Michael. for most is just a name neither good or bad. I have several family members with that as a first or middle name. However, if you’ve been around a news broadcast anywhere in the last few weeks you know the name has taken on an infamous shadow that will haunt thousands for years to come. It started innocently enough as tropical wave L91 in the lower Caribbean Sea off the Yucatan peninsula.
As a long-term Florida resident we didn’t give it much thought. It strengthened and started heading north as these often do. We get regular storms brought up from the Gulf year round. While bringing some wind and rain, it’s not really an odd occurrence. Indeed this is a normal weather pattern for us. A couple of days later it intensified to a named storm. Michael. When early predictions started rolling in we took note but really didn’t consider it worth getting anxious about until it made category II.
If you’ve seen the pictures from Panama city, Lynn haven, Tyndall AFB, Mexico Beach, you have seen the catastrophic damage these storms can cause. in the days right before it hit land we urged friends and family to evacuate. People with brick homes are facing starting over. I was surprised by how many people were going to stay even those in mobile homes were planning to ride out the storm at home. I was very surprised to learn that even with all the years experience that most long-term residents have, they did not have a basic hurricane kit with essential like a weather radio. Along with posting information for survivors to help in the aftermath, I am putting the link to the supply list everyone should have and how to prepare before the storm arrives.
With most communications down, info was passed on thru the few working cell carriers. The vulnerable systems left advocated using secondary sites like Facebook, Google hangouts, Zello and others for both rescue officials and citizens. I am proud that most who stayed showed the best side of humanity by jumping into action and helping each other without any expectations. While some tried to take advantage, the majority pitched in to help. Many like myself could not physically travel to the affected area, we turned to social media groups to help verify and pass important information. Working with both people bringing supplies in, official stations for aid, and real people on the ground, we were able to help connect people with needs and help.
Special Thanks to all the Linemen who work so diligently to restore power to affected neighborhoods. The search and rescue teams who help save countless lives. The Cajun Navy from Louisiana. Their tireless efforts to help can never be overstated. Thank you for continuing even after official operations were turned over to the National Guard.
This is from NOAA just before the storm made landfall.
Over a month later the major news media has refocused thier attention. Good Morning America, did a live broadcast just this morning to help bring focus back to the destruction that is total and onhoing. People are still living in tents throughout the city. Mexico Beach just no longer exists. As Thanksgiving comes to us all this year we give special thanks for surviving the storm. Even with everything lost and no place to go or live the residents remain strong, hopeful and yes, this Thanksgiving we give extra thanks for our family and friends from this affected area. So as you gather for your holiday celebration, and prepare to shop till you drop, please remember the spirit of giving. While there are many who donate to charities this giving season, please consider giving to those in the ground aiding directly in this recovery.
An alumni from school started her own non-profit for Hurricane recovery. Way to go Rachel!
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorGainer/ 🍁I have compiled a list of Thanksgiving events that are free to our community.
If I have missed a link to a valuable resource please let me know.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a host of others keep us connected. They are valuable tools to stay in touch. I love my Facebook account! With schools back in session I cherish the photos of all the children embarking on their new adventures for another school year. Family and friends alike enjoy the progressive photos from one year to another. So by all means shutterbug away. There are more photos taken today than at any point in our history. The only Question is what do with them?
As parents, you take extraordinary measures to insure their safety. In today’s world that can be quite a challenge. it seems like the news is full of traumatic events and a significant portion of these stories showcase children both the good and the bad. More bad than good I’m sorry to say. Abuse, neglect, cruelty, mistakes, as well as kidnapping, murder and a variety of others make headlines around the country both here and abroad. As these feature on even our local evening news and our media feeds I thought this would be a good time to review the tips to keep your precious ones off the news and out of the statistics.
Never give personal information.
It’s the first day of school and we like to proudly show off our accomplishments. Never post your child’s name, school, teacher, or classroom. The same goes for bus information. Give to trusted family or friends directly. What you post to a family member, friend or frustrated adult can be seen on social media by people you defiantly do not want around your children.
Turn off Geotags in phones, tablets and devices.
Funny name, big consequences. Did you know that funny tag is your exact GPS location? Nefarious individuals can use this information to find your home, and even your child’s window. Every photo uploaded with these tags will create a trail of bread crumbs accessible through social media outlets of every place you go. Some also give a location history of where you have been with your phone.
Use a special password.
A special password between children and parents can alert a child to seek help. Imagine an adult approaches your child near their school. They say you parent was in an accident and sent them to pick them up. Scary right? Your child should ask for the special password. If the adult does not know it your child should immediately notify a teacher, administrator, or law enforcement officer. It’s better to have a small delay while it’s checked out, than a missing poster.
Remember to have fun while making sure both you and your child stay safe.
Do you have a safety tip? Share them in the comment section below.