Isaiah 25:4 - You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall.
With all of the natural disasters we have faced especially this last summer, including fires and hurricanes, it has led to countless people being trapped in their homes with no way out, which may have been eliminated had they’d been prepared.
Someone told me recently that regardless of where you live, whether it be in California where I live or elsewhere, I should have an evacuation plan in place.
But what about those who are disabled or have a chronic health issue and are unable to evacuate on their own? Regardless if we haven’t found someone to rescue us from a fire or a hurricane, there are things that we can do. One of those things is to gather all of your important paperwork and put it into a water tight container or bag. When there is a threat of a natural disaster I have my papers on a chair by my door to grab quickly if I need to.
Another thing to have ready is a packed bag with all of the necessary items that you would need. This includes medications, a few changes of clothes, toiletries, and other items that you would need should you have to evacuate.
Though it is important to have all of these items ready, there is something else that you may have to face if no one is there to evacuate you – the fear of being trapped and left behind.
This fear is real.
Those who physically are unable to escape without help may experience fear, but there are also those who wait too long once the evacuation order has been given or may think that the disaster won’t get to them and they stay home. They may have their own vehicle and could’ve easily evacuated, but they may have refused to leave because they are afraid of looters taking things from their home.
The first group of people who are afraid have a valid reason for that fear. However, the second group of people could have left and now are facing their worst fears which could’ve been prevented.
To find more ways to prepare for a disaster take a look at the article, “Individuals With Disabilities,” on ready.gov. It suggests how to make a plan if a disaster strikes such as if you are disabled and unable to evacuate yourself. Also, the article suggests keeping a contact list in a watertight container in your emergency kit and plan ahead for accessible transportation or tell first responders that you need help to evacuate.
Having a chronic illness or disability can make evacuating difficult. But with preparation your fears will dissolve and you can be ready when the news arrives that you need to evacuate.
Also, let’s remember that God can be our refuge when we’re in distress. He is our shelter from the storm and shade from the heat. With this verse, God shows that he’s covered us whether we’re near a wildfire or a hurricane. There’s great comfort in remembering we have this shelter.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.