The phone rang at 4 a.m.
This could only mean one of two things:
- Bad news. Don’t answer it.
- A ‘computer repair’ scam call from a far away time zone. Don’t answer it.
It was my pal Pauline calling from Hawaii. Had we heard about the Alaska earthquake and the resulting tsunami warning? People were being told to move to high ground. Was MrWI64 with me? Were we near the water?
That’s how Jan. 23 started on my piece of the planet.
Happily, we were high and dry. More happily, the predicted tsunami – which could have devastated coastal communities – fizzled.
But certainly the tsunami watch of the wee hours got many of us thinking about how we’ll manage when what’s referred to here as The Big One – a devastating subduction earthquake – hits the Pacific Northwest.
I did a quick mental rundown on the survival resources at hand, in the event we do indeed survive an earthquake:
- Emergency kit. Check! It contains foil blankets, a first aid kit, matches, and enough freeze dried food to keep us going for a few days. Where did I put it? I wonder if it’s in the basement, or did I shove it in the closet of the spare room?
- Water. Check! Definitely in the basement and bought in stock-up mode a couple years ago. Or was that five years ago? More? How will it taste?
- Home preserves. Lots. We’ll have homemade jam – including a divine damson with gin – to share with anyone who stocked up on bread.
Here’s what my emergency kit should contain – at the very least:
Since you might be at work or in your car when the Big One hits, the emergency preparedness office in British Columbia recommends having ready-to-go kits with food, water, medications, first aid, cash, and toiletries in those places too.
I live in a region that will come apart, snap and crumble much like Christchurch, New Zealand did in 2011. I’ve long known this and, still, am woefully underprepared. Not as unprepared as many, but far from prepared enough.
People who live near the ocean in my community did move to higher ground in the wee hours of today. Some received alerts on their smart phones – apparently there’s an app for that. Emergency service providers awakened others, while friends and family contacted still others, like me.
In all of this, I’m grateful for a couple things: that the tsunami warning was more warning than tsunami, that I have caring friends like Pauline . . . and that the 4 a.m. call wasn’t from a foreign ‘computer repair’ service. Make that three things.