Image from the National Hurricane Center
I tend to keep a pretty close eye on storms heading towards the United States. I have the National Hurricane Center bookmarked and it's one of the things I check every morning while drinking my coffee (along with my Google Reader and my bank account balances).
In the Spring of 2007, my husband and I went down to New Orleans. It was more than a year and a half after Hurricane Katrina had hit and the city was still devastated. We went down for the weekend to help gut houses and build a playground. It was heartbreaking. So many houses were ruined. Some had been picked off their foundations and spun around and others were simply gone. Deserted yards were filled with children's toys. I cried so much when we were there. It was a very emotional experience.
So now I tend to watch for storms coming in because I like to know what we're up against. I am also awed by the tremendous power of nature. I like to be ready, to not be surprised, to be aware of the impact that nature is about to have on millions of lives.
Right now, there are two Tropical Storms that are likely to hit the US; Gustav and Hanna. Both will likely be Hurricanes within the next couple of days. Gustav is currently on track to ht Louisiana.
I'm not going to talk about being financially prepared for a hurricane, or the economic impact of what happens. I'm not going to talk about the effects on the cost of oil (though if this is your interest, Trees Full of Money is currently on an Oil Rig in the Gulf of Mexico).
What I will do, though, is ask you if you can take the time in the next few days to go and donate blood, or sort out some old blankets or children's toys that you don't need any more. Maybe you have a few dollars that you can send over to the Red Cross, or maybe you have room in your house to take in a friend that might be about to evacuate. These are little things that can have big impacts, and you might even save a life.
Today is the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Photo by Andrew Maier - Spring 2007