Get some water; grab some food
Be sure your flashlights work okay
It wouldn’t hurt to fill your tank
Then on your knees and pray, pray, pray!
Board your windows, if you can
Securely tie or store your boat
Check your neighbors; lend a hand
Then take a lamb and slit its throat
A first-aid kit, some blankets, too,
Some cleansers that can take on staph;
Pick up the junk that’s on the lawn
And sacrifice the fatted calf
Make sure you have a radio,
Some candles, matches, in a box
Trim dead branches from any trees
And then behead a snow-white ox
The winds will blow, the tides will rise
It’s possible your house may flood
So sacrifice your first-born child
Cos God is mad, and God wants blood!
If first you’ve used the power of science
To put yourself in safe positions
You now have time for magic words
And ineffective superstitions.
So I was watching PBS Newshour, and saw (I think; I’ve tried to check, without success) the North Carolina Governor, Bev Perdue, give a statement on hurricane preparedness. NC has been through this stuff before; it’s a tough state and they’ll do just fine. They’ll have damage, and depending on the severity of the storm, they’ll have death. But they know how to prepare.
So it was mostly a very helpful reminder of the things one should do in advance of a hurricane. Water, batteries, first aid kit, the usual. And she ended with a dramatic flourish, asking her citizens, once they have taken care of those material suggestions, to pray. To my (biased, admittedly) ear, there was a clear emphasis on this strategy. And, frankly, if you are not allowed to pray until you have done all those other (practical) things, perhaps it’s a decent strategy, a nice carrot for those who believe in the effectiveness of prayer (just remember how well it’s been working for Texas).
Just remember, NC–prayer comes after all the other stuff!
Prof. Bleen says
For some reason, your poem reminds me a little of Tom Lehrer’s “Vatican Rag.”
Nice Public Service Announcement. Needs more graphics tho :)
Charles Sullivan says
Out in the Pacific Northwest we don’t have many earthquakes (as compared to California), but they keep telling us that the Big One could come any day. So I’ve made an earthquake survival backpack. It sits by the front door, with 3 days for 3 people (water/food/medical/etc).
Die Anyway says
How does that praying stuff work? Is it by quantity, quality, sincerity, level of desperation, or what?
When Irene first popped up I suppose that the residents of the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida started praying it wouldn’t hit them. It seems to have worked and God redirected the hurricane toward the East Coast. So then the East Coast praying competition was on. Who could pray better… Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey and spots in between? Looks as if God liked the Florida prayers better, and maybe those from Georgia and South Carolina. North Carolina and Virginia better get their act together. God seems to have it in for them. But are they just not praying enough, or not sincere enough, or using the wrong words? Inquiring minds want to know. How can you get your prayers right if you don’t know the rules? :-)