In the aftermath of Japan’s 8.9 earthquake, all of our good intentions to be prepared for catastrophes tend to resurface. However, the fact is, they are simply intentions – it is the actual task of getting prepared that takes a bit of work. Human nature lives in denial, and we all think that it cannot, or will not, happen to us. So, we put off until tomorrow what should have been done yesterday.
Living in California, I should know better. I remember the Northridge earthquake – it happened on Martin Luther King Day, one day before the new semester began at CSUN. A week or two later, the semester finally began, the campus had some ruins, and driving there I saw Reseda Blvd. was lined with collapsed buildings. But, as I was not in the middle of the damage, my mind just puts it as something that happens to someone else, not me.
Being ready for a catastrophe requires forethought and action. When we prepare for events which never arrive, we feel foolish and stupid, as if we wasted our time. Hopefully, we will always be met with that! But when, and if, we meet with disaster, our ability to get through it may be a little easier, and we may be able to help others as well.
Looking through the web for ideas on what is needed to be prepared for an earthquake, there are several sites, many of which tout their “all in one” kit, for a price. Maybe they are good deals. However, I thought this link had some good tips, and was quite thorough. Here is a PDF which is very comprehensive, and includes a lot of great information from state and federal agencies. For emergencies, we need to be prepared not just at home, but at work, and in our car. When I lived in Colorado, I had food, water, sleeping bag, and so on, with me all the time in the car. Makes sense, even in California, to be prepared.
The expression “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is incredibly cynical, but ironically too true. I’ve got the intentions, but I hope I don’t get to hell before I get those kits together.