Weathering the Storm

I’ve been home this past couple of weeks recovering from surgery and have spent a great deal of my time watching television. I like following the weather station, especially with tornado season starting and mercy, have there been a lot of tornados touching down lately! My understanding is that global warming is resulting in more frequent bad weather and worse storms than we are used to seeing. That has certainly been the case this past couple of weeks!

While watching all the tornado warnings that have been issued, I’ve wondered how many people with disabilities are prepared for disaster. How many were prepared for the storms raging through their communities, the flooding, the need to evacuate to a safer location? It’s somewhat frightening to contemplate.

Because we are so much more susceptible to being injured or killed during a disaster, those of us with disabilities need to pay extra attention to developing a plan to keep us safe. For me, that means having friends where I can evacuate to their home with my dogs in the event of a tornado warning. I live in a mobile home which is not sufficient protection to see me through a bad storm. If I were to get caught here and had to stay with a tornado coming, I know where my best chance for survival would be.  I’ve identified an inside room with no windows and with as much protection as possible. I would take my dogs to my closet to weather the storm. However, I pay attention to storm warnings and have an agreement with my friends that if it comes down to it, I’ll pack up my dogs in the car and head to their house. My sister has a similar agreement with a friend where she can bring her two cats. We even came up with a plan for capturing the cats and getting them into carriers quickly. Who knows, someday it may be necessary!

I have a Go Kit bagged and ready to grab as I’m heading out the door. It has all the necessary items to keep me and my dogs as comfortable as possible if we have to head out to a public shelter. It includes copies of all my important paperwork too. Again, I think of all the people displaced by tornados in the past couple of weeks and wonder how many of them had copies of their insurance policies and other paperwork needed to straighten out their finances after disaster struck.

Having a plan is a bit of insurance for me in the event of a disaster. I don’t like the thought of trying to find the items I need to keep myself and my dogs safe and secure after a storm. I want to know that my family members are safe, and I want them to know I will do everything I can to care for myself and for them. That’s what being prepared is all about to me!

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