Since moving to North Carolina, emergency preparedness has been something on my mind. Growing up in Arizona and living in Provo for the past 5 years, it hasn’t been something I have really given much thought to. Arizona rarely ever sees natural disasters—the only time school was ever closed is because the boiler room got flooded and the air conditioners didn’t work. Living in Provo, everyone usually assumes that because BYU has enough food to feed 30,000 people for 3 days, it’s nothing to worry about.
Living nearer to the coast in North Carolina has made me think “what if?” There are a lot more possibilities for natural disasters here including hurricanes, tornados, floods, and even weird power outages. A couple of weeks ago our county had a tornado warning. Fortunately, all we got was a bit of rain. Our ward is really focusing on emergency preparedness however, even asking some families to see if they can go for an entire week without going to the grocery store. I couldn’t do it—can you?
The ward had everyone fill out questionnaires about our emergency preparedness. Emergency supplies? Hum… I think we have a flashlight? It has been something on my mind, and Steve and I are trying to heed the prophet’s council to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Every time we go to the grocery store we buy a few more gallons of water, and we have a 72-hour kit for both of us courtesy of our BYU Married Ward.
Yesterday, I got an e-mail on my phone that said we shouldn’t drink the water before boiling it. Apparently, during an inspection they found the presence of Fecal Coliform in the Greenville area, and were worried about the magnitude of the contamination. Basically E-coli bacteria. In the water. From fecal contamination. Sick! For more go here: http://www.reflector.com/ Right now the Boil Order is still in effect, and they are not sure when it will lift.
By the mid-afternoon all the restaurants in Greenville were forced to close. It was weird driving by to see so many empty parking lots. But have you ever thought about how much we really use water? We use it to wash our hands, wash the dishes, brush our teeth, drink, bathe in, and make ice with. We constantly are using water in our lives usually without a second thought.
It made me very grateful for our meager efforts to follow the advice of the prophet. Especially since many people had to rush out and buy bottled water. Wal-Mart started charging $8 for a 24-pack of bottled water!! Fortunately not everyone was price gouging, and a local store, Harris Teater, was giving out gallons of water for free. It’s amazing how disasters can bring out the best in some and the worst in others.
*** Update! As of Thursday 6/26/08, the Boil Water Advisory was lifted except in specific areas where they found the contamination!!!