Learning From Disasters


Back when I was in Navy boot camp, one of the things that we had to do was watch a disaster that happened on the USS Forrestal  back in 1967. Many seemingly “unimportant” missteps, the disaster on the aircraft carrier killed 134 and injured another 161 sailors. The damage exceeded $72 million dollars or $509 million in today’s dollars. The reason we watched this video was to learn what not to do if there is a fire aboard ship. The disaster also changed a lot of general operating procedures making the formerly lax crews aboard ship more regulated. The reason we watched this video was to learn what not to do if there is a fire aboard ship. The disaster also changed a lot of general operating procedures making the formerly lax crews aboard ship more regulated. The lessons learned from that disaster helped in preventing disasters in the future.

Personal Disasters

The same is true with personal or natural disasters that happen to us. A few years ago, we had an ice storm and we were without electricity for ten days. Although I had been somewhat prepared for the event, it went on longer than I had anticipated so I learned what I needed to do in the event that such a disaster happened again. This happened in winter. If this had happened during the summer, I would have had to adjust my plans to the season.

We don’t have to personally face disasters before we start preparing to lessen a disaster’s effects. We can prepare for disasters ahead of time by imagining what could happen and begin to prepare for them. About a year ago I was talking with my husband about something that we didn’t quite agree on. I really don’t remember the topic of conversation, but the next thing I knew, he had me up against the wall and he was choking me. As I stood there praying for my next breath, I realized that I had to get away from him permanently. If I didn’t, I would be dead. He would be in jail, and our daughter would be in foster care. Not what I wanted for any of us. Therefore, I had to make plans for myself and quickly.

Protecting Myself Against Potential Disasters

Since that personal disaster, my personal life has changed for the better. I am independent and working on providing a more secure life for myself.

For instance,  I did was that I determined that I had to have a regular form of cash flow for living expenses. I have a regular job that I work for twelve hours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays so that I have four days off during the week. This prevents the disaster of not having any cash flow and it allows me time to write all day for four days a week if I want. I am also working on my writing business and developing that so that if something were to happen to the regular job, I would still have writing to fall back on.

I now own a travel trailer and a small truck (outright). Rather than getting excessive amounts of comprehensive insurance, I am going to put more money into savings. If I have to, I want to be able to replace either with what I currently have in the bank. If the forest near the trailer catch fire, The trailer is on wheels so I can move it if I have to.

If for some reason I need more money than what I currently have in the bank, I am working on building my credit. I have a credit card and if I have an emergency in which I need a larger amount of cash, I will have money available. I am not however allowing myself the luxury of keeping a balance on my card. i pay it off every month. If for some reason I am not able to do that, I will focus on paying it off as quickly as humanly possible.

These are just a few ways that I am preparing for potential disasters that I might face. Other disasters I am not likely to have to deal with. For instance, because my home is up on a hill, I will not be facing the possibility that in that location, my home will be flooded out. Nor is it on a hillside (It is at the top) so my home will not be subject to landslide either. Because the house can be moved, I am not likely to lose it to forest fire, but a house fire is still currently a possibility that I will probably have to further minimize.

Continuing Effort

During the next few months, I will  continue to examine the possibilities of disasters happening as I prepare to move further on my life’s journey. In the process, I will work to figure out how I can lessen their effects.

2014-04-07 07.07.08

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

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2 comments
  1. I think today I’ll simply say thank you for serving your country.

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