We live in one of the earthquakiest (real word, uh-huh, is too) places in the world. There is always talk of being ready for the "BIG ONE" and lately, everywhere I go, every corner I turn there is some paper or magazine talking about it, some TV blaring about it, some well-meaning MIL asking about it. (Must be National Get Yourself Ready For The "Big One" Or Else Month.)
I remember my first earthquake after moving to Japan. It actually happened on my first noght here. I was all jetlagged, had a horrible head cold, was having my period and my roommate couldn't sleep so she kept the overhead light on to read. The light dangled from a cable and I starred at the ceiling, begging the cable to break or the bulb to burn out so that I could get some sleep. The room started to rock back and forth. Not really understanding what was going on in my doped up, jetlagged state, evedything seemed to move in slow motion.
My roommate, who was from California, jumped under the desk and yelled something about opening the door. And then, it was quiet and the room stopped shaking and my roommate ran out into the hall to talk with the other trainees. I just turned out the light and went to sleep.
That was then. I have children now. I am extra careful- leave extra diapers, formula and snacks in the car- just in case, even if just running downstairs to check the mail I take the diaper bag- just in case, feel even the slightest tremor and I run to check on the kids- just in case. Maybe it's about time for me to set up oneof them disaster kits.
When I was at city hall yesterday to renew my Alien Registration Card (She's an alien!! Ohh, look at her and her half alien kids!!) they gave me a pamphlet entitled Safety Guide: tips in case of earthquakes and other emergencies.
*I will quote directly from the abovementioned pamphlet.*
WHAT TO DO IF AN EARTHQUAKE OCCURS
1. Protect yourself from injury.
2. Put out any fire in use.
3. Secure an exit.
4. Protect yourself from falling objects.
5. Don't go near any fence or vending machine.
6. Listen to reliable information.
(Okay, sounds pretty simple. Think I can handle that.)
MINIMIZING EARTHQUAKE DISASTER
1. Fix furniture, refrigerator and piano to the wall or the floor to prevent toppling. (Hey, where's our piano? Everybody has one except us?!?)
2. Always keep a fire extinguisher and a bucket of water ready for use. (Leave a big ole bucket of water just sitting around with kids in the house. Hmm, not so sure about that.)
3. Always keep an emergency supply of food, drinking water and fuel. (Got lots of baby cereal and two bottles of ginger ale)
4. To each family member, assign specific roles to be assumed in case of emergency (Ok, Sophie, just remember to grab that twenty pound backpack on your way out.)
Hmmm.... seems like something is missing here. Gotta be more to it than that. Fastforward to today, at Mister Donut, flipping through a magazine called LETTUCE CLUB and I come across an article about what to keep in your disaster kit. According to them, all we really need is plastic wrap, garbage bags, craft tape and a blanket. But an article on the next page says we also need masks, a cardboard toilet, flashlight, radio, clothes, medicines, a carrier for the baby, pet food, personal hygiene products, and on and on and on.
What's a Mom to do? Hubs complains I bring to many carry-ons in the airplane- too much to haul around when we have to change planes. Could you imagine what he would say if I packed up all that they reccommended.
Turns out, they have these already prepared kits that fit neatly in one little backpack for about $100. Guess who's getting one of those?