Thereâ€™s nothing new about turbulent weather but whatâ€™s happening this season has to catch the attention of even the most seasoned weather watcher. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and now Maria, exploded upon the Caribbean and the southern United States, then tore up the coast.
Fortunately, so far, they have exhausted themselves before they were able do much damage here - inland, at least.
As lucky as we appear to be, the news photos serve as a reminder that these storms and other weather events can be catastrophic. And that we, individually, should be preparing for the worst, even as we hope for the best.
In good times, itâ€™s easy to pick up a case of bottled water, some nonperishable foods and a flashlight or two. Talk to family about contingency plans. Where would you go? How would you contact each other?
And The Humane Society is urging us to get pets ready, too. They should wear collars and I.D. tags with their name, a cell phone number, and any urgent medical needs. And, the society adds, never abandon a pet if you have to evacuate. Instead, have ready a comfortable pet carrier and other supplies.
Finally, think about what you might have to leave behind. Secure whatâ€™s most precious - family photos, perhaps, memory-filled heirlooms, documents that would be hard to replace.
While this seasonâ€™s hurricanes have blasted other places, we, as they say, dodged the bullet. But the scenes of devastation serve as a reminder for us: When the wind is at your door, itâ€™s too late to prepare. Do it now. And then pray for those who are not so lucky.