This afternoon, the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, announced that Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to a Category 4 storm, with sustained wind speeds topping out at 130 miles per hour. The nerves of many are frayed ever thinner this evening, especially as many are still recovering from the detriment of the recent major hurricane, Harvey, which slammed the gulf coasts of Texas and Louisiana last week. Thousands in affected areas remain homeless and in need of food, shelter, financial relief, and emotional support.
In response to these latest weather developments, governors Rick Scott (R) of Florida, and Ricardo Rosselló (D) of Puerto Rico, have both declared states of emergency within their respective jurisdictions, to emphasize the seriousness and severity of the impending storm. The text of Governor Scott's official order states, "Hurricane Irma poses a severe threat to the entire State of Florida, and requires that timely precautions are taken to protect communities, critical infrastructure, and general welfare of this State."
Around 7 PM this evening, I addressed my fans via Facebook Live about my intentions for the coming days. Although I said that this storm is a possible threat, I also emphasized that at this time, considering that any potential landfall is still several days out (around Friday afternoon, according to the earliest models), Irma could still change directions, and the hubbub the media is creating could merely be an overplayed frenzy. We must not lose our senses, despite the understandable temptation to do so. I reminded my viewers to not lose sleep over this situation. If you are a responsible citizen, taking the necessary precautions to take care of yourself and your loved ones, I am sure you will be fine, regardless of the final outcome.
Remember Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV), which states "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." These beautiful were given to us by the Father to inspire us, especially in our times of need and uncertainty—like we're experiencing now.
Don't fret. Take control of the situation. Take control of your thoughts. God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of a sound mind. Claim that for yourself right now, and sleep on that promise. If the storm comes, be prepared and be vigilant. Make sure you keep that midnight oil burning, but also make sure you don't let the storm consume you. Let peace consume you. Share that peace with everyone you meet.
My team and I intend to remain active all through this week, updating fans and followers on the latest news on this storm. At this time, we plan on staying in Palm Bay, and will bring updates before, during, and after Irma passes through our area.
Be blessed and stay safe.
Adrian D. Holmes
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