Answers In Love

Winning at Life God's Way

Storm Watch! 4 Ways to Get Ready


It’s awful to think of Hurricane Irma approaching our shores on the heels of Harvey. Folks in Irma’s way are preparing for trouble. They’re fleeing homes they may never see again. Normal changed fast for these people (and they will need our help).

Last night, my husband said, “If we had to evacuate due to a storm, what would we take?” I didn’t know. I hadn’t thought about it.

We live inland protected from hurricanes. Even so our normal could change fast. For example, we spent last weekend in a house that almost burned down because water seeped into an electrical box and caused a breaker to overheat and sizzle.

We all face risk from some kind of environmental disaster. It could be from water, wind, fire, extended power outages in winter, earthquakes or a chemical spill. Normal can also change quickly due to unexpected accidents, death, health issues, crime, job loss and personal betrayals.

Bottom line – it’s wise to prepare for unexpected and unwanted events. This week’s events prompted me to do a readiness check.

I thought of four ways to get ready for unexpected and unwanted change. As you read through this list, think about your own level of readiness.

A Readiness Checklist:

Readiness occurs on many levels. True preparedness involves everything from insurance policies to our hearts.

1. Practical Readiness

People fleeing disasters need to take along certain essential items and documents. Experts recommend keeping a “go bag” ready. Click here to see a list of suggested items to pack.

My husband’s query prompted me to take an imaginary walk through our house to determine what belongings I’d truly want to save. The exercise proved worthwhile. I learned I care most about things that connect me to God and others (my Bible, pictures of lost loved ones, family recipes, special gifts).

Decide now which possessions you prize most. That can save you from having to choose in a hurry if trouble develops.

2. Emotional Readiness:

The loss of property is awful and our hearts and prayers go out to all those facing serious loss due to Harvey and Irma. I hope everyone will do whatever they can to help those impacted.

Storm survivors often say, “At least we have our lives.” They understand what really counts. Our culture urges us to overvalue things but the Bible warns against this  (1 Timothy 6:10).

When I imagined walking away from all my husband and I have accumulated, I felt sadness but also a surprising sense of freedom. It reminded me of a time long ago when I left my home and teaching job to attend graduate school.

At the end of my teaching year, I sold what I didn’t need and loaded all I needed into my small car. I accrued six mailing addresses before settling into a program and residence the next fall. If something didn’t fit, I moved on because I could. I lived unencumbered by stuff.

Possessions can own us. They often make us:

  • Work too hard and too long
  • Incur debt
  • Waste time caring for things that don’t matter
  • Avoid moving when it would make sense

Try not to get overly attached to stuff. Most things can be replaced.

3. Relational Readiness

Life is fragile. Someone we care about can be taken from us without warning. Our own death may occur when we least expect it.

Let people you care about know that you love them. Address any unresolved problems. Grieving is hard when two people enjoyed a sweet, affable bond. It’s especially hard and complicated when death interrupts a troubled or estranged relationship.

Watch this site for future posts offering tips on how to resolve conflicts. Also, you can receive the PDF, How To Talk About a Problem Without Starting a Fight today by joining this site.

4. Spiritual Readiness

The Bible instructs us to live ready for Christ’s return and/or the end of our life on earth (Matthew 24:44); (Luke 12:16-21).

How can we live ready to die? An auto decal I saw today suggests the answer. It read, “Got God?”

Spiritual readiness involves connection to God and keeping an eternal perspective (Jude 1:21). If you need to connect more with God, reach out to Him. Get other believers to help you. Love God, others and yourself (Matthew 22:36-40). You’ll be spiritually ready for anything.


I hope no disrupting trouble impacts your life. But in case it does, are you ready? Do any of these four kinds of readiness need you’re attention? Which one(s)? What possessions mean the most to you? Let me know. I enjoy hearing from you.





About Cheryl Savageau

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

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