I have been shaken to the core with what is happening in our fellow Texas cities. I have mixed emotions with Harvey. On one hand, I am heartbroken for those who have lost it all and, on the other hand, fearful of the “what could have been” had Harvey turned our way. Living in the RGV, we’ve had preparation warnings for countless hurricanes and tropical storms… yet fortunately, we have been spared many times over.
Last week, I prepared for my family to weather the storm. I bought candles, batteries, double checked the flashlights, charged any electronics I thought I might need, filled the gas tanks, and bought a few extra few food items and an extra case of water. Still, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the possibility of devastation that has happened in Houston.
This is the first natural disaster I have been exposed to as a parent and the importance of precautions have hit me on a whole new level knowing that my child— and potentially her life— is depending on me to keep her safe in a situation that I, myself, would not necessarily know how to handle. Even though I did prepare for the possibility of Harvey, I now feel it was not enough. So, what can we do?
First and foremost: DONATE!
This is the time to count the abundance of blessings we have been given and do what you can to help others. Whether it’s food, clothes, money, toiletries or your time, every kind of donation is very much needed.
[Related: Hurricane Harvey: How can the RGV help?]
Second: Prepare and organize for future possible natural disasters.
I feel silly that I waited until a few days before the storm to search my house for flashlights. I should have kept them in a box in a designated area of the house so that I wasn’t panicking when it was go-time. If you recently prepared for Harvey, take the time now to get a box and put your hurricane supplies together. When you’re at the store, buy two extra cases of water (one to donate) and one to pack away with your hurricane box. Here’s a starter list of items to pack in your Hurricane box.
Hurricane Preparation Box:
Pack items in a clear plastic tub, if you can.
- Candles & lighters/matches
- Bottlered water
- Important documents (in a waterproof container)
- For those with small children, consider buying life jackets to keep in your emergency kit.
As far as prepping for a storm, other than securing your house, you’ll want to charge your electronics and fill your gas tank.
Hopefully, we will never be struck with the devastation that is occurring to many of our fellow Texans. But as parents, it is our job to be prepared to the best of our ability to protect our children.