Are you paying attention?
I hope everyone is paying attention to what is going on in Japan in the aftermath of the devastating 8.9 earthquake and tsunami on Friday. The images and stories coming out of Japan are shocking and heartbreaking. CNN has done a very good job of covering the events and has really attempted to bring the viewer first person accounts of events and has gotten reporters in the areas impacted that are giving up to the minute details of how this tragedy is unfolding.
I tell you all of this to share with you what I’ve noticed. Everything that we think of when we think of preparedness is happening right now in Japan. Every situation that you may have considered that has motivated you to get ready for when a disaster strikes is playing out in front of our eyes right now.
No electricity. No drinking water. No communications. No sanitation. Food shortages. Shortage of medical supplies. No gasoline. No public transportation. Being stranded away from home with miles of destruction between you and your destination. All of the local stores are empty or destroyed. Mass movements of people away from the devastated and impacted areas.
If that isn’t enough to get your attention, this thought ought to drive the point home to you. Japan is a preparedness culture that spends BILLIONS of dollars annually on infrastructure and disaster response in which the population has a very strong help yourself/help thy neighbor spirit and a real sense of social harmony. Still, this country and its people find themselves crippled by this natural disaster.
I would like to mention that I have been overwhelmingly impressed by how the Japanese people have responded to these events. There have been no instances of civil unrest, looting or increased violence or crime reported in the days since the disaster. This speaks to the honor and community of the Japanese people. They understand that actions like those benefit no one in such desperate times.
Unfortunately, our country does not share these preparedness qualities with Japan. For years, the United States just has not made preparedness and strength of infrastructure a priority. Because of this, America is at even greater risk if/when a major calamity strikes.
Simply because you are reading this message, you should count yourself fortunate that you are among the 10 percent (I’m being generous) of the US population that is aware that bad things can and do happen from time to time and because of that fact have chosen to begin to take steps towards readiness for you and your families. I am glad you are here. You are already a step ahead.
The situation in Japan is awful and we all wish everyone over there only the very best as they try to recover from this devastating event. I only urge you to not let their peril and strife pass without you using it to help you gain some understanding of the struggles that can become very real all too quickly.
Take care out there.
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