Sunday, March 7, 2010

What if this gets worse?

Geologists and vulcanologists say we have gone through a 200 year period of relative calm on earth. So calm in fact that some have theorized that the earth was going through a cooling down and settling in.

Others have studied the records laid down in layers of earth and sediment and warned that it is cyclic and the calm will soon be over. To bolster this argument monitoring of activity around the Pacific Rim would indicate things are already "heating up."

I have a friend that volunteers for the Red Cross and gets sent to places requiring aid following a disaster. She has been in the disaster counseling team following two hurricanes, dodged being sent to Haiti because of the unrest, and fully expected to go to Hawaii if the tsunami from the Chile earthquake had materialized as expected. She may yet be called up for Chile but they seem to be doing a pretty good job for themselves.

But disaster rescue and relief teams are finite. Due to the post traumatic stress they suffer their deployments are short and there is a lag time before redeployment. Stock piled relief supplies are also finite. And in this world economy giving of money or goods to non-profit relief organizations is down. How many more disasters can the world respond to in a given year? What if the Chile earthquake had spawned the tsunamis predicted? There would have been multiple "Thailands" out there for the world to deal with on top of the earthquake relief, especially if Chile had been as needy as Haiti.

I believe it is time for all of us to individually take responsibility for our own relief. We all need to have emergency supplies and be prepared for evacuation. Living in the mountains it has been a concern of mine since I lived on the front line of the Hondo fire for 22 days following the human initiation 13 years ago this May 5th. I keep enough food in the pantry and freezer winters to again be cut off from supplies by 6 feet of snow in 24 hours. If you live on the gulf or eastern coasts of the United States now is time to check those hurricane emergency supplies and evac routes.

And California, Oregon and Washington are on the Pacific rim. What if the Chilean earthquake had triggered the precarious San Andres fault, or triggered Mammoth Mountain to erupt, or just those tsunamis? Are you prepared to be your own disaster relief?