This week's newsletter article:
As I write this, I’m also watching the weather news. Those of you who’ve spent time in the office during hurricane season know that Eric and I watch these storms very closely. The Internet, for better or worse, gives us access to good information about potential hurricanes and tropical storms, and we’ve both got our favorite places to watch.
Today the news is mixed. Gustav has made landfall on the Louisiana coast as a strong category 2 hurricane. The good news is that it is weaker than previously feared. The bad news is that the wind field is as large as Katrina’s was, three years ago, and the storm surge will seriously challenge the levee system. Hanna is expected to become a hurricane in a few days and make landfall somewhere in Georgia or South Carolina, although it could come as far north as Beaufort, according to this morning’s forecast.
Don’t panic, though. There is so much uncertainty about predicting these tropical weather systems that this week I’ve had a great lesson in vocabulary. I’ve been tempted to count the uses of words like maybe, possible, uncertain, conservative, tricky, suggest, and difficult as the forecasters attempt to figure out what these storms are up to. We just don’t know enough.
What we can do is to be cautious, to pay attention to the weather news, and to think about how we might respond, both to a local hurricane strike, and also to those in other places, like Gustav. In the coming days we’ll be hearing from our disaster response teams and the Outreach committee on ways we can prepare ourselves in the event a storm comes to our part of the coast and ways to help others who have already been through a storm. In the meantime, we watch, and pray, and find peace in the sure and certain knowledge that God is with us, whatever we face.