Hurricane Ophelia, The Homeless And Opportunities

"When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. 


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“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters.

One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”

– John F. Kennedy

As I write this, Hurricane Ophelia has begun it’s journey over Ireland.

It’s the worst storm to hit the Emerald Isle in 50 years (we don’t do Hurricanes…) and it’s the first time the Government’s crisis management committee, the National Emergency Co-ordination Group have communicated a national ‘Red Level’ warning for our small country.

I have to say I’ve been very impressed by the roll out of the communications strategy across various channels but what I find interesting is the various reactions people have had:

  • I’ve heard some say it’s an over-reaction (Tell that to the 120,000 homes already without electricity)
  • Some have queued in the local shops to buy at Christmas Time/Armageddon levels…
  • And others again have cancelled everything and declared today as a pyjama day…
  • And many are terrified – full of fear as to ‘What may happen’

One lesson I’ve learned is that life will throw curve balls and challenges. Some can be quite severe and testing.

But every crisis has embedded within it an opportunity. It doesn’t exist if you don’t look for it, but if you do it’s always there.

Hopefully Ophelia won’t test too many but regardless, where is the opportunity?

One I’ve seen already is the sense of community that emerges whenever we are threatened collectively.

Community centres and different groups are opening their doors for the homeless to find protection from the severe weather. Councils are delivering extra supplies also in support of homeless charities. Maybe this will inspire opportunity to do more when there is not storm? Why not?

Around where we live people are checking in on each other, making sure everyone is okay – especially older people. Something perhaps we should do more often?

Hurricane Ophelia may well prove to be a challenge. But maybe it’s also giving us an opportunity to see where we can make things better for us all?

If you’re reading this in Ireland, be smart and stay safe.


Upcoming Events/Training:

BluePrint – 1 Day To Create A 3 Year Vision And A 12 Month Plan

Join me at my popular visioning and planning day taking place in December for the first time. The venue on Friday 8th December is in Swords, Co. Dublin at the unique Emmaus centre. More details and booking facility is here. The normal fee is €237 per person but there is an early bird of €197 if you book before 9th November.