Volunteering Series: Help in the Aftermath of Hurricane Irma & Maria
Previously Published in the Pineapple Post
By Helena Kyle
Our neighbors facing devastation from Hurricane Irma and Maria, need our generosity and prayers! Our fellow Floridians, and our neighbors living on the Leeward Islands up through the Florida Keys, those on the direct path of the hurricanes, are reeling from the impact; they need our help, now. Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, may be without power for up to six months. If you have experienced no power, no air-conditioning, for twenty-four hours during the hottest season, you can imagine what our neighbors are going through. Do not assume that someone else will offer the help they need. This is the time for everyone to pitch in – governmental and faith-based organizations are doing all they can do, but they need everyone who is able to help, to become pro-active. This article is a clarion call to volunteer by sending a donation to help those in need if you are able to do so. At some point, you may the one in need, so please, open your heart to loving others as you love yourself.
Last January, I wrote an article for the Pineapple Post highlighting Financial Peace University, (FPU); it’s a once-a-week, 9-week class that teaches money management and financial preparedness through using principles called “baby steps”. The founder of FPU, Dave Ramsey, outlines a simple process of living debt-free and achieving financial peace by following the baby steps. Financial preparedness is invaluable as hurricane/natural disaster preparedness as well. I heard numerous graduates of FPU tell of their relief to able to weather the costs of the recent storms, without incurring debt, and their ability to send generous donations to organizations on the front-lines of helping those most impacted by hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Natural disasters can strike anywhere at any time. Did you find yourself waiting in line with the masses hoping to purchase propane, gas, plywood, bottled water, and food, prior to supplies running out? If so, you can prevent that mess next time by making a preparedness plan, now. We do not have control over the weather, but we do have control over preparedness; a simple plan helps to weather storms with peace of mind, and empowers us to help those in need.
Baby steps to a preparedness plan: Purchase emergency supplies and extra food, year-round. Build a cash emergency fund, along with a savings account emergency fund. Get in the habit of keeping your gas tank at least ¾’s full.
Put an emergency kit together for your pets: label a backpack and store enough food for a week, a couple of collapsible bowls, doggy-doo bags, treats, toys and first aid supplies. Take a photo of you with your pets, for proof that they are your pet, should they go missing.
For more preparedness information:
Martin County Emergency Management Agency: 772-287-1652
For a Financial University Class nearest you: www.daveramsy.com