Monday, March 21, 2011

What Next?

I hesitated to blog about this, mostly because almost every blog I have read lately is talking about the same thing, too; the Japanese disaster.

So much can be said about so many aspects of what's happening; the pain and suffering, the loss, the cost of rebuilding, long term effects and the fact that someone somewhere is facing the idea that they may never be able to go home because their home may become uninhabitable.  Then, there's the effect it will have economically on the rest of the world, a world that is already facing some pretty uncertain financial times.

I have my thoughts and feelings and opinions, however I'm sure you have heard them all from someone in some form or another already, so I'll spare you.  It sounds so hollow in the face of the enormity of it all anyway.   Needless to say I am deeply effected, and like most everyone else, introspective after such an event.  What would I do if it was me?  If I survived at all, how could I continue on?

Japan, particularly the more modern cities, was as prepared as any nation could be for earthquakes, but the outlying areas and rural dwellings were not as able to withstand and were laid waste.  All the coastal areas were indiscriminately decimated by the power of the rushing sea.  And now, after horror we can not even imagine, the worst is yet to come.  Nuclear disaster, radiation poisoning, long term homelessness; they are facing the possibility that they will never return to life as they knew it if they survive it at all.

The physical effects are hard to comprehend, but the emotional toll and the effects on the mind would be at least as bad, possibly more debilitating in the aftermath than the even physical destruction.  No one can say what reaction they would have in such circumstances unless you have been there.  We should be using this situation to learn all we can about facing catastrophes ourselves.  It could well be the only good thing to come from all this. 

What could they have done ahead of time to prepare for such large scale devastation?  What would have been the most helpful asset to those who survived?  What is the greatest need now, and what will it be two, or six weeks; what about six months or a year from now?

This disaster is huge, widespread, covering miles and miles and miles.  Some areas were completely destroyed without one structure, field, even landmark remaining intact.  Yet people survived to see the devastation not knowing where to turn or where to go.  They were lost.  Their loved ones were missing.  Hopelessness surely prevails in the hearts of the homeless survivors.

One thing we can learn from this is that the government will not be able to help you.  A short look back in history at Hurricane Katrina should have been enough proof for us here in the United States, and by comparison it was small potatoes.  Death and destruction, looting and violence.  People missing and never found. Weeks and months passed and many were still in emergency shelters.  Many abandoned hope of ever returning.  Years have gone by and life is far from normal there.  

Japan is looking down a very long road to recovery. If those who had survived the disaster had prepared with food and water it might have eased the immediate problems of broken supply lines. If they had prepared first aid they might have been able to hold on until help arrived.  Very few people ever expect to face an emergency of such proportions.  It looks so hopeless.  Does this mean that we should not bother to prepare for it?  

On the contrary.  Certainly we could encounter a disaster beyond our capability to cope.  A meteor could fall from the heavens this very moment and crush us where we stand.  If we were to use that rationale in everything then there would be no need for a driver's safety course.  There is a good chance that you are going to be involved in a car accident in your lifetime, so why prepare?  With cancer, diabetes, heart disease and all the other big killer-offers, we're not going to get out of  this life alive, so no more silly annual physicals at the doctor's office!  

Savings accounts?  Retirement funds?  Insurance?  What is that if not preparing for the future's uncertainties?   We prepare in advance for so very many things in life, and yet most people completely overlook preparing for disaster.  We start saving early, regular doctor visits early, before anything is actually goes wrong, for "early detection".  We begin retirement accounts early.  We invest early.  We prepare for things early.   I suggest that we add preparing for disaster to our list.

I think I'm going to make several blog entries about this subject.  I often say I'm going to blog about this or that, and then I don't get back to it, but this time I think I will.  Preparing for emergencies needs to be a front burner issue, and so many  people who are dear to me just don't consider it.  There are so many reasons that they should.

Stay tuned for part II.


Loretta said...

I think this is a great post!!! But I think all your blog posts ROCK!!! This is where I think "community" living works. Yep, we can save our money ... but we can't get to the bank in the wake of such disasters. Nor can we use the ATM down the road i there's no power. We have to stock up on things ... not only things for our family but things we can trade with our neighbors, for things we need that they have. I (like you) could build an entire soapbox on the topics that could spill off from just this one post. I love ya, my friend. You just sparked a few posts for me too!!!

Representative said...

Careful now, Loretta, you're about to post part 2, here!! LOL

Thanks for the cudos, too. You're my biggest fan. (((U!!!))) Probably my ONLY fan, but when I'm insanely popular and have a fan base of buzzillions, you'll STILL be my biggest fan. :) And I love yer head off. :)