Friday, November 2, 2012

#795 thinking about surviving a disaster

This morning I had a conversation with a friend at work about some of the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. He saw a woman on the news wondering what kind of country we live in when people don't have electricity or water or gas. (When the reporter asked the woman why she didn't put gas in her car before the storm came, she said that her car gets excellent gas mileage and she doesn't have to put gas in it very often.) My friend wondered why the woman didn't fill up her bathtub, coolers, and every pot and pan in her home to prepare for the storm. He wondered if she didn't stock up on batteries for flashlights or propane.

My friend is a bit of a survivalist, and has some strong opinions about preparing yourself for a disaster. His point was that there were several days of warnings about the hurricane and people had time to get ready by making sure they had water and gas and some form of heat.  He pointed out that we live in an earthquake zone and we won't have warnings to prepare for an earthquake, so we should always be ready.

He says he never lets his gas tank get below half full/empty. He has a room in his home stocked with canned goods and water. He has an emergency bag in each of his cars that includes water, walking shoes, a change of clothes, etc. Their camping gear is neatly gathered and includes various water filtration devices, cooking supplies and other necessities that could get them through The Big One. He told me he thinks his family could survive for six months if something were to happen. He thought about it for another minute and decided the survival window could be longer because they always have deer in their yard, so he could kill a deer and they could salt the meat - they have a bunch of water softener salt at their house - and they could plant a garden if they had to.

I think it's a smart idea to think about stuff like that. MT and I have talked about what we would do if there was a disaster, but not to that extent. MT is pretty low-key about it. He doesn't spend much time worrying about the "what ifs". We would try to get home, but it would be each of us for ourselves to get home from wherever we were. We do have some emergency provisions, but we are definitely not in the same league as my friend. Maybe I'm naive, but I don't think a lot about the potential of a devastating earthquake here. That's the way to turn myself into a neurotic mess.

What if The Big One hit here while I was at work, and T was at school and MT was at work, which is currently Logan, about 80 miles away from SLC? My number one thing would be to try to get to T. I would drive as far as I could and I'd walk the rest of the way.

I had a friend who was living in Santa Cruz and working in Watsonville at the time of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. She had to walk most of the way home - that's about 20 miles. She had gym clothes and sneakers in a bag in her car because she usually went to the gym after work.

Jeez...thinking about that kind of stuff makes my head hurt and my heart ache a little. I really REALLY hope I never have to find out how I would react in a situation like that. In the meantime, my thoughts are with the people affected by the hurricane.

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