Mind, Body & Spirit 
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Are You Prepared for Emergencies?

Terrible disasters in the past four years, here and abroad, and inability of our government to provide critical relief, have proven that the comfortable statement of faith "God will provide" is better replaced by "God helps those who help themselves".

We're one of a minority here in Dade County who have hurricane shutters, use them most of the time when a storm is nearby, and stock up on non-perishable foods and water at the beginning of storm season.   Even years ago when money was too tight to afford plywood for shutters, we salvaged boards and stockpiled them, nailing them over windows before storms.

Two occurrences have brought home the real vulnerability that lurks, no matter how prepared one thinks one is.   First, after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, we were without electric for 10 days.  We didn't have major damage and were uncomfortable without air conditioning and other amenities, but in general making out fine.  The worse incident was when someone came in through our damaged rear fence, stealing a box of tools, and one each box of bathroom wall tile and kitchen wall tile from renovations were were doing.  This explains why some of the tile in each room doesn't quite match the rest.

What was scary, though, were the numbers of neighbors who ran out of basic supplies; simple first aid items,  dog or cat food, candles...  and we felt compelled to share.   See When Natural Disaster Strikes

The second wake-up call was a year ago September; Florida was hit by four hurricanes, and all had some effect on our area.  It was unclear where each one might hit.  We dragged out the shutters, and placed them near where they would have to be mounted; the only one we put up was over my computer center.   The first one passed by with minor effect; we didn't put up the shutters.  The second approached as we all came down with what we thought was a cold.  By the time the next two arrived, we were all seriously ill with some strange kind of flu.  My thoughts were along the lines of that if the hurricane came in here and blew the house down on us, it would at least put us out of our misery.   We now have mounted shutters that take a little time or energy to close.

Today I found a link in Recipe du Jour's great newsletter, to a fantastic site called 72 Hours.   This site should be required reading for everyone.   It's well laid out and has information on everything you can do to protect your family and yourself from natural disasters or terrorist attacks.   Please take a few minutes and read through the attractive and well-laid out topics.  72 Hours could save you from many more hours - or a lifetime - of misery.

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