‘Tis the season! No, not that season. Hurricane season. Summer brings so many wonderful opportunities: summer vacation, trips, sun tans, cool treats, having fun in the sun!
Unfortunately, the hot weather also brings natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and tornadoes. Then there are other unexpected natural disasters such as volcanoes and earthquakes.
How can you make sure that you and your family are prepared? Does the bible offer any practical advice to help you before, during and after a natural disaster? Let’s dig into these lifesaving scriptural gems!
How to Prepare for Natural Disasters (Proverbs 22:3)
Summer is the ideal time for nature to turn against us. Why? Take hurricanes for example. Hurricanes draw heat and energy from warm ocean water.
Evaporation from the sweater increases the power of the storm. This is a completely natural process that reminds us of the water cycle that we are familiar with.
If you need a refresher on how the water cycle works, I talk more about when discussing 3 Scriptures You Can Use to Prove the Bible Is Scientifically Accurate.
We know the effects of natural disasters: huge waves, flooding, volcano eruptions, intense winds, earthquakes, lightning strikes, power outages, lack of water and food.
We also know that we are in the season of natural calamities. What does the bible say we should do with this knowledge? In Proverbs chapter 22 verse 3, we are told,
A sensible person sees danger and takes cover, but the inexperienced keep going and are punished. (Christian Standard Bible)
In other words, we know danger may be coming so we shouldn’t delay in defending ourselves from it. In another post, I explain how you can protect yourself and your family if you are on a budget.
Depending on where we live, we may not be able to avoid these disasters but there are many other ways we can protect ourselves and loved ones. How? As the scripture brings out, avoiding danger includes taking action.
Have an Emergency List and Plan of Action
We should not only have emergency items on hand that can last us until the storm, earthquake, tsunami etc. has passed, but we should also be prepared to evacuate if the worst-case scenario happens. Our emergency items should include the following:
- Important documents in a waterproof container (including photo ID for each family member)
- Credit/debit cards and cash
- Bottled water (to drink and stored water for other purposes in case the faucet water has been contaminated or the water line has been damaged.)
- A set of house and car keys
- Flashlights, lanterns, candles with batteries and matches
- AM/FM radio with batteries
- Cell phone with a portable charger (that is fully charged.)
- Medication (prescription and non-prescription, at least one weeks’ worth.)
- First-aid kit
- Rainwear, comfortable shoes and clothes
- Child-care supplies
- Pet food and litter (at least 2 weeks supply.)
- Personal items (sanitary napkins, tampons etc.)
- Nonperishable food
- Contact information (for family, friends, emergency shelters, doctor’s office, emergency centers, police and fire departments and other important contacts.)
- Check that your fire extinguisher works (or make sure you have one.)
- If you live in areas that are prone to freezing, have supplies ready to remove snow and ice (this would be useful in case you have to evacuate.)
It is important to have this plan of action and just as vital for the entire family to be familiar with it. These items should be able to withstand water, be accessible and ready to pack up and go if you need to move to a shelter.
You should research and plan where and how you will seek shelter during a storm if it becomes necessary. After you decide, you and your family can have practice drills so that everyone is ready for a real emergency.
There are other ways you can prepare in advance for natural disasters. My family and I make sure that the trees in our yard are maintained. This would prevent branches from either falling on the house and vehicles or from becoming flying missiles during a storm.
We also protect our carports (and vehicles,) remove items from porches (outdoor furniture and accessories) and make sure the shed is secured. But how can you protect yourself during a storm?
Check out some of the important items that you should have in case of an emergency.
Steps to Take During A Natural Disaster (Romans 13:1)
Now that you have your emergency kits prepared and have a plan of action, what’s next? Stay updated! During a natural disaster, it is important to stay informed, using the battery-operated AM/FM radio that you should have.
The instruction given in Romans chapter 13 verse 1 is vital during a natural disaster. It says,
Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. (Christians Standard Bible)
During a storm (or even before,) the governing authorities issue periodic warnings. Although we may be tempted to ignore the warnings feeling as if we know best, it is important to heed them. Remember, we don’t know what’s
going on around us throughout a disaster, but they do.
We usually hear over the radio and TV announcements such as:
- Stay inside your home and avoid the windows.
- If your home is in danger of flooding, turn off the electricity carefully from the main breaker. (If you don’t know where it is or how to turn it off, learn how to before the disaster hits.)
- If the power goes out, (in some areas the power seems to go out if there is even a hint of rain) turn off the major appliances in your home to prevent permanent damage.
- I know this may be difficult, but when you are warned not to use items such as your computer, listen! (Charge your laptops and phones to 100% before the power has a chance to turn off.)
- Do not go outside! During hurricanes, there is a period of calm when the “eye” passes over. The officials will warn you that it is not safe and will update everyone when it is safe to go outside.
- An official order may be given to evacuate following specific safety procedures. Follow them!
Your goal should be to keep you and your family out of the danger zone in order. Following the warnings of the governing officials in your country can help everyone avoid injury or even death during or after a natural disaster.
What You Should (And Shouldn’t) Do After A Natural Disaster (Luke 12:15)
There are many tasks to complete after a natural disaster. After getting the all clear from the governing officials to go outside, continue to listen for updates of after effects. There may still be the possibility of earthquake aftershocks, mudslides or continuous rain.
Make sure that it is safe to turn back on the power before doing so. Also, ensure the appliances are dry before plugging back in. Test the safety of your water in case there was contamination of water lines. Then the real work begins.
Depending on the damages, you may need to create a comprehensive checklist of what needs to be fixed or replaced.
If there has been severe structural damage or flooding inside your home, your house and property insurance will send someone over to asses the damages and create their own report before issuing the funds to begin rebuilding.
This is where the warning at Luke chapter 12 verse 15 comes in,
Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions. (Christian Standard Bible)
Do not be tempted to claim for items that do not exist or that was damaged before the natural disaster. Do not become greedy.
Remain honest and truthful with your insurance company, remembering that God does not value your life based on what you own.
For more information of how you can prepare for a natural disaster before it happens, during and after, you can look at the Hurricane safety tips: Learn what to do before, during and after a hurricane provided by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.)
God Can Help You Through Any Disaster! (2 Corinthians 1:3,4)
The truth is, no matter how well we prepare for a disaster, calamities can still result. We can do everything right and still lose something, everything or someone.
When any disaster strikes, we need to keep God in the forefront of our minds. This is the time to really rely on Him.
I’ve found second Corinthians chapter 1 verses 3 and 4 to be very comforting during tragedies. Those verses read,
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (Christian Standard Bible)
Whether the disaster we experience is personal, external or due to nature, this scripture brings us comfort in any circumstances. We should also remember that when God comforts us, He expects us to comfort others as well.
If someone needs our help before, during or after a natural disaster, we should be there to console them. Let us all support one another as we prepare ourselves for any natural disasters that we may face!
Thank you for digging into these scriptural gems with me! Do you have any other tips that can help us prepare for natural disasters before, during or after? Please share in the comments below!