Civic alerts and preparing for emergencies

civic alert for Bartow

Last night you were probably among the many who received a text alert that made you pause for a moment. Maybe you dismissed it as having to do with the incoming winter weather and gave it nothing more than a glance. Or, maybe you read the words with it more carefully and got a little alarmed.

The alert, sent out by Georgia Emergency Management Agency, actually was a glitch that was supposed to be a weather alert. What it created instead was a bit of chaos. Bartow County Fire Chief Craig Millsap told the Daily Tribune News that “… people were googling what [the civic alert could be]. Well, Google gave back results of everything from an impending nuclear attack to the threat of terrorism to landslides. The majority of calls I was getting were people that were panicked over the fact that we were possibly under a nuclear attack.”

It ended up being nothing, but could’ve been something. Nobody expects emergencies, but they tend to happen regardless.

Emergencies can happen quickly, but there are other types. These happen slowly with a lot of advanced warning and yet still get us. They take shape over long periods of neglecting our relationships, diet, or personal discipline. It’s having gone between Sundays without cracking open our Bible. It’s not scheduling a badly-needed date night with our spouse. It’s not checking in on someone who wouldn’t have be expecting it, but be thrilled you did.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

“Numbering” our days has a negative tone and conjures up an Old West street where the gunslinger bad guy tells us our days are numbered. The point here, though, is to treat each day as the opportunity that it is. The gardner knows about the importantance of patience in bringing about the desired results. In the same way, athletes know championship aren’t won in the final game, but during drills in the off-season when the crowds aren’t around. It’s just you and your own desire to take the steps.

Emergencies have a 100% chance of happening at some point. No one escapes them, nor what they reveal about us in our response. Maybe we turn and run. Or, maybe we stand even when we’re alone.

Even in the appearance of being nothing, they often mean something.

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