Hurricane Harvey and the Unprepared Visitor

As I write, the longhorn state of Texas has been undergoing adverse weather conditions for a few days now, and which has already claimed the lives of two persons.

What should you do if you are a visitor with a young family and caught in the throes of such a natural disaster?  It may not be possible to pick up your bags and head home immediately.  You may have to hunker down and wait it out until all immediate dangers are passed.  So how should you respond in these circumstances and how would you pass the time with your family?

Constantly watching the local channels to keep informed may become overwhelming or alarming for everyone.  Therefore a responsible person, possibly Mom or Dad, should listen to news updates and report to the family the latest forecasts, alerts and evacuation notices.

Engage the younger children in the preparation activities.  Organize your personal effects like change of clothing, food items that can easily be carried and does not need reheating, flashlights, batteries, etc. into your backpacks.  Secure everyone’s identification documents and important papers which may be needed later on.  Find a shelter and cooperate with local authorities.

Allow everyone to participate in the planning process which will help to keep them calm and focussed on the family’s safety plan. Information should be disseminated to younger members on a need-to-know basis to avoid distress or panic.  Throughout the entire process, the adult’s goal should be to reassure their children that their security is their number one priority.  A well executed plan will ensure that the entire family remains safe.

Everything is big in Texas, and no doubt at a time like this, it is seen in the genuine way Texans show their generosity, kindness and helpfulness to strangers who may need a helping hand.

I am praying for everyone’s safety there.  This too shall pass.