We’ve seen our share of heartache after storms. The 1983 tornadoes come to mind first, where in Sampson, lives were lost and property destroyed.
There have been others — Fran and Floyd, and the 2011 tornadoes. So, when hurricane warnings go out and predictions of landfall and destruction come in, we are all too familiar with the fright, the rush to preparedness and the anxiety that falls in line.
Yet, today, as we observe the devastation from the superstorm named Sandy, which did its fair share of damage along North Carolina’s Outer Banks, we should take very seriously reminders to be prepared now rather than waiting until later.
We should be reminded of the need to put into practice that which weather forecasters and emergency management folks preach when talk of storm landfalls begin — be prepared.
Too often we wait until the storm is upon us to check for batteries, stock up on water and fill our tanks with needed gas, and sometimes we procrastinate far too long thinking, perhaps, that the forecast track is incorrect or that the storm probably isn’t as bad as weather officials believe.
It’s a mistake we should not make. Sandy added an exclamation point to that fact this week as millions find themselves without electricity, transportation or the necessities to manage well during a time when normalcy has been washed out the window.
All along the East Coast Sandy’s devastation can be seen, with flooded streets and entire communities wiped out by fires, a direct result of the storm’s power and destructive nature.
But while the might of the storm offers us a lesson in advanced preparedness, it should, more than anything, humble us.
Our own determination cannot withstand nature’s and all that we hold so precious can be stripped from us with the crash of a wave, the igniting of a spark or the gusting of the wind.
We forget that as we go about our normal activities, but a storm like Sandy quickly reminds us just how fast things can change, just how much is beyond our real control.
As we watch our neighbors to the north pick up the shattered pieces of their lives, we should count our blessings even as we offer prayers to those who weren’t as fortunate this time around.
And we should, if we can, find a way to help, whether it’s giving blood, offering up a cash donation or answering the call to volunteer, knowing that but for the grace of God what those people are now experiencing could have landed at our own doorstep.
Storms teach us many lessons. We hope the greatest is to be thankful and to share that we’ve been blessed to have with those who now have not.