As advanced as the human race thinks it is, we are nothing compared to the awesome power of Mother Nature.
The first example came Saturday as one of the largest earthquakes in Canadian history rocked Haida Gwaii. Residents of the chain of islands were sent scrambling out of buildings and to higher ground, fearing a tsunami would wash in. Strong aftershocks have continued to strike.
Many of us were glued to our televisions Monday night as Hurricane Sandy came ashore and battered the east coast of the U.S. Strong winds and rising water caused extensive damage in several states and forced the usually vibrant New York City to grind to a virtual halt. In Ontario and Quebec, residents were also left coping through the emergency.
There is nothing we can do to prevent storms, earthquakes or other natural disasters, but it emphasizes the need to prepare.
Locally, officials with North Okanagan Emergency Management and other jurisdictions have comprehensive plans to tackle whatever comes along. Such foresight was obvious earlier this year as a swollen Shuswap River caused extensive flooding and the perennial wildfire threat dominated much of the summer.
All of us as individuals also have a responsibility to be prepared. Make sure your home is secure, stock up on emergency supplies and consider how to efficiently evacuate if required.
But while natural forces may be superior, there is one thing that can’t be extinguished and that’s the human spirit.
As we have seen in Haida Gwaii and New York, and even here locally, people come together when challenged. It is that sense of community that triumphs over all.