I asked Japan's Consul General, who was marking his last full day as a member of the diplomatic corps in LA, to tell us what lessons we can learn from Japan's catastrophe.
The usual emphasis on panic in disasters implies that, in a crisis, we're all sheep wheeling around idiotically and selfishly trampling those around us. But those who study the subject confirm that most of us behave beautifully.
Japan is so adamant about preparation for disaster that sometimes it seems a bit over the top. But when disaster strikes, it becomes all too apparent that you cannot over prepare.