Re: Surf's Up! - Earthquake - Hawaii - 6.3
"What we learned from the earthquake".
(Or, for you veterans, here's the spouse-reviewed AAR. Gumby, the post-drill critique commences in the wardroom at 1130.)
1. You have a couple days to get ready for a hurricane. You have about five seconds to get ready for an earthquake-- the time it takes you to get to the nearest exit (or doorway).
2. Try not to yell during the earthquake even if it makes you feel better. No one will be able to understand you but it might scare the heck out of them.
3. Your kids may not respond to your words but they sure understand your facial expression and your body language. This works pretty well for the first hour after the quake, too.
4. When the quake stops, try to leave everything where it fell for an hour or so. Try not to clean up until later. If you're on the ground floor then go outside and get ready for the aftershocks. If you're in a high rise then move fast (and get lucky) or find a doorway and hope your building is strong. An aftershock would be a really bad time to be stuck in an elevator or a stairwell.
5. Take a few minutes right now to think of a good answer for the moment when your kid wants to go back into the house to rescue the family pet(s).
6. We don't store bottled water, so we would have been in trouble if the earthquake had destroyed our neighborhood's water piping. We probably need to find a place that can store at least 20 gallons without spoiling or leaking.
7. Most of the island's water pumps don't have backup electricity. Utility reservoirs were nearly emptied in only 10 hours. As soon as the aftershocks finished and we caught our breath, we filled the whirlpool tub (50 gallons) and milk jugs (25 gallons). (We actually had 30 milk jugs but five had rotted & cracked in attic storage.) I was pleased to see that our whirlpool tub's drain stopper does not leak.
8. Flush the toilets with buckets of rain water or anything other than drinking water. You may have to teach your kids how to do this but it might be the best entertainment you get all week.
9. Keep a week's worth of dried/canned "hurricane food" because you may have to live on it when the earthquake turns off the power. Grocery stores do not usually have backup power for the cash registers, ATMs, or barcode scanners. Thousands survived the quake and spent the rest of the day standing in line for bottled water & canned goods while the clerks rang them up on calculators & price books. Retail food outlets will be stripped by sunrise the following day.
10. You may have to live for a couple weeks on whatever cash you have stashed in the house. (Same for the car's gas.) I'm not suggesting that people should stockpile either one, only that they should be able to live without them for a while.
11. Refrigerator & freezer doors should only be opened with parental permission. Make a list of what you're going to take out and don't dawdle.
12. Buy a dozen AA batteries and a dozen D batteries. Hide them from your kids and replace them after every Christmas. Use the former in your kid's MP3 player (connected to the computer speakers) and the latter in the battery-powered lantern.
13. Emergency batteries are not for Playstations or other personal electronics. Kids can play board games, read books, and even (*gasp*) clean their rooms while they're waiting for the power to come back on.
14. There's probably only one radio station in your neighborhood with backup power. Many stations use automated programming after business hours, so unless Civil Defense goes on the air immediately with their Emergency Broadcast System it may take a while for a live announcer to get to the radio station. Even then, unless you've run out of things to do, it's probably only worth listening to on the hour. Save your battery power for a real emergency broadcast.
15. Kids need to learn that candles do not leave the kitchen/diningroom and most especially do not belong in the bedrooms. They're also not necessary in bathrooms unless you've been rearranging the furniture in there.
16. Cell phones may be able to send text messages but the voice net will be overloaded. The kids in your neighborhood who are addicted to their cell phones will be at your house to play as soon as their batteries run out.
17. The people who live outside your disaster area are better informed by CNN than you are by your Emergency Broadcast Service.
18a. If your English teacher assigned the project two weeks ago and it's due tomorrow but you need house electricity to turn on the computer and copy your files, then you can't use the excuse "The earthquake ate my homework."
18b. Buy an UPS.
19. In 37-40 weeks we're gonna find out how many kids were conceived during the power outage. If you're one of those new parents who was actually left alone by your other kids er couldn't think of anything better to do I mean is going to need a doctor and a delivery room, now would be a good time to start making reservations. Good luck with that.
To Mr. John Harrison of Nu`uanu Valley: sir, for your own personal safety, after the next natural disaster please don't call up the radio station, tell the DJ your full name & neighborhood, and announce to the entire freakin' island that you have a stand-alone solar system supplying you with more electricity & hot water than you can use. If HECO had gone down hard, by day three you would've needed machine-gun nests around your house.
The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
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