Toy cars half submerged in water.

Natural Disasters: What’s the Plan?

There are a lot of things out of our control as human beings. Despite our best efforts to plan ahead, work hard for what we want to happen, and convince ourselves of the ‘unlikeliness’ of an event – sometimes it just happens.

Flood waters wash over trees, debris, and cars.
Source: CNN

“That wave came and I got thrown in the water,” said Rizal Sahputra, a survivor of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, during an interview with The Telegraph. “I took a short breath and the water pulled me down again. It took me to the Indian Ocean about 20 kilometres [12 miles away] from the shore.”

Wildfire debris of where a house once stood
Source: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images.

“Honestly, what I’m thinking right now is I just want this to end,” Jessica Lytle said of the 2015 Lake County wildfires during an interview with The Globe and Mail, adding that she was “exhausted in every way possible — physically, emotionally, all of that.”

But Christians pray, right? Does that mean it won’t ever happen to us? How does the inevitability of calamity affect our faith and family? Is it necessary for Christian families to prepare for calamities, knowing that the end is near? How do we talk about this with our families?

In California, locals will tell you survival stories about earthquakes and forest fires. Up and down the East Coast of the United States, it’s hurricanes and floods. In Southeast Asia it’s tsunamis and storms. There is no corner of the earth where you can escape what was prophesied in the Bible to happen. But it is God Himself who encourages each of us to be brave in the face of storms, and promised that He will be there to help in times of trouble. This is the initial message we need to communicate to our Christian family in preparing them for what may lay ahead.

STEP 1: BE BRAVE IN THE FACE OF TROUBLE

Let’s be real – we’re prone to the whims of nature. We shouldn’t pretend that we’re immune, but instead do everything in our power to be prepared. Though there are many resources online, a few basic things to touch on in any possible calamity:

STEP 2: HAVE A PLAN

Infographic of what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.
Source: toucaned.com
  1. Map out family logistics – what happens when a calamity strikes while everyone is separated? Do we leave the site to find one another, or do we stay put? How do we get back to one another? These are things to talk about with your family. Protip: On the top of that list should be prayer!
  2. What should you keep in stock at home, should disaster strike while you’re altogether? Hint: Water, dehydrated foods, batteries, flashlights, first aid kits, blankets, etc.
  3. What happens when you or people around you get hurt? Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Though there are absolutely more we can do to be ready for calamity, these three talking points are a start to build upon with your Christian family. Talk about it as a team and try not to get over-emotional about the potential fears that could arise. First and foremost, remind each other that trust in God should anchor your thoughts and actions during these times. So don’t panic! Talk about the facts, like they are steps to safety. Afterwards open the conversation up to remind each family member about why these calamities are happening and what exactly do they mean for our faith and family, as members of the Church Of Christ. Always remembering that the silver lining after the storm is feeling the love of God through His protection, and that the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is near should put everything in perspective.

STEP 3: DON’T PANIC!

For more on how to prepare as Christians in the face of calamities, watch this To build your survival kit, check out this link.