Tornadoes, Disaster Preparedness, and God
If you suffer a weather disaster or fire, here’s how having a disaster plan in place will help you survive it financially and emotionally.
Every year as tornado season approaches and I begin to get tornado watches on my weather alert radio, I check my grab-it-quick list of what to move downstairs. I’ve previously urged my readers to be ready for any kind of disaster, but given the severity of the various weather problems and fires we’re seeing everywhere these days, it seems more important than ever to have a disaster plan in place. (Tornadoes have long been of concern to me. See 2023 Postscript below for stunning stats on this topic.)
How many times have you heard someone who’s lost everything say, “But we’re alive, and that’s what counts”? Yes, but with a little planning before a disaster, you could end up with much more than just your life. Saving your most essential needs and treasured possessions would make life after a disaster much more bearable from an emotional and financial standpoint.
Making a “Disaster Plan”
What do you value most that needs to be protected from disaster? Insurance will cover furniture and other replaceable things, but what about things that can’t be digitally stored in the Cloud—things with financial or nostalgic value and one-of-a-kind treasures that no amount of money can replace? Isn’t it prudent to identify what’s most important to you so you can plan the best way to protect what you own from destruction?
It took a few years for me to refine my grab-it-quick list. Each year after I’ve gotten extra exercise by hauling things downstairs and then back up again after the tornado danger is past, I see one more item in my office or other rooms of the house to add to my list. So don’t wait to start your own list since it will take time to perfect. And remember that the kind of weather-related disasters in recent years are only going to increase and intensify in the future.
Signs in the Heavens
Like many Christians and pastors across the country, I believe we are living in the last days before the end times. For one thing, there is nothing natural about all the “natural disasters” we’re seeing now. As they continue to increase in number and intensity, I don’t see this as “climate change,” but merely a fulfillment of what the Bible tells us:
“There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven” (Luke 21:11, NLT).
I remembered similar warnings in other books of the Bible about unusual weather and signs in the sky when I read about the crimson red sky over China’s Port City in May 2022. That news shook up a lot of people when various experts tried, but couldn’t definitively explain this phenomenon.
“And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth, the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26).
When there’s a tornado warning, I’m grateful to have a lower level to run to for protection since many do not. I’ll never forget the story I heard one year about a woman who got into her bathtub with her little dog, her purse, and her cell phone. While she was saying goodbye to her sister on the phone, the tornado picked up that bathtub and set it down 75 yards away—without her losing her dog, purse, or cell phone. Sure, she got bruised and banged up, but she sure looked happy on TV as she recounted her miraculous story. At times like this, Christians always see God’s hand at work.
I believe God wants us to be good stewards of all that He has blessed us with in life, be it money, things, or the pets we’ve been given to protect. And I also believe God wants us to plan ahead by using the intelligence He has given us. For example, disaster specialists always emphasize having extra food and water for an emergency. (Even squirrels have the God-given sense to bury nuts to prepare for cold weather when food will be scarce.)
I like the old Arab advice of “Trust in God but tie up your camel,” but we can do only so much to help ourselves. Many believe that God helps those who help themselves, but that isn’t biblical. Actually, the Bible says that God helps those who can NOT help themselves, like when they are being blown away in a bathtub in a tornado. Remember to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5 (NIV).
Thus I will continue to trust in God and hope for the best while also “tying up my camel” (part of my disaster plan). And if the worst happens and I survive a tornado but lose some or all of my most treasured possessions, I trust my Lord will help me emotionally let go of what I’ve lost and enable me to move on in life with a glad and grateful heart.
2023 Postscript: More Tornadoes than Ever Before
There were 292 tornadoes in the U.S. in March 2022, which broke the previous record of 191 to become the highest count of tornadoes on record for March. This article on Acuweather.com provides statistics on how tornado patterns and their severity were changing in 2022 all over the globe. They predicted 1,350–1,475 tornadoes in the US last year, saying this would set a new record.
According to this article, 2023 is off to a record-breaking start in the number of tornadoes across the U.S. In January alone, multiple storm systems and severe weather in the western and southeastern states have brought flooding rains, heavy snow, and mudslides, and the number of tornadoes in January may be the highest number of all times. The financial and emotional damage of such weather disasters is incalculable, and a reminder of the importance of having a disaster plan in place at all times.
Are You Prepared for a Disaster? This updated article includes my special tips and resources and how to identify and protect everything you own. Making a plan like this could be essential to moving on in life if you were to suffer the loss of almost everything in your home or home-based business.
Previously published as a Brabec Bulletin on May 24, 2022.
Updated in February 2023.
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