“If a problem can be solved there is no use worrying about it. If it can’t be solved, worrying will do no good.” Dalai Lama
Home sick, watching the world news on TV, Kleenex soaked with tears of sympathy and a runny nose, my friend Christine phones in the updates to me on a daily basis. She is most impressed with how the Japanese people are picking up their lives and pitching in to clean up the destruction caused by the recent earthquake and tsunami. We talk about how we would react if a natural disaster were to occur in our community. We agree that our community should be prepared way ahead of time to survive an act of nature. We are aware that taking the steps to do so makes sense, but too often those best intentions succumb to human procrastination and might never get done.
According to Oxfam International each year brings 400-500 natural disasters worldwide, up from 125 a year in the 1980′s. By 2015 we can expect a 54 percent increase in the number of people (375 million) affected by climate disasters and this could overwhelm humanitarian organizations’ ability to respond quickly. There is no way to know where or when a natural disaster will occur, or if it will happen as a flood, a hurricane, a tornado, or an earthquake. However, rather than feel helpless and anxious, you can take some important steps to prepare your environment for the possibility. Once you know you have done everything you can, then relax and get on with living your life. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has published a check-list of things each and everyone can do in case of an emergency. Read the excerpt on the next page.