Ask yourself this: Are you ready, or not?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Hall
  • 45th Launch Group Superintendent
Abundant earthquakes, frequent flooding, treacherous tornados, heavy hurricanes...what's next, or maybe a more relevant question is, where next? Large scale, uncontrollable natural disasters are taking place all around us.

At best, we can forecast to allow reaction time, but these and many more potentially lethal incidents are on their own schedules and can strike anywhere at any time. Taking that into account, sit back for a moment and ask yourself if you're really prepared for any of these lifealtering situations.

Many of you are running mental checklists or inventories for whatever calamity is more prominent in your area, but delve a few layers deeper.

Think about destruction around the globe that's left death and ruin in its wake. Earthquakes in Haiti and Chile killed thousands and left thousands more stranded, and closer to home, Hurricane Katrina five years ago. Each of these events caused irreversible material and emotional damage for thousands of people, from which many may never recover.

Whether directly or indirectly affected, I suspect a large percentage of them thought and hoped they'd "weather the storm," sustaining only minor to moderate collateral damage. This was not the case for far too many.

We and our families, locally and around the world, are susceptible to unpredictable misfortune where outcomes can be uncertain and severe.

If it happens to your family today, will you feel that you've spent adequate time building, strengthening, maintaining or repairing relationships?

Step into the shoes of a disaster victim's surviving family member. How many of them do you think wish they had one more opportunity to do or say just one thing differently?

We sometimes get so consumed with onslaughts of mission responsibilities and professional/personal growth opportunities that we create a neglectful time imbalance on our families. I didn't realize it as much 15 years ago as I do now, but fortunately I still have opportunities to recover.

Likewise, many of you may have similar situations. If so, reassess your priorities now and take advantage of time you can dedicate to your families. Most importantly, never presume your opportunities to do so are endless.