After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, cell phone towers were downed almost immediately and electrical power outages blanketed the city. A few sporadic text messages squeaked out to people outside the city, but otherwise, the hurricane victims were shut out from receiving any communications about rescue responses to their plights. The victims were kept in the dark until rescuers showed up at their homes.
What little communications the hurricane victims did have, after Katrina hit, were with their nearby neighbors. Life and death decisions were hurriedly made without much insight.
The second communications dilemma of Hurricane Katrina was the lack of adequate communications after the hurricane hit. And if you think about it, it was a major miracle so few people died because of this.
All plans and preparations for upcoming calamities must address this second dilemma. It may well be a matter of life and death for many people.
…do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away. (Proverbs 27:10)
Californians and other West Coast citizens are some of the worst neighbors in America. This is not due to being mean and unfriendly, but rather, many of us commute to workplaces far away. We leave early and arrive home late. Our time is limited for interaction with neighbors during the week.
When Saturdays roll around, it’s family time. We travel to see parents or go to beaches or Disneyland. We attend churches on Sundays, which are often miles away. We travel, travel, travel.
Most of us don’t even know the names of our neighbors next door or how many kids they have. This information can only be gleaned by spending time with them.
Okay, let’s assume a disaster strikes here in California or the West Coast.
A nuclear bomb hits the area. Your wife and child are seriously injured. Both need help right away, but the phones are dead, the streets are impassable, and the air is filled with screams. What will you do?
The obvious answer is to run next door to your neighbors.
What do you think they will say to a person they don’t really know? And how much energy will they really invest helping you when they themselves probably need help, too?
…You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39)
Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
We Southern Californians need to make extra special efforts to know our neighbors. If this means breaking our present Saturday or Sunday routines, then let’s take a hammer and smash away.
“Train like we are going to fight.” (First Army maxim)
(Excerpt from Planning + Preparation = Survival by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2013, Amazon eBook)
My prayer today:
Lord, help us American believers to use the time wisely during Trump’s presidency to build relationships with our neighbors so that we can be ready to show Your love to them during the dark days in the near future.
What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?
Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.