FOREWARNED is forearmed, as the old saying goes. And that is what we are now given the report forecasting two cyclones to hit Fiji, which we carry on Page 2, in the next hurricane season which runs annually from November to April.
We're told the peak period for cyclones is January to March. That does not mean we can afford to take a little less seriously in the other months of the season.
Given that we all know how savage the wrath of nature can be, which person in his right frame of mind would if just for a moment, take even parts of the warning lightly?
The truth is even with all the fatalities as a direct result of natural disasters including hurricanes, tropical cyclones and floods, some wait up until the last possible moment before they take any preventative action.
Various media outlets have in the past carried pictures of people, children included, playing in floodwaters.
The relevant authorities, our Police Force at the forefront, use all the available media to warn the general public of the impending danger.
All government agencies can channel a large part of their monetary and human resources to issue warnings and also educate people of the dangers inherent in natural disasters but it is up to the individual to take the necessary action.
The forecast is, to put it very bluntly, a warning for all.
It is not just for people with property, nor is just for people who have businesses or for people of standing in our various communities.
Natural disasters, like killer diseases, are "blind" to wealth, status, strength of an individual, age or whatever categories we have created to differentiate between the various strata of society. When they strike, whoever and whatever is in their path will feel the full brunt of the power of nature.
Only those who have prepared well have a better chance of surviving.
Lest we forget, being prepared should not be confined to preparations for the before and during the period of the natural disaster.
It is also a wise move to factor into our preparations the conditions which will exist after a natural disaster has struck.
Being prepared means we're not only helping ourselves, but more importantly allowing the agencies which deal with disaster relief to help those who really need assistance to get back on to their feet.