Four days ago, I gathered supplies and hunkered down with my family in expectation that Hurricane Harvey would blast central Texas with 3 feet of rain and hurricane force wind. For reasons no one can explain, the hurricane tracked east and deluged the Houston area with more than 3 feet of rain, hurricane force winds, tornadoes, then did a u-turn and is set to hit them again.

I sit at home with electricity, running water, warm food, a cold drink and a soft bed and watch on social media as my friends do without. I have seen pictures of houses of people I personally know with muddy water floating sofas in living rooms, pouring into bathroom sinks, and as high as kitchen counter tops. The image that has made the most impact on me is my friend sitting alone in the dark with candles, a shotgun, and a counter full of shotguns shells. That is how she will spend this night while I am in my soft bed.

As an organization, A Girl & A Gun will support our sisters. As I type, we are already gathering gift cards and clothing to ship to the flood zone. But what if next time the hurricane does not track east? What if next time the hurricane hits my hometown?

Today I am going to pledge that I will give back by teaching ladies how to be that survivor, as physically uncomfortable as she is in a horrendous natural disaster, to be mentally comfortable with firearms so that she can protect her family. I will teach them the basic skills to safely fire a gun. I will teach them how to properly store a firearm in their house. I will teach them the self-defense skills to use their firearm should they ever be put into the same situation. So when the next Harvey comes to my town, my neighbor will be the person comfortably uncomfortable in the dark during the disaster and physically safe from predators.