Weather's whims will continue to impact us

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The one thing we know about the weather is that it's unpredictable. And another thing is that the weather is perhaps the most common conversation in this neck of the woods.

We got a taste of the unpredictable part of Mother Nature this week and, to be real honest, it could have been much worse.

Our hearts go out to those in Harrisburg, Ill., Branson, Puxico, Morley and elsewhere who were on the front lines of a substantial storm front. Those who have been in Sikeston long enough well remember that we have had our share of scary weather. And we will have more. That's just the nature of our region.

But the city's alert system and a wide array of weather text alerts came as welcome relief for those concerned about this week's weather.

I often complain about emerging technology - primarily because I am terrible at learning the new-fangled gadgets that make our life easier.

But in this case - and many others - I am clearly on the wrong side of the learning curve. These new technologies can, have and will continue to save lives by providing an early warning system that has not been available.

Our community, like others in the Midwest, is often at the mercy of Mother Nature. The "official" start of the tornado season was this week and it came in with a bang.

The best advice from weather officials is to be prepared. Have a safe location identified in the event of a major storm. Be prepared with some level of supplies to help protect yourself and your family.

We've received phone calls from Sikeston residents who want to donate or volunteer to help those impacted by this week's storms. That says much about our community and the spirit of generosity that resides here. Some day we may be in the position to need help for something such as the ice storm that ravaged our region not too long ago.

The front page headlines of this paper will again be dominated by stories of weather damage. It's just a matter of time.

But the way to prepare for that inevitability is to think ahead, think smart and recognize that we cannot control the weather but we can control our actions to prepare.

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