Thursday, January 12, 2012

Emergency Preparedness: Why?

Since living in Virginia Chance and I have had some serious adventures.

1. Snowmageddon (aka Snowpocalypse)

My honey trudging through the snow

We were blissfully trapped in our apartment for a week. Thankfully, we had plenty of food and water. We have multiple friends in our apartment complex so we were all able to get out of the house for a while and share supplies if necessary. 

2. The Earthquake of 2011
I don't have any pictures because our apartment was unharmed by the quake. I was driving to Wal-Mart and didn't even feel it, but in the District it was a pretty big pain. Allow me to soap box for a moment.

Westerners (especially Californians) have given us some flack about our reaction to the quake. After having lived in California, Washington, Idaho, Kansas, Georgia, and Virginia I have had occasion to experience most of the types of extreme weather. I lived through earthquakes and flash floods in California. I survived a tornado in Kansas that destroyed most of the town I lived in. In Idaho we know how to drive in the snow; in Georgia they don't, and they shouldn't be expected to. Roads in Idaho are straight and flat. Makes snow removal a ton easier. In Georgia roads are hilly and windy. That makes driving in it way more dangerous and snow removal heinous. Earthquakes are so common in California that they build roads and buildings to handle it. After experiencing extreme weather, however minor, people learn how to prepare and behave. If we were to have a tornado drill right now I would know exactly what to do. Would you?

I guess my point is, let's be nice to each other. The earthquake was a big deal here. The National Cathedral, LDS Temple, and Washington Monument all sustained damage. The Monument is still closed. Buildings, roads, and people out here just aren't built to weather earthquakes the way they are out west.

End soap box. Thank you.

3. Hurricane Irene
Again, we didn't personally have any problems due to Irene (except our flight to St. Thomas getting delayed.)
We did, however, have friends who were without power. Also, people went nuts at the grocery store in preparation for the weather. You couldn't find anything, bread, milk, water. It was crazy.

So, during two of these instances Chance and I had time to prepare. We were at home during the worst of the weather and we didn't have any real problems. During the earthquake I was in the car and Chance was at work. We had no warning. When it initially hit one of Chance's colleagues pondered aloud, "I wonder which building was bombed." That possibility is frighteningly real for us. Because of all these experiences I have decided to start researching Emergency Preparedness.

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