• Bad Moon Rising? How Much Credence Does Sunday's Blood Moon Deserve?

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    Moon over Water - Bad Moon Rising

    Early in the evening, just about suppertime, millions will have their eyes trained on Sunday’s total lunar eclipse. If your eyes are two of them, listen carefully as you gaze. You may hear the strains of an old ‘60’s tune floating through the air.

    “I see a bad moon rising. I see trouble on the way. I see earthquakes and lightenin’. I see bad times today.”

    Sunday’s moon might be called a Blood Moon for the red cast it will take on when it reaches full eclipse. For many, however, the name refers to ancient biblical prophecy declaring that, before the end of days, “the moon will be turned to blood.” For them, this is certainly a “Bad Moon Rising.”

    “I hear hurricanes a-blowin’. I know the end is comin’ soon. I feel rivers over flowin’. I hear the voice of rage and ruin.”

    Super Cell - Bad Moon RisingWhen Credence Clearwater Revival released this hit in early 1969, songwriter John Fogerty waxed prophetic when, less than four months later, Hurricane Camille hit the Gulf Coast of Mississippi—still the second strongest hurricane in US History.



    Religious ThingMark Biltz, founder of El Shaddai Ministries, has been warning the world about this Bad Moon since before the first of this tetrad arose in April of last year (a tetrad being a series of four consecutive full lunar eclipses). In a Washington Post interview he told writer Abby Phillip, “I’m just saying there’s a good chance there could be a war with Israel. I’m also saying there’s a good chance there could be economic calamity. And I’m basing that on the Bible and patterns.”

    Likewise, Minister John Hagee has been alerting the world that God himself has a message in the sky for us Sunday night. "There's a sense in the world that things are changing and God is trying to communicate with us in a supernatural way," Hagee told CBN News. "I believe that in these next two years, we're going to see something dramatic happen in the Middle East involving Israel that will change the course of history in the Middle East and impact the whole world," he predicted.

    “Hope you got your things together. Hope you are quite prepared to die. Looks like we’re in for nasty weather. One eye is taken for an eye.”

    Blood Moons, Bad moons, prophecies, calamities…you’d have to ask John Fogerty himself what he had in mind as he wrote his #2 Billboard hit. Rolling Stone Magazine did just that, and Fogerty quite frankly replied, “It was about the apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us.”

    I was a sixth grader at Cordova Meadows Elementary School when I first heard the strains of Bad Moon Rising. Since then, the world has seen plenty of earthquakes, hurricanes, rage, and ruin. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. Energy crisis, tsunamis, Ebola. Plunging markets, bursting bubbles, falling trade towers. Looking back, these calamities, along with the illnesses, accidents, layoffs, divorces and other set-backs that have hit me and mine over the last 45 years, never came with warnings, or moons, or top-forty hits. They just happened. I expect it’s the same for you and yours.

    “Don’t go around tonight. Well, it’s bound to take your life. There’s a bad moon on the rise.”

    Water Barrels - Bad Moon RisingSunday night, our cupboards will be stocked with several month’s worth of necessities. The propane tanks are full, cooking gear is at the ready, alongside a couple of tents and sleeping bags. Flashlights are charged, on the shelf with oil candles and the first-aid kit. Plus, over 200 gallons of clean water stand in barrels and jugs in the garage. When this bad moon rises, we’ll be ready…just like we have been for years. For us, family preparation has never been anything extreme, or fearful, or reactionary. We’re not cowering to mystic moons or ministers of doom. It’s just a part of our preparedness lifestyle—put a little bit aside each month for whatever God, or anyone else, has in mind.

    Bloo Moon Over Mountains - Bad Moon Rising

    So, my family will be goin’ around Sunday night. With cameras and binoculars in hand, we’ll throw a blanket out on the roof and watch this incredible super-moon rise and fade from white to red, marveling at it’s splendor. And while we’ll enjoy the evening, my wife and I are ever mindful that along with these peaceful times come also life’s challenges. But we’ll rest soundly until Monday morning, knowing we are prepared.


    Blood Moons Blog Banner - Bad MOon Rising

    Posted In: Planning Tagged With: shemitah, bad moon rising, tetrad, blood moon, Prepare

  • Tips for Helping Children Cope During Disasters

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    On September 8, as part of National Preparedness Month, PBS Kids ran a disaster-themed episode of Arthur, a cartoon aimed at school-age children. On the show, all the characters had to deal with the aftermath of a hurricane: family members leaving, homes and businesses destroyed, staying in a shelter, helping others. The children also faced the emotional consequences of the disaster.

    In the aftermath of a disaster, taking emotional care of yourself and your family can be hard. Yet, especially for children, that care is vital.

    Helping Children Cope - Images“How much are young children affected by events that take place around them? A lot,” according to Zero to Three, a nonprofit organization for early childhood development. Even though they may not understand the meaning of what they see or hear, children absorb the images that surround them and are deeply impacted by the emotions of the people they rely on for love and security.”

    A great way to take care of children emotionally is let them help with emergency preparation.

    In the Arthur episode, the character Muffy happily described how her family prepared for the upcoming hurricane.

    “Oh, the Crosswires are super prepared. We have a generator, tons of spring water, both sparkling and distilled, and three cases of smoked trout.”

    Children can help make emergency kits. They can practice fire and other disaster drills. They can learn emergency contact information.

    “Social science research and anecdotal evidence support the idea that children who have learned about emergency preparedness experience less anxiety during an actual emergency or disaster,” according to Ready.gov.

    Helping Children Cope Turning off the television is a great way in helping children cope with disasters. Too many negative images can really pay a toll on their emotional well-being.

    After a disaster, turn off the TV and be careful following other media, say Cynthia Moore and Paula Rauch, authors of an e-book about helping children cope that was written for the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. The need to follow every update can exacerbate adult anxiety, which children sense. Young children may think repeated images are new ones, which can make a disaster seem even worse than it is, they wrote.

    Instead, listen to children and talk to them after a disaster. For young children, that means playing with them, naming feelings and helping them color or tell stories.

    “Answer children’s questions according to their level of understanding: ‘Yes, a bad thing happened but we are keeping you safe,’” said the Zero to Three guide.

    Children Serving - Helping Children Cope Having children serve those effected by disaster is a great way in helping them cope with the same event.

    A great way to help older children cope is to get them involved helping others. It can be as simple as writing letters or making cookies for friends, or helping collect supplies for others in need. On Arthur, the title character built a web site to help pet owners reunite with their pets.

    “Helping can be incredibly healing and empowering,” according to Ready.gov.

    Talking is also therapeutic for older children. If they have suffered a loss, let them know the trouble won’t last forever. Keep it casual and find another trusted adult if they won’t talk to you, said a Ready.gov guide, “Helping Children Cope.”

    With all ages, “bear in mind that talking with your child involves more listening than talking,” Moore and Rauch wrote.

    When taking care of children, don’t forget to take care of you, recommended the guide from Zero to Three. Get back to a routine as soon as possible. Share feelings with family and friends. Eat well, exercise and get rest. If necessary, get professional help. Take time to enjoy your children.

    You can find all sorts of resources online to help children prepare for and cope with disasters. Here are a few.

    The e-book, Community Crises and Disasters, by Cynthia Moore and Paula Rauch, is a guide to help families deal with disaster. It was written for the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. The authors are health care professionals who work in a family crisis center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    Ready.gov has a section devoted to children with games and resources for parents, educators and children.

    PBS Kids made a companion site for its emergency preparedness specials. It has videos, activities, a coloring page, and guides for adults.


    - Melissa


    Disaster_Blog_Banner - Helping Children Cope

    Posted In: Planning Tagged With: Arthur the Aardvark, service, helping cihldren cope, children, disaster

  • Pandemics Aplenty: 5 Tips to Staying Healthy

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    Look what’s been in the news the last month:

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found possible mistakes in handling and shipping of diseases like plague and encephalitis in military facilities. (Including one where I used to work.)

    An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease sickened at least 45 and killed 9 at a Quincy, Ill., nursing home.

    Two cases of plague were found in Yosemite National Park.

    The first Ebola case in two weeks popped up in Sierra Leone.

    New Delhi, India, is struggling with its worst outbreak of dengue fever in five years, with 1,900 cases reported and at least 11 dead.

    Here’s the scoop, though: all of these illnesses put together don’t infect as many people or cause as much economic damage as regular, old, seasonal influenza.

    H1N1 Masks - PandemicNow, imagine that during the regular, old, influenza season, a new strain pops up that’s unexpected and particularly contagious. It spreads rapidly, with cases popping up in many countries within weeks. There’s no vaccine. Some schools and businesses close. Oh, wait, you don’t have to imagine. That happened in 2009-2010, with a strain of H1N1 influenza.

    Here are five steps to prepare for an influenza, or other, pandemic.


    Get supplies

    A pandemic can last for months. The 2009 influenza pandemic began in April. During the next year, numbers of new cases looked like a wave: rising and falling, with a peak in October 2009.

    Ready.gov recommends storing food and water for two weeks, in case you can’t get to a store because of illness or if stores run out of supplies. And, hey, you’ll be prepared for other types of emergencies too.


    Get medicines

    Pharmacy - PandemicSome of my kids take medicine for illness-induced asthma. But they only take when they’re ill. The last time my son needed it, I couldn’t find any, because we hadn’t used it for a few months.

    Check all prescriptions regularly, whether you use them regularly or not, to ensure a continuous supply during an emergency, encourages the CDC.

    Get copies of your hospital, pharmaceutical and other medical records. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has an online tool, Blue Button, to help you find them.

    Also, keep nonprescription drugs and other health supplies stocked. These can include pain relievers, fluids with electrolytes, cough and cold medicines and face masks.


    Get communicating

    Ready.gov suggests you talk to family members and other loved ones about how you’ll care for each other in case of illness. Also, talk to neighbors, employers and schools about plans for staying home if family members are ill.


    Get vaccinated

    The CDC prefers you get the seasonal flu vaccine yearlyVaccine - Pandemic, before October, though you can get it any time during flu season. It takes about two weeks for a vaccine to be effective.

    Influenza vaccines last about a year and vary in effectiveness depending on a lot of factors like flu strains and age. The CDC still recommends them, though, because even if the vaccine doesn’t match well with one strain, like the 2009 H1N1, it will match well with others. Also, even a poor match may reduce flu symptoms.


    Get healthy habits

    This is the hard one. It’s not as easy to remember to get plenty of exercise and sleep, to eat healthy and drink plenty of healthy fluids when you’re feeling OK.

    It’s easier when you or a family member is ill to remember to wash your hands often and cover your mouth and nose when you cough. All these techniques might keep you from getting ill during a pandemic.

    H1N1 is still around. It’s now considered a regular seasonal virus and is included in the vaccine.

    But others are out there. And it’s time to start preparing. Peak flu season usually runs between October and May.


    - Melissa


    Disaster_Blog_Banner Pandemic

    Posted In: First Aid and Sanitation Tagged With: Ebola, pandemic, H1N1, preparedness

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