As I write this, Hurricane Irma is chewing up the ocean on a relentless track toward Florida, having devastated most of Barbuda, crashed into the Leeward Islands, engulfed Puerto Rico, and who knows what will happen with Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The eastern seaboard of the US is holding its breath.
Irma is this 9000 pound-gorilla that follows her torrential rain brother Harvey which engulfed Texas and parts of Louisiana. And as of last night, a raging fire in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon had consumed some 33,000 acres, my son-in-law is a fire captain on the crew, and my daughter and granddaughter have evacuated. Across the street, my neighbor received an out-of-the-blue notice that her brother-in-law who was recovering from knee surgery had gone into cardiac arrest and was on life support. (He died early this morning.)
All it takes are videos and photos to put our hearts in the same place as those who are experiencing disaster first-hand. The question is: how much can the human system take? How do we respond to others?
How do we help ourselves? What can we learn from each event that can help with “the next time”… because there will always be some form of “next time”.