When a disaster hits, often new, related events occur with a major impart. A wildfire may burn houses, but later heavy rain may cause flooding because of the stripped vegetation.
You have likely seen news reports of the drought striking much of the country, you can read my earlier posting here: http://bit.ly/PiP8sB . Now, the Mississippi River is drying up, causing a disaster for those who ship goods down the river.
This is important because the over 50% of our grain, 20% of oil, natural gas and coal travel up, or down the river. The river, which last year flooded, is now 20 feet below normal at Vicksburg and 13 feet low at Memphis. Already barge and tugboat operators are forced to slow down because of the increasingly narrow channels, and in a few places must wait while traffic is forced to move one way. Waiting for a traffic in a construction zone restricted to one lane can be annoying, here the long wait is expensive. In addition, many barges are forced carry less product, increasing the cost to shippers for the smaller loads.
Long range forecasts don’t expect much rain, so the river is likely to drop further. Should traffic be halted completely the economic cost is estimated at $300 million dollars a day. In addition, the farmers, already under drought pressure will loos valuable markets and face higher shipping costs in moving the already reduced crops to market. Shipping by rail or truck is more expensive.
When working through a disaster, we need to look ahead and consider what secondary effects may affect us, and others.
When a major earthquake strikes the immediate impact is falling buildings. Then those survivors need water, food and temporary shelter. The damage to bridges and roads is a secondary problem, drivers must go further to reach a destination. The extensive bridge damage caused some commuter to add two hors, or more in drive time each day.
When a disaster strikes, develop the habit of looking beyond the obvious, consider those problems that will affect you later and adapt. A San Francisco Bay commuter may want to car pool to cut down on costs or a wise homeowner may need to do flood mitigation after a wild fire.
Become ready to minister during a disaster, start with the Ready Christian Training here: http://bit.ly/GVpW91 .