It was a sweltering August day when the Cohen brothers entered the posh Dearborn, Michigan offices of Henry Ford, the car maker. "Mr.Ford," announced Norman Cohen, the eldest of the three. "We have a remarkable invention that will revolutionize the automobile industry." Ford looked skeptical, but their threat to offer it to the competition kept his interest piqued. "We would like to demonstrate it to you in person." After a little cajoling, they brought Mr. Ford outside and asked him to enter a black automobile parked in front of the building. Hyman Cohen, the middle brother, opened the door of the car. "Please step inside, Mr. Ford." "What." shouted the tycoon, "Are you crazy? It must be two hundred degrees in that car." "It is," smiled the youngest brother, Maxwell, "but sit down Mr. Ford, and push the white button." Intrigued, Ford pushed the button. All of a sudden a whoosh of freezing air started blowing from vents all around the car, and within seconds the automobile was not only comfortable, it was quite cool. "This is amazing," exclaimed Ford. "How much do you want for the patent?" Norman spoke up, "The price is one million dollars." Then he paused. There is something else. The name 'Cohen Brothers Air-conditioning' must be stamped right next to the Ford logo." "Money is no problem," retorted Ford, "but no way will I have another last name next to my logo on my cars." They haggled back and forth for a while and finally they settled. Five million dollars, but the Cohens' last name would be left off. However, the first names of the Cohen brothers would be forever emblazoned upon the console of every Ford air conditioning system. And that is why, even today, whenever you enter a Ford vehicle, you will see those three names clearly printed on the air conditioning control panel: Norm, Hi and Max.
The dusty Bible sits on the shelf The busy owner, so full of self Thinks of it from time to time Saying "it used to be a good friend of mine One day I will have to take it down And read again about Bethlehem town Today I'm too busy to do much Tho' I long once again for the Master's touch" Quickly they turn and shut the door Too harried to remember the days of yore When they would sit and read and pray And God would show to them the way Such fellowship they had with Him Now they run to work or gym Their life is in such sad array They no longer have the time to pray But if they'd spend some time alone Turn off the TV and the phone Take the dusty Bible from the shelf They would find in it great wealth Take some time to just relax Gain strength against the world's attacks Blow the dust off of the cover Read about your Ultimate Lover Immerse yourself in the greatest story Spend a little time in glory Life will start to fall in place When you seek the Savior's face So busy owner, full of self Take your Bible off the shelf Sit down and spend some time With this good friend of yours and mine
There I go again Splat! On the Potter's wheel Scattered all over the place. I have tried, time and again To be molded and shaped By the loving hands of the great Potter. I want to be holy! I want to be pure! Full of zeal, full of fire A channel of blessing, a river of mercy.
But ouch! Don't put your finger there, Lord! It hurts too much! Must you really touch That habit of mine? I guess in your sight It is such a plight. But Lord, I confess In it I delight.
Em...I hate to dictate - But Lord, stay your hand For I truly can't stand Your dealings with me. Please just let me be. I want to be free...
So lovingly, He let me be And put me on a shelf to stay To rest from His dealings To be free from His pruning. For sometime I've been here Sitting on this shelf, watching Him work On various other vessels.
Day after day I've squirmed and I've cringed As He bent and He squeezed Pummeled and straightened Prodded and pricked Sharpened and perfected The vessels surrendered. And oh! I must admit It's good to submit.
How beautiful those vessels turned out to be! They are not on the shelf, oh no not at all! Ambassadors of the Potter That's what they are. They show forth His glory His great workmanship Their lives are more blessed Than mine on this shelf.
Em...that reminds me Lord - I think it's my turn: my turn to be made COME GET ME OFF THIS SHELF! I beg you Lord, I pray.
When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'." I'm whispering "I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven."
When I say... "I am a Christian" I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.
When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak And need His strength to carry on.
When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed And need God to clean my mess.
When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect, My flaws are far too visible But, God believes I am worth it.
When I say... "I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches So I call upon His name.
When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not holier than thou, I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!
LOVE: A PARAPHRASE OF 1 CORINTHIANS 13
Here is what love is like--genuine love. God's kind of love. It's patient. It can wait. It helps others, even if they never find out who did it. Love doesn't look for greener pastures or dream of how things could be better if I just got rid of all my current commitments. Love doesn't boast. It doesn't try to build itself up to be something it isn't. Love doesn't act in a loose, immoral way. It doesn't seek to take, but it willingly gives. Love doesn't lose its cool. It doesn't turn on and off. Love doesn't think about how bad the other person is, and certainly doesn't think of how it could get back at someone. Love is grieved deeply (as God is) over the evil in this world, but it rejoices over truth. Love comes and sits with you when you're feeling down and finds out what is wrong. It empathizes with you and believes in you. Love knows you'll come through just as God planned, and love sticks right beside you all the way. Love doesn't give up, or quit, or diminish or go home. Love keeps on keeping on, even when everything goes wrong and the feelings leave and the other person doesn't seem as special anymore. Love succeeds 100 percent of the time. That, my friend, is what real love is!
NO ONE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SURPRISED. Not the federal agencies tasked with preparing for catastrophes. Not the local officials responsible for aging levees and vulnerable populations. Least of all the residents themselves, who had been warned for decades that they lived on vulnerable terrain. But when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005, it seemed as though the whole country was caught unawares. Accusations began to fly even before floodwaters receded. But facts take longer to surface. In the months since the storm, many of the first impressions conveyed by the media have turned out to be mistaken. And many of the most important lessons of Katrina have yet to be absorbed. But one thing is certain: More hurricanes will come. To cope with them we need to understand what really happened during modern America's worst natural disaster. POPULAR MECHANICS editors and reporters spent more than four months interviewing officials, scientists, first responders and victims. Here is our report.--THE EDITORS
GOVERNMENT RESPONDED RAPIDLY
MYTH: "The aftermath of Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history."--Aaron Broussard, president, Jefferson Parish, La., Meet the Press, NBC, Sept. 4, 2005
REALITY: Bumbling by top disaster-management officials fueled a perception of general inaction, one that was compounded by impassioned news anchors. In fact, the response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest--and fastest-rescue effort in U.S. history, with nearly 100,000 emergency personnel arriving on the scene within three days of the storm's landfall.
Dozens of National Guard and Coast Guard helicopters flew rescue operations that first day--some just 2 hours after Katrina hit the coast. Hoistless Army helicopters improvised rescues, carefully hovering on rooftops to pick up survivors. On the ground, "guardsmen had to chop their way through, moving trees and recreating roadways," says Jack Harrison of the National Guard. By the end of the week, 50,000 National Guard troops in the Gulf Coast region had saved 17,000 people; 4000 Coast Guard personnel saved more than 33,000.
These units had help from local, state and national responders, including five helicopters from the Navy ship Bataan and choppers from the Air Force and police. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries dispatched 250 agents in boats. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state police and sheriffs' departments launched rescue flotillas. By Wednesday morning, volunteers and national teams joined the effort, including eight units from California's Swift Water Rescue. By Sept. 8, the waterborne operation had rescued 20,000.
While the press focused on FEMA's shortcomings, this broad array of local, state and national responders pulled off an extraordinary success--especially given the huge area devastated by the storm. Computer simulations of a Katrina-strength hurricane had estimated a worst-case-scenario death toll of more than 60,000 people in Louisiana. The actual number was 1077 in that state.
NEXT TIME: Any fatalities are too many. Improvements hinge on building more robust communications networks and stepping up predisaster planning to better coordinate local and national resources.
PM PRESCRIPTION Improving Response
ONE OF THE BIGGEST reminders from Katrina is that FEMA is not a first responder. It was local and state agencies that got there first and saved lives. Where the feds can contribute is in planning and helping to pay for a coordinated response. Here are a few concrete steps.
Think Locally: "Every disaster starts and ends as a local event," says Ed Jacoby, who managed New York state's emergency response to 9/11. All municipalities must assess their own risk of disasters--both natural and man-made.
Include Business Help: "Companies realize that if a city shuts down, they shut down," says Barry Scanlon, former FEMA director of corporate affairs. During Katrina, many companies coordinated their own mini relief efforts. That organizational power can augment public disaster management. "If 10 Fortune 100 members made a commitment to the Department of Homeland Security," says Scanlon, "the country would take a huge leap forward."
Prearrange Contracts: Recovery costs skyrocket with high demand during a crisis. Contracts with local firms must be signed before disaster strikes. "You know beforehand that everyone is ready to move," says Kate Hale, emergency management director of Florida's Miami-Dade County during Hurricane Andrew in 1992. "The government blows the whistle and the contractors go to work."
Better First-Responder Gear In disasters, the right tools are everything. PM chose three Katrina-tested technologies that should be part of every emergency manager's arsenal.