Friday, February 25, 2011

The big one.

I am a safety girl.  Safety, safety, safety.  Drives my kids nuts.  Now I am not one to want to wrap them up in bubble wrap, but I want them to think about what they can do to help prevent getting hurt.  Even when they play fight each other they know the limits of rolling around without hurting each other.  They look like a couple of bear cubs the way they cling onto each other and roll around the living room. 

But as much as you can prepare and know the dangers, sometimes it just isn't enough.

We live in an earthquake zone.  I have been in a few earthquakes, but none were very strong.  I remember vividly being at work during one where the building swayed a bit, and by the time we figured out what was going on, it was over.  I joke with my kids that one year when I was visiting New Zealand I was in the middle of another shaker, and the result was my dinner plate full of food sliding off the table.

When we were kids we had an earthquake kit in our home.  Thankfully we never had to use it.  Now that I am older and have a family to consider, there are so many things that come to mind that I never thought of before.  As far as our house goes, it is wood construction and apparently will withstand an earthquake better than other buildings.  Thankfully we are up on a hill and it is solid.  Our kids go to a school that was built in the late 1980's, and it is only one level.  We are lucky, but again, we can think we are prepared and mother nature throws a curve ball and you have to consider how to deal with the aftermath of a big one.

A few days ago there was another earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.  This one had devastating results with hundreds dead and many, many more injured.  I was in tears looking at the ruins online, remembering when I used to live and work there, and still not believing the damage that has been caused.  I spent many a lunch hour in Cathedral Square or wandering the shops in the city.  Many of the buildings were old and beautiful, now they are piles of brick and rubble.  Christchurch is not unlike areas of Vancouver or Victoria.  This earthquake is a huge wake up call. 

Thankfully our relatives are all ok.  Shaken, but ok.  Now the concern is "where do we go from here".  With the downtown area in rubble, how many have lost jobs?  How do they get food and gas?  What about clean water?  A number of people I know have actually left the city - areas are just not livable.

So yes, we have an earthquake kit.  But I don't think it is enough.  I need to get my butt in gear and really figure out what I need to do to make sure my family is ok when the big one hits here.  A great book that I did get awhile ago is Earthquake! Preparing for the Big One.  It is an invaluable resource for those of us living on the coast of BC.  I really need to dust it off and look at it again and try to make sure that we are prepared.

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