The Big One–Are You Ready?

crackThe earthquake in Japan is a disaster of epic proportions.  One cannot even grasp the magnitude of wreckage that this 8.9 monster is leaving behind.  Not only did the earthquake shake and destroy, it brought a friend: Tsunami which did its best to annihilate everything the earthquake did not, in many northern coastal areas.

Of course the news is full of the details of the catastrophe and the ubiquitous follow-on question they all ask, “could it happen here?”  Most Pacific Northwest residents are aware of the potential for “The Big One” that has been prophesied by scientists for years, but seeing it unfold before our eyes paints an eerie and dreadful picture that should make us think hard about our comfortable way of life. Our lives can change in an instant.

AP reporter, Jay Alabaster wrote in an article Scenes of Devestation at Heart of Japan Disaster, that “Hundreds of people lined up outside the few still-operating supermarkets in Sendai, stocking up on drinks and instant noodles, knowing it would be a long time before life returns to anything like normal.”  He goes on to share, “At an electronics story in the city, workers gave away batteries, flashlights and cell phone chargers. Several dozen people waited patiently outside.”

In watching the devastating file footage for the last two days, one thought came to mind: be prepared.  What would I do if a similar event struck our region?  How can I plan for the multitude of risks that would face our family? Do we have food and water to last for weeks in case there are food shortages, fuel, and electricity disruptions? Clearly the recommended three day supply will not suffice for the Japanese. I sure don’t want to be waiting in a long line at a grocery store to grab the last loaf of bread and having to make-do with a bag of stale Cheetos. 

However, even the most prepared of families can’t mitigate all the possibilities.  If your home is totally destroyed and in heap, it would be very difficult to access your water and food supply if it were buried under the rubble.  If a Tsunami or lahar swept the entire neighborhood away, then clearly all of the preparation supplies in your home would be gone. So, do you prepare anyway hoping that the worst-case-scenario isn’t what you’ll face?  Or, do you assume the worst-case-scenario and give up and not prepare at all?

Please think of this as a wake-up call and prepare your family and prepare FOR your family.  Be smart. Be vigilant.  Be wise.

Image: Salvatore Vuono /

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

That is an interesting question. I think it makes sense to be prepared for a week without food, water, or electricity. But I don't see the sense in storing up a year's worth of food, at least not for me.