While I believe most folks realize we live on a volatile planet, I think we often get caught up in day-to-day life and forget how fragile the balance is between everything is all right and everything is all wrong. At any given time Mother Nature can turn areas upside down with little to no warning. Lately, we have seen too many of these type of events – floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. – events that take lives, damage property and devastate communities.
While mankind has made great strides in preparing for and mitigating against these type of events, it rarely removes the necessity to respond to and recover from them. The recent major earthquake in Japan is an example that is instructive. Japan is one of the best prepared countries in the world when it comes to earthquakes, but with an 8.9 earthquake it is hard to avoid damage to a built environment. Sometimes, even the best and most conscientious measures aren’t enough to protect folks from all the impacts of these events. However, it is clear that the preparedness and mitigation activities undertaken in Japan in regard to earthquakes paid off. The death toll, although unbearably high by anyone’s account, could have been much higher had the country not taken earthquake preparedness and mitigation so seriously.
Folks in the Red River Valley are currently preparing themselves and their homes for what Mother Nature may bring. Fortunately, we take flooding seriously here. The Fargo-Moorhead area has taken great strides since 2009 in both preparedness and mitigation activities that are designed to protect our communities. Yet, we should be aware that even the best efforts are sometimes just not enough – there are limits.
I remain hopeful that Mayor Walaker really is the River Whisperer and is correct in his guess-timate of the Red’s crest and that all the hard work of the cities, counties and citizenry pay off in another successful flood fight; however, as they say – I plan for the worse, hope for the best and will be ready for anything.
We are quickly approaching our third flood fight in as many years. Don’t assume everything will be fine, be ready for whatever comes by doing everything you can do to prepare for and mitigate against flood damage. On Thursday I will post a list of steps that we all can do to be better prepared for what we may face over the next few weeks. I hope you will take the time to ensure that you and your family are safe as the cities and counties have enough on their plates and will not likely have the resources available to come to the aid of citizens who are ill-prepared (and even if they do have the resources they are resources that the average citizen should try not to “rely” on – this is the type of event that calls for all of us doing our part). After you have taken all the steps you need to keep your family safe, if you could please do one additional thing for me – say a little prayer that Mayor Walaker really is the River Whisperer…I do so want to believe.
Day six hundred and seventeen of the new forty – obla di obla da