March 14, 2011

Living In A Tsunami Zone


I have been watching the recent Japanese disaster with particular interest - I live in an earthquake and tsunami zone. Everyone kept a close eye on the ocean all day Friday, but with the exception of small surges throughout the afternoon, there was nothing threatening. Not so with some places in Japan that were completely wiped out.

I know that when I feel the inevitable earthquake here I need to retreat to higher ground or inland. The tsunami in Japan traveled inland up to 10 km in places.

I am fighting an urge to relocate to higher and drier ground. Can a car even outrun a tsunami? Should I tie my canoe up on my porch?

Most of the time the ocean is a benign presence from which we receive gifts of sustenance and beauty. But as usual in the natural world, things can turn nasty in an instant. The waters that spawned us can just as easily take us back.

The Japanese disaster is a good time to take a moment and think about respect and gratitude for the natural world, the ultimate source of everything. One could also meditate on the fragility of life, and how each and every moment is a precious event to be cherished and celebrated.

There is no shortage of potential 'tsunamis' threatening the planet at the moment. The financial tsunami which swept the globe in 2007 continues to affect billions. We should be hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

I am checking my preparedness plan, and I recommend that you do the same. Are you ready, in case of emergency, to be self-sufficient for up to 36 hours? A week? Longer? Are you ready to have the simple life thrust upon you at a moments notice?

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