Thursday, June 2, 2011

Storms On The Horizon

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. 
~ Proverbs 22:3, NLT ~

Who of us has not witnessed the horrific tragedy caused by tornadoes recently sweeping through communities like Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Joplin, Missouri and most recently Springfield, Massachusetts?  Times like these remind us of the power of nature and how we can be suddenly caught off-guard by crisis.  But the wisdom of God's word reminds us that consequences await us when we fail to prepare for the unexpected.

As parents of children with special needs, we are called and equipped to be good stewards of these precious gifts the Lord has given us.  Extra measures must be taken in addition to the typical preparations people make for things like hurricanes and earthquakes.  While the challenges we face can be exhausting, there are resources to turn to for help in planning.  For example, The Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs out of Seattle Children's Hospital offers a brief overview on how to pack an emergency supply kit for parents.  It highlights forms like the quick, easy to complete Care Plan and In Case of Emergency Form for you to update and have ready at a moment's notice.  For something lengthier and more detailed, The American Red Cross has combined forces with FEMA to offer the 20 page guide, Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs.  This piece is really intended for adults with handicaps or challenges, but will definitely get anyone who is planning for a child with special needs thinking.

Since no one knows that special child like you do, how about working beyond the set formula that these venues offer?  Do you spend time in God's word with your child?  Packing small Bible story books and coloring pages will offer comfort to your child reminding them of the Father's presence and strength during fearful times.  Also proven to be great stress relievers for children are fidgets (Kid Companions Chewelry is one of our favorites.), cherished stuffed animals and soft dough.  Each child has their own item that soothes and comforts.  Be mindful of such preferences when packing an emergency kit.

Certain things can easily be forgotten when planning for sudden crisis.  For our family, having adequate amounts of infusable medication and ancillary supplies would be absolutely key.  But don't forget the therapy animal, iPad or other assistive aids when planning.  What equipment needs to go along with each of those things to make them functional?  Make your own checklist to assure these are not left out when you need to move quickly.

While the loss of property and life in recent months has been heart rendering, if not for society's improved ability to warn and to plan in advance, the consequences would be far worse.  Let this be a solemn reminder to us that our Maker intends for us to be wise in taking precautions for life's dangers.  If tragedy strikes, may we be found to be the prudent ones.

PRAY: Spirit of wisdom, help us to carefully think and ready ourselves ahead of crisis, because when tragedy strikes, it's too late. 

~ Barb Dittrich 

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