It’s Hurricane Season: “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit.” - Luke 12:35

It’s Hurricane Season: “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit.” - Luke 12:35

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Hurricane season 2020 has begun; amidst the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice we still need to prepare for the whimsy of mother nature. As we well know, hurricanes can cause storm surges, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds and rip currents. Are you ready to evacuate or shelter in place for days without power or access to food and water?

If evacuation from the safety of our homes is necessary it is likely we will be anxious and concerned about COVID-19. Emergency shelters are preparing to comply with CDC guidelines for social distancing, masks, and hand sanitizer to maintain infection control if evacuation is necessary during the pandemic. We can prepare too. Check your local state or community website for more information on how to receive text or phone call alerts and updates in an emergency.

United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries and the Insurance Board published Disaster Preparedness Manual for Churches in July, 2019 based on the scriptural guidance to: “Let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to befall the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.” Genesis 41:35‐36. The guide offers detailed advice that is easy to follow.

There are preparedness resources available on the SNEUCC website.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also gives us Hurricane Preparation in the COVID-19 Pandemic. Here are some of the basic things to consider:

Step 1:  Put together a kit of emergency supplies. You may want to make one kit to shelter in place and another “Grab and Go” kit to use in an evacuation. The kit should include a three-day supply of the following in a clean garbage can or backpack:
  • Cloth face coverings
  • Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes
  • Water, one gallon per person per day
  • Non-perishable food and a can opener
  • Medications, at least a 7-day supply of prescriptions
  • Radio, hand crank or battery powered and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit, fire extinguisher
  • Whistle to call for help
  • Dust mask, plastic sheeting, duct tape
  • Garbage bags
  • Personal care items
  • Wrench to turn off utilities
  • Supplies for Pets
Step 2:  Make a Plan for Emergency:
  • Fill out a Family Emergency Plan
  • Who can help in an emergency, know your neighbors
  • Identify an out of town contact for family members to check in
  • What are the options for an evacuation route?
  • Where will family members meet?
  • Keep your important documents in one place to easily take with you.
Step 3:  Be Informed:
  • Know what kind of emergencies may affect your area.
  • How will you keep informed? State text alerts, radio station, TV
By preparing ourselves, our families, and our churches we can be better prepared to serve our communities as Jesus teaches with compassion and love.
 

Author

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Deborah Ringen

Deborah Ringen is Transitional Minister of Health and Wellness for the Southern New England Conference, UCC.

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