Producer Blog: I should have listened to Glenn Beck

by Wilson G.

Ok, maybe that title is a little misleading. I listen to Glenn about 5 hours a day. It’s my job. I write all the articles you read here on glennbeck.com. I can list every Woodrow Wilson factoid, progressive plan, or caliphate theory that’s been on air over the past year. I have encyclopedic knowledge of the Glenn Beck doomsday predictions. And yet when it came to being prepared for Hurricane Irene, I was as unprepared as you could have been.

I was over in Israel volunteering on the Restoring Courage project for ten days, long before a landfall in NYC was a real possibility. I didn’t really hear about the hurricane until the Restoring Courage event ended and it would still be a few days before I got back to the US. The gravity of the situation hit me when my friend’s flight back to the city was cancelled and I realized I was on the last flight back to NYC.

In the customs line at JFK another Mercury staffer said the line at Trader Joe’s was around the block. There was no water or bread at Whole Foods on the Upper West Side. One of my fellow travelers lived in an evacuation zone.

And I had nothing. No water. No food. No flashlight or batteries or candles or go bag.

If this hurricane was going to be as bad as everyone was saying, I was screwed.

Before leaving JFK I bought $40 of overpriced water. Certainly not the best deal, but at least I had some peace of mind. I took it home and dropped off my luggage, showered and waited for the stores to open.

It took me a while to find batteries and a flashlight, eventually getting a crappy little one from a bodega. I didn’t think it would work but it was my best and only bet.

The line at the nearby grocery store was ridiculous. Bread was nearly gone by 8am. Water was gone too. I bought some basic non-perishables and headed to my girlfriend’s to hunker down for the day.

I didn’t take these shots, courtesy of The Blaze, but its pretty close to what I saw in Queens.

I left just in time to get drenched in the first rainfall. Not a good start to the storm, but it ended up being the worst that happened to me.

I was lucky.

I spent the day keeping everything charged and watching Modern Family. But even though I was spared, others saw their homes and streets flooded, others lost power and some their lives. It could have easily been me.

A lot of papers have been going after Glenn for warning people to be prepared. “Glenn Beck says Hurricane Irene ‘a blessing’” has been a common headline in national newspapers and blogs. But is that what he really said? Well, that’s certainly an out-of-context excerpt of what he said.

Is what he said really crazy? Did the media not tell the entire story? What did he really say?

“I’ve been telling you, don’t be in a panic situation. If you’ve waited, this hurricane is a blessing. It is a blessing. It is God reminding you. As was the earthquake last week, it’s God reminding you. You’re not in control. Things can happen. Be prepared and be someone who can help others so when disaster strikes, God forbid, you’re not panicking. But we need more people to be in the position so others don’t panic.”

As someone who was not prepared, as someone who was waiting to get ready despite hearing Glenn’s calls to prepare for hours and hours a day – this certainly was a wake up call.

Should I have a flashlight? Should I have backup batteries? Should I have a couple of gallons of water and canned food lying around just in case something happened?

If I had listened to my boss and just taken basic steps to prepare, I sure would have felt a lot better when I landed at JFK at 5am Saturday morning. It would have cost me less than fifty bucks to just have peace of mind so that if there is an earthquake, storm, or some other event beyond my control I’d be in a position to take care of myself.

You know what’s at the top of my list this week? I’m going to buy a decent flashlight, some batteries, and a gallon of water. It’s not crazy, it’s just common sense. But I guess when Glenn Beck says it – it’s just crazy.

All I know is that the next time I land at the airport hours before a possible natural disaster, I’ll be feeling a lot better.