“Worst Drought Since 1956” – A look at what comes next…


This week it’s hard to miss the hundreds of articles and thoughts on the severity of the current drought, and how it is the worst drought in aerial coverage since 1956″

Huffington Post – “The percentage of affected land is the largest since December 1956, when 58 percent of the country was covered by drought, and it rivals even some years in the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s”

LA Times – “The drought gripping the Midwest and about 80% of the country is the most widespread since 1956, stoking massive wildfires and decimating the nation’s breadbasket crops”

UK Telegraph – “The United States is experiencing its widest-spread drought in 56 years, according to a release by the nation’s meteorological agency.”

Each of these articles looks at the news release from the US Federal Government, yet none of these reports goes further to ask the question about the 1956 drought to which this year’s drought has been compared.  In 1956, drought covered a large portion of the central portion of the country, and even later in the summer, the drought conditions expanded (expected if you are in a pattern that remains dry).  However, by the following June (1957), the same areas that had experienced drought were extremely moist (complete flip of the patterns).

While it’s nice to be able to reference “the worst drought since 1956” for headlines, it also brings up additional questions that should be asked (questions that few are asking) and action steps that need to be taken:

  • Do your homework, look into these questions and others.  Challenge the articles that are just re-hashing someone else’s report, and put the information into context to apply the knowledge to how it impacts you and your daily life.  The same is true for any natural disaster, economic condition  or for pretty much any challenge in life.
  • Make observations about the world around you – what is working, and what isn’t.
  • Orient yourself to why that is important and how that could/would impact you.
  • Decide what needs to be done in your situation to make the most of the opportunity that you have
  • Take action to implement your decision

With the severe drought the way it is, it may be impacting you more than others or less than others, but that is your responsibility to assess “what does this mean to me?”  No article, blog post, tweet, conversation or news story can do that for you, especially since most only re-hash someone else’s work.  It’s your responsibility to apply the knowledge that you have to move forward, through the current challenges and to embrace the opportunities that await down the path.  We don’t like the storms and the challenges, but in the end, that personal responsibility and personal application to address the challenges of the day are a part of being human.  Take pride in that opportunity, because the success is that much sweeter when you get to the other side and overcome these present challenges.

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