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Pondering on Japan

Like most people, I was watching the events occurring in Japan.  It was horrible and fascinating to watch earthquakes and Tsunamis causing devastation across the proud, little island.  I thought of writing a post but there was nothing to ponder, nothing unique for me to discuss.  That was until something was brought to my attention.

Have you ever stopped to wonder why there were so many reports and videos coming out of Japan?  Maybe you found yourself thankful that so few lives were lost.  Maybe you felt mixed feelings of fright and relief at the nuclear power plants causing so few deaths (1 crane operator that I know of past the initial problems).  All of those thoughts passed through my mind giving way to a ponder.  Why was such a horrible event so manageable?

The answer is in the people of Japan, or should I say the culture.  They are managing the unthinkable, where many other areas would have crumbled.  I don’t believe it had anything to do with race, but with the culture.  Simply put, they were prepared.

When Katrina slammed into New Orleans, it was a disaster that just kept getting worse.  The people, the representatives of New Orleans, and even FEMA were unprepared for disaster of that magnitude.  One might make racial or economic arguments but the common difference was preparation.  The people of Japan may worry just the same about bills and television programming, but they also knew what to do in an emergency.

I urge you to think about this as you watch the news.  Would you even know where to start if an emergency happened in your area?  If not, then may I suggest you do some research on the 72 hour initiative; there are great resources in both Canada and the US for free.  I’m also encouraging myself to continue working on a project to make getting prepared easier and maybe even fun.  Until then, be safe and do not panic.

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