Still, denial lives on a fault line

March 21, 2011
We Americans live in denial. We never think the worst is going to happen. And then it does.

The awful reports and images from Japan should serve as a reminder for the rest of us that we need to be prepared.

You may live in hurricane country, tornado territory or a flood zone. I live in earthquake country.

I was here for the 1989 Loma Prieta quake. We were lucky then, down in this part of the Bay area.

Still, grocery store shelves stood empty after a big rush on water, batteries and supplies. Like so many others, I stocked up with emergency supplies after the fact.

Then, four hurricanes narrowly missed the Florida city I was living in but came close enough that we knew we’d dodged a serious bullet. I was lucky again. And again, I prepared, after the fact.

But in the years since, I’ve relaxed, even as I moved back to California.

Yesterday, I looked around our garage: two big jugs of water wouldn’t go far if it were all we had. We have no ready-to-eat non-perishables. None. We eat very few canned foods, so our pantry wouldn’t hold us.

As I look at the anguished faces of those in Japan who lost loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods I am reminded that Mother Nature speaks with a loud voice. She does what she wants, when she wants and she gives no warning.

Although we can’t prevent a natural disaster, I am also reminded that we CAN be better prepared to ride one out.

We’ve begun to stock up on emergency rations.

Because if I’ve learned anything this past week, it’s that Mother Nature operates on her own schedule and we should take her seriously.
2 comments on “Still, denial lives on a fault line
  1. Anonymous says:

    Being prepared is great. I am not really sure how one could prepare for Tsunami that hits with no warning or an earthquake or tornado that just comes out of left field.

    If you live anywhere a natural disaster could potentially happen. Stocking up on food and water is great if your home is not going to be carried away by a tsunami or if your home is not obliterated by a 175 mile per hour wind. I think what is even better than buying water, batteries and canned tuna is to be prepared to die.

    I mean that spiritually! Do you live each day as if it were your last? (I am thinking mabye you should). Have you made up with those you have fought with? Have you forgiven those who have offended you? Are you at peace with yourself and those around you? This is what I am talking about.

    Sitting around waiting for the next potential hurricane, tsunmai or brush fire or flood is not living your life…it is living in fear. Being prepared is good and great, I am not saying DON’T BE PREPARED but…being prepared morally, mentally and spiritually if the inevitable happens is a way better way to live! We need to clean up our acts and be ready for the next great adventure which indeed is death!

    Humans so not like to suffer. We all want all of our lives and every moment in them to be wonderful and magical. I think we all can say we feel that way most of the time. Unfortunately if we choose to live in this world sooner or later pain will enter our live’s and it is always insufferable and unbearable to see others suffering so greatly.

    For most of us I think that in the end it really just boils down to what you percieve death and dying to be about anyway. Some belive that when they die they will be in heaven with Jesus so they are not afraid, others that they will be in hell with Satan and tormented forever. Others look forward reincarnation and to returning for another life here on earth. And then there are others who feel that when it is over it is just over and they are at peace and they are done.

    Oh by the way…your chances of dying in a car accident are about a million times more likely that you dying in a hurricane, tsunami, forest fire what ever. Just sayin… drive carefully. And as it is is said in the Native American culture…”Today is a great day to die.”


  2. You raise some good points about emotional preparedness, which is another entire issue.

    I wouldn’t suggest sitting around waiting for one to hit but I do believe that there are easy ways to prepare if you live in an area like I do and have.

    Earthquake kits are common here, with batteries, candles, water and other supplies that may be unavailable if one hits. Not all quakes are extreme or 100% destructive, most people do not have their homes carried away bu they do find that power may be out and stores may be closed and it’s good to have basic survival supplies on hand so you can drink, wash and eat and esp critical if you have children and also to be prepared if you have pets who are 100% reliant on us.

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