It’s been a rough year in Missouri.

It’s been a rough year in Missouri.

There was a blizzard that shut down the state for a day or two but spared lives. There have been tornadoes with devastation and much loss of life. There has been flooding that’s been as well controlled as could reasonably be expected but that has still caused widespread damage and dislocation.

Even this week’s modest earthquake in the East sent a few shudders here as we realize Missouri’s turn for another truly disastrous earthquake is more a matter of when than if.

But thankfully we don’t have hurricanes, and now attention turns to the East Coast. The nation will hold its breath as Hurricane Irene heads up the Atlantic. Several governors have declared emergencies. People are evacuating ahead of the storm.

This is when all the planning comes into effect. Actually, preparation is a better word than planning. People tend to react in fairly predictable ways in emergencies, and the better prepared they are, the better they react and the better whole communities come through disasters.

So it’s a good time for this reminder: Do you have an emergency plan at home? Some supplies beyond a flashlight or two? If you want to get a good start, there are any number of good online resources. We’ll recommend, but the Red Cross and others are good resources too.

If Irene leaves widespread damage, as seems likely, we’ll all be asked to say a prayer, write a check, lend a hand. Those things are needed. For the sake of our own community – when our turn comes – our own preparedness is needed.