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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Preparedness is Only Part of the Game

We here at the AzEIN sweatshop have been diligently endeavoring to bring you the latest in future news.

It’s a tricky business, predicting the future. The truth is neither I, nor Judy nor Ethan are psychic. In fact, a TV weatherman will likely be more accurate at telling the future considering all the high technology at his disposal.

But a big slice of our work pie involves delivering information on being prepared: Know what you should do in the event of a fire, or a flood, or if a wall of dust appears before you on the Beeline Highway. Be sure to have three days worth of food and water in your disaster supplies kit. There’s more. Lots more.

All good information that bears repeating, even for those of us who regularly wade through these particular waters (but not in a flash flood, since even a car will begin to lose control in only 6 inches of water.)

Since the weather generally doesn’t take special requests, we’re at the whim of Mother Nature to ply our trade, although she often treats us to the exact opposite of what we expect from her. We waited breathlessly for a robust fire season this summer, and instead got an early monsoon season. Now that the monsoon season is officially here, we are being treated to extreme heat.

And just when we think we have a message on the tip of our tongue for whatever season we think is coming down the pike, she throws an earthquake at us.

We handle these curve balls the best we can. No one here ever hopes for a disaster to take place; our training and preparation will be tested enough in due time. But I can sure appreciate how someone might be itching to get off the bench and put their skills to use.

Take my nephew, Glenn. After joining the Army about a year ago and going through endless training in preparation for deployment to the sandbox, he got stationed at Fort Lewis near Seattle. His unit, a Stryker Unit of the 3rd Brigade in the 2nd Infantry Division, got word that it would be sent to Iraq in early August (not the first time he’d heard that, I think.) He got so antsy, he volunteered to go early and arrived last week.

As an old Navy guy, I hope I rendered the description of his Army unit accurately. In any case, I have no doubt the U.S. Army is sending one of its best-prepared soldiers to a place where the unexpected has been known to happen, a place no one wants to go – unless, of course, you’re young and want to get off the bench and get in the game.

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