Over the past several years San Antonio has endured a few emergencies. Following Hurricane Harvey, there was a run on gasoline which created a local shortage. At the beginning of the pandemic there was a shortage of toilet paper and cleaning supplies. During this week’s prolonged freeze, we experienced closed highways, loss of power and loss of running water. It only lasted four days but, of course, we ran out of gasoline, groceries, toilet paper, water, etc.
There are some lessons to be learned.
First. We are vulnerable to disruptions in our utilities and supply chains. The disruptions are unpredictable and can come in combinations. Our recent loss of power and water was amplified by the limitations on travel caused by icy roads. Warming stations and shelters were opened but COVID-19 restricted the capacity. On the other hand, both utilities and the supply chain have proven to be resilient. The lights come back on, the water flows and the stores are restocked.
Second. Most people are very generous in an emergency. Food and water were being given away. Churches and other public buildings were opened as shelters. Neighbors looked out for one another, sharing their resources.
Third. We need to store supplies to tide us over in an emergency. FEMA recommends three days. That’s how long it can take local, state and or federal authorities to get to you. Supplies ought to include water (one gallon per person per day), canned food, candles, flashlights and batteries. Always make sure you have enough of your prescription medicines. Don’t let your vehicle’s fuel drop below half a tank and top it off if expecting bad weather.
Other items to consider are a battery powered weather radio, meal bars and extra pet food. Having a gallon of water in your vehicle during the summer and a blanket in the winter won’t hurt.
There will be another emergency. We don’t know what it will be or when but the time to prepare is when store shelves are stocked. The Bible wants us to learn from the ant.
Proverbs 6:6-8 says “Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise. It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”