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Jul 09

When Storms Come, Should We Depend on Immediate Government Help?

Posted by: Steve Marr

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To rely upon government with scope of recent disasters is setting one's self up for disappointment if not peril


During the past two years, multiple hurricanes has battered the United States, creating varying degrees of devastation. A common picture after each storm is the long lines of folks waiting hours for food, water and other necessities.

Complaints emerge from many folks with the common theme: FEMA and other government agencies need to act faster, with more supplies to meet needs quickly. However, this view is not realistic. As a matter of course and personal responsibility – and to lighten the loads on others – we need to assume the task of preparing ourselves and families as much as possible for personal, local, regional or national disasters.


Katrina struck an area the size of the United Kingdom. When disasters of this magnitude strike, reasonable people should not expect supplies to reach everyone immediately. The scope and reach of such storms – knocking out communications systems, blocking roads, and flooding neighborhoods just to name a few – simply makes it unreasonable for people to expect government to meet every need, and do so immediately. To rely upon government – whether it is local, state or federal – with disasters of this magnitude is setting one's self up for disappointment, if not peril.


Each of us needs to take that responsibility to prepare for three to seven days of basic supplies. Simple canned food and water jugs are inexpensive and easy to store. Cost may be an issue for some, but most Americans – if we would simply sacrifice the price of a movie and dinner out – can take giant steps in become self reliant. It is simply a matter of choosing our priorities. The TV images should have us convinced. Government, while it has a role to ensure safety and to assist in the recovery of essential services, is not positioned to meet every family's immediate needs. However, for just $25 to $50, families can stockpile basic needs. An free emergency check list is available at http://www.centoday.com/files/uploaded_files/survival_checklist.pdf.

As Hurricane Wilma headed for southern Florida and the Keys, many people failed to initiate even basic preparations, deciding that the government, or someone else, would ride to the rescue. While in old movies the cavalry always arrives in time, in reality, the cavalry may come late, or not at all.

In the future we need to maintain reasonable expectations during disasters, and accept responsibility to do our part. King Solomon wrote "…the compliancy of fools will destroy them" (Proverbs 1:32). In the future, we need to take responsibility to prepare to help ourselves, our families and others to the degree possible.

We have received a warning- now each of us will make a choice, to prepare or not. If we choose to do nothing, then we can not complain because the water truck takes a day or two to arrive, or that the line is too long. Why? Because we choose to ignore the warning.

Steve Marr, Your Christian Business Coach

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