A time to give

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, September 9, 2017

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We seem to be experiencing a season of disasters at the moment.

Those disasters will require a significant response.

Brian Knox

Brian Knox

Fresh off the devastation wrought by Hurricane and then Tropical Storm Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, which set a record for most rainfall from a single storm, Hurricane Irma was bearing down on the southern tip of Florida as of this column’s writing. Irma has already battered many Caribbean islands, causing widespread destruction and at least 20 deaths as of Friday.

It’s already being labeled as one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders were in place from Florida all the way up the Georgia coast.

Some islands in the Eastern Caribbean already hit by Hurricane Irma – including Antigua and Barbuda; St. Martin; and St. Barts – were also bracing for Hurricane Jose, which strengthened into a Category 4 storm Friday.

And as if that wasn’t enough, a third hurricane has formed in the Atlantic and was expected to make landfall in Mexico this weekend. Hurricane Katia was a Category 2 hurricane Friday but was expected to be close to Category 3 strength by the time it makes landfall.

But it’s not just hurricanes that are causing such destruction.

Dozens of people were killed late Thursday in what is being called the most powerful earthquake to strike Mexico in a century. The 8.2-magnitude quake was located off the country’s Pacific Coast in the far southwest part of Mexico and was felt by millions of people in the country’s capital of Mexico City.

And as the East Coast of our country braces for the effects of a hurricane, many people on the West Coast are dealing with a much different type of problem.

As of Thursday, more than 76 large fires were burning in nine Western states, according to the interagency fire center.

According to an ABC News report, nine firefighters had died and 35 have been injured fighting these fires this year. An estimated 500 homes and 32 commercial buildings have also been lost.

All of those disasters combined pale in comparison to the destruction caused by last month’s massive flooding in South Asia which has affected an estimated 40 million people and killed more than 1,000.

The need for help following these disasters might seem overwhelming to us, but we can find a way to rise up and meet those needs.

I’ve seen the response to the Texas Gulf Coast flooding by local folks and people across our nation. It’s been inspiring, yet not unexpected in the least.

It’s what we do, as Wise Countians, Texans, Americans and humans.

The need will be great. Our response must be greater.

Let’s follow this season of disaster with a season of giving out of love for neighbor both near and far.

Brian Knox is the Messenger’s special project manager.

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