you.