Disaster Preparedness Involves Being Aware of Our Environment
There is not a lot of coverage right now on the drought problem in our Conference, as much of the focus is presently on California. An examination of this map, however, indicates everyone should be aware, follow the trends, and be thinking ahead:
Our entire Conference is presently rated in moderate to severe drought conditions. Our sister Pacific Northwest Conference is not quite as bad, but has cause for concern particularly in Washington. Unless we experience a sharp uptick in precipitation in the next few months (few forecasts I have seen expect this), I believe we may experience in our Conference and throughout the Jurisdiction:
- A significant increase in wildfires. Surprisingly, last summer seemed active but was rated relatively low in incidents.
- Potentially severe economic impact, particularly in tourism, agriculture and dependent services.
- Potentially severe water shortages, particularly in California, which could be expected to need to draw on Oregon resources.
We would be well served at this point to encourage those in vulnerable areas to review and talk about emergency plans, water conservation and other mitigation efforts (e.g., brush clearance and tree trimming, etc.) in anticipation of a long dry summer. Perhaps there is a role for UMVIM teams from your church to assist vulnerable members of your community in these efforts.