In case you are wondering why I haven’t blogged about Japan’s are-you-sure-this-isn’t-a-disaster-from-a-movie-disaster, well… I’m pretty earthquake drained. I mean, Christchurch earthquake was (is still!) a huge fricking big deal here in NZ (the closer it is, the harder it hits you). And Japan’s earthquake/Tsunami absolutely dwarfs our earthquake. I can’t even imagine an earthquake several thousands of times stronger, which created a wave of water traveling something like 500 mph! Tens of thousands of people dead…
What can you even say except ohmigod there aren’t any chemical toilets left because NZ has used them all? Admittedly Japan is probably past the point of needing chemical toilets…
Japan and NZ are geographically similar, Japan is slightly larger in terms of area, but has 30 times as many people. We both have earthquakes. One big difference is that NZ is nuclear free. Of course, we have a tiny percentage of the people that Japan has, so our energy needs can be met by other means (hydro!). Everyone is making a big deal about the nuclear disaster (isn’t that on the top of most people’s fears?), but really, the disaster was the Tsunami. Sure, radioactive atoms are pretty scary, but water prevails as a powerful, unstoppable, deadly force.
Needless to say, the topic of disaster preparedness is again fresh in our minds (did it ever leave? I mean, it’s been 3 weeks since Christchurch!). There is no room for complacency when you live in a pacific earthquake prone country! Today in my meeting (in which we spent the first 30 min talking about earthquakes, and the 2nd 30 about my topic) my supervisor said she and her husband plan to buy a generator! And update their emergency kits (plastic bin on wheels is key, or one small enough to be carried). Yes I said kits! 1 isn’t enough. You should have 2, just in case your house comes crashing down on 1. Plus, your neighbors/friends/relatives might not be as prepared as you and if they know you have a disaster kit (and a generator!), they might come knocking.
My friend Emily sent me through this link this past week too, which is quite a comprehensive list of things you might want to consider adding to your disaster kit (if you’re in a country with nuke technology, might I suggest a radiation suit?? Just kidding. Okay, not really. Maybe a scuba suit would be more appropriate for Tsunamis.). Today in my supervisory meeting we also discussed how a lot of people in Christchurch didn’t (or still don’t!) have access to their crucial documents because there was only 1 copy. Listen, if it’s a really important document, make copies! Hard copies! Digital copies (might I suggest a flash drive or hard drive in your emergency kit? Seriously, it ain’t a bad idea. Back up all those photos and put the hard drive in a sturdy waterproof container!)! What sort of documents, you may ask? Driver’s licenses, passports, birth/marriage certificates, titles and wills!
Also, don’t forget your pets (we would never leave our kittenheart behind)! Food, water and toys.
Anyways, I am kind of a big fat hypocrite because we have yet to assemble our emergency kit. But it’s high on the priorities of things to do asap. Not sure we’re quite ready to get a generator, but I might suggest it to BF so we can become self sufficient (honestly, if we had a generator, a wood burning stove and a rain barrel, we’d be pretty darn sweet. Oh, and maybe some goats and a veggie garden… Okay, so not quite but we do have a gas stove – a canister mind you, not pipes – so we’d at least be able to cook if the power went out).
How are your disaster kits coming along?