The storm, that is. Hurricane Sandy, to be precise, a weather system so severe that, like innumerable others all across the Eastern United States, we're battening down the hatches here at OM HQ.
Such things cannot be taken lightly, hence the remarkable measures being taken in New York City, where public transport has been suspended and people urged to remain indoors. It is the same in countless communities up and down the Seaboard and, here in Rhode Island, it is no different. In 2011, Hurricane Irene hit us hard. In 2012, no chances can be taken with Sandy.
This is quite an unusual post to feature on this particular blog, but it is one that we felt compelled to publish.
The reason is this: thinking about such things has underlined to us the extent to which we are all connected. Consider the lives this storm is going to touch (60 people have died already, and 50 million are expected to be affected) and it's obvious - to us, at least - that, at such times, we are all as one. Shared humanity, common cause, all at nature's mercy. It's our opinion that nothing unites us quite like the weather.
Think of the tsunami that struck Banda Aceh in 2004. Think New Orleans and Katrina. Think Japan 2011. The list is endless.
It has to be hoped, of course, that Sandy cannot be comparable to examples as extreme as these. But like all of the above, it will damage and devastate, it will kill and it will cause considerable chaos. That much is beyond question.
That some good can also come from the days ahead is the thing that we're all focusing on here at OM HQ, for such awful events do bring people together, uniting communities and underlining the importance of sticking together. In life, we are all so different, but we are all on the same side here.
Here in Saunderstown, our thoughts are with everyone preparing for the storm to strike. Please stay safe and please look out for each other . . .