The Question is, Do We Stay or Do We Leave? Irma's Path & Intensity Creates Uncertainty
I was tucking my little boy into bed last night after we had the discussion whether we would hunker down or leave our home until Irma decides to calm herself down. As of last night we had decided we would head due west. My little boy wasn't so sure that's what he wanted. With a tear trickling down his face he said, "Mama, will this be the last time I sleep in my bed or see my stuff?" I assured him that what really mattered was that we were safe and things are just things that can be replaced if necessary. I've been teaching them 1 Timothy 1:7, so we recited that. "God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (peace)." So, with a sigh and kiss goodnight, he closes his eyes to sleep.
Natural disasters seem to be more frequent these days. I remember a couple tornadoes coming through as a youngster, but nothing so devastating as Matthew and now Irma. But as a kid, maybe I just felt safe and didn't realize the danger of bad storms raging around me. With Matthew, we stayed at home. Hunkered down, had family over, and had a relatively nice reunion even amidst the power outage. Irma seems to be angrier and more present than Matthew. The center of her being is ravishing our mainlands as she whirls past us. So as of now we are deciding to travel away from her anger and find safe haven somewhere west of us. But I leave with mixed emotions.
Part of me wants to stay and guard my home. The place I can come to daily to find rest and enjoy my family. But logically I know I need to move my family to safety. I just remember riding around after Matthew and seeing the trees uprooted in our part of the world. I'm not sure many of them were saved, if any. So my imagination runs wild thinking about the increased trauma to our orchards and woodlands, our homes and shelters. I daresay our shelter, what we call the "barn" at our home, may very well be decimated with this storm. It lost half of it's roof with the last one. I'm just not sure it can survive another onslaught of angry wind and pelting rain. Like my son, it makes me sad to leave and just a little anxious at what we will find upon returning. I say anxious with tongue in cheek. I have learned that I need not worry or be anxious about anything. I have learned that Jesus is Lord of all, even the winds and rain. I trust Him. He may not choose to remove us from the devastation but he will see us through it and that gives me peace.
So whatever you decide is best for you and your family, to stay or to leave, do so with caution and be prepared. Though God is with us he does expect us to use wisdom. If you are in a mandatory evacuation then wisely leave. By staying you are placing your life at risk along with any rescue workers who may have to come to your aid. If you aren't in a mandatory evacuation and you are choosing to stay then prepare your home and your pantry with supplies. I've placed a few links at the bottom for information on hurricane preparations. I hope it helps. Comment and let us know your plans and your opinion on Hurricane Irma and how it may affect us as a community.
How To Prepare for a Hurricane
Zello App - Walkie Talkie app that helped many in Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Preparedness by the Hour