I am asking all HuffPosters to share my January 2010 post about Haiti and our need for preparedness in case of an emergency.
Please share it and this:
I watched the Oscars (wish I hadn't) and there was the special effects reel of a Clint Eastwood movie I missed seeing. There was the tsunami effect of a wave washing over a village or town. Personally I thought it looked a tad cheesy and not realistic. After yesterday though, I sit humbled and dumbfounded at the power of nature and the hubris of man to think we can hold it back.
I am one of the American Red Cross supporters who talks about preparedness, often. They have a campaign, Do More Than Cross Your Fingers that outlines what we can all do to prepare and care for our own as emergency services will either be a) crippled and unable to help; or b) heading to the most populated and vulnerable; schools, hospitals. They have an easy-to-navigate website that offers you preparedness checklists and questionnaires. I attach their link here.
They recommend that you be prepared for at least 72 hours of self sufficiency. That is 3 DAYS AND NIGHTS WITHOUT AID. Think about it. What if it is raining? What if it is frigid? What if someone is hurt? They say that you need one gallon of water per person per day. Food. Pet supplies. Prescriptions and glasses (the first thing I grab in the morning or at night if I am awakened and like most post-40s I can't read anything without them), batteries, documents, diapers, baby formula and even a comfort item for young children.
There should be clothes and shoes and a flashlight and crow bar under each bed. Practice drills at home, come up with meeting places. Put backpacks with whistles attached with these supplies and keep them in cars and in easy to get to places in case you have to evacuate your home or business. Businesses, hold drills, provide emergency backpacks for each of your staff.
As we all sit here in shock and awe we can help. Give the first responders the help they need. Donate money, if you have it, and blood and time, if you don't. Do something today. Something to connect yourself to the human chain of suffering and solidarity and survival that a disaster like this forges.
What we are seeing in Japan could happen at ANY TIME. If you live inland and think you have been spared there are certainties of catastrophes that will affect you too. Fires, snow and ice, flooding.
We are human, we are forcing our will on nature, living in places of natural danger and then we are shocked when nature taps us on the shoulder and says..."remember me."
Sadly, nature roared in Japan and I hope we all listen.