Saturday, June 12, 2010

DISASTER HITS CLOSE TO HOME


By now everyone has probably heard of the flash flood disaster in Arkansas. I learned of it yesterday via a phone call from a former co-worker, telling me that one of the missing families are related to him. The whole family was lost except for the mother. There was another family from Shreveport that was lost, all except the mother. I am praying for those two mothers and their families. I cannot begin to imagine what they are going through.

This tragedy really hits home, since we are campers and have been considering a weekend trip to the same area in the near future! I keep thinking, how could this have been avoided? Do you suppose weather alert radios would have helped? The news reports say escape routes were limited. I wonder what I would have done, if at around 3AM, I was awakened by my weather radio with a flash flood alert. Would I have presence of mind to load up and leave or would I have had time to leave? These questions are haunting me.

Some would say that kind of thinking is unnecessary worrying. I believe thinking about these things is necessary planning. I need to be ever mindful of possible hazards in the areas I camp, especially once we are traveling fulltime. Owning a weather alert radio is one step, but the next step is planning the actions necessary in the event an alert happens. When I pull into the campground questions should include: What are the weather conditions possible for this area at this time of year? What actions should I take if an alert happens during the night or day? Where are my escape routes? Will I have time to hookup or do I just take the truck? Where is the nearest shelter? Hmmm this is beginning to look like a possible checklist!

I know that some questions will not have answers, but the more possibities and questions I consider beforehand, then maybe the more prepared I will become. Of course I realize that when the unexpected happens, all checklist and prepared actions can become useless or just plain forgotten. When it comes down to that, we are in God's hands.

Until next time, may God bless you and keep you safe............

9 comments:

Leno said...

Prayers certainly are going out to all those involved in the flood.
It really does get you thinking, doesn't it. We don't even own a weather radio, so I guess that is on the top of our list.

Jim and Dee said...

We've been thinking the exact same thing. We have the weather announcements on the ham radio, but it's not classified as "alert". We're thinking when we do remote camping that we better get one. Right now, we're not in back country campgrounds. Sure has made us aware!

Happytrails said...

It has really shook us up as well. Our prayers are certainly going to these families. It is just awful.
This is something that should make us all stop and think a bit. There is nothing wrong with prior planning and being aware of your surroundings. Great ideas!

Take care!
Mike & Gerri (happytrails)
http://freedom2roll.blogspot.com

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Yes, such a tragedy!

A few thoughts...

- many campgrounds are located close to water in low lying areas, with only ONE road out, which could easily be blocked by floods, mud slides or forest fires, know your area and think ahead of escape routes

- get a weather radio that runs off batteries, not just for boondocking, but as you may have power outages even in a campground with hookups, no power means no reports via weather radio or television

- keep a printed off copy of the NOAA codes for all counties where you might be travelling through, to program your radio to, otherwise you may get NOAA reports for places 100 or more miles away... that don't apply to your area

- realize gullies and arroyos and sand bars along riverbanks were MADE by rushing waters, and could very well be filled up again in no time, so don't camp in them, even if they are dry at the moment.

- most of all, make sure your weather radio is ON overnight!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard
http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karen and Al said...

They say you should plan an escape route in a hotel in the event of a fire. I don't think there is any difference to plan an escape route while camping.

I have had those exact same thoughts myself.

A weather radio is a must and it must always be programmed into the county where you are located.

Levonne said...

Those families who were swept away have been on my mind. I wish it could have been prevented. ~ Camp Host Housewife

Ali said...

It has been awhile since I have been able to read blogs. I don't know what happened and would like to read about it.

We don't have a weather radio either. I don't even know what it really is.

Any info you could share with me would be appreciated. Feel free to email me directly if that would be easier.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Liquid Rubber said...

Well its really pain full moment of flood in Arkansas i feel and saw that time with my own eyes in my country that is very terrible time for those who are caught by flood i wish and pray for all people of Arkansas and mothers may God bless them.