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Monday, March 14, 2011

Thoughts on Japan

Hi everyone! There have been some strange goings-on lately, haven't there? Flooding in the northeast is causing major damage. And of course the earthquake, and resulting tsunami, in Japan have wreaked havoc in that country.

Our son is a U.S. sailor stationed in Japan, so Friday was quite a trying day for us until we knew he was okay. Our thoughts and prayers are on the thousands of others who are dead, missing, or newly homeless there. Such an incredible tragedy.

While reading a Chicago Tribune article yesterday regarding the earthquake in Japan, a few things jumped out at me. I think most people know that the Japanese live some facets of preparedness because they've been affected by numerous earthquakes in the past. Did you know that they have a yearly Disaster Prevention Day to commemorate the earthquake of 1923? "Most schools and offices keep helmets handy, as well as first-aid kits." "Disaster supplies such as reflector blankets, collapsible water containers and hand-cranked cell phones are easily found in convenience and department stores. Neighborhoods are organized with water storage facilities. Parks, shrines and temples are designated as congregation points in case of disaster." Most modern Japanese buildings are built to sway and absorb the shock of earthquakes instead of collapsing. Obviously, with the scope of this tragedy, many preparations would have been washed away or rendered useless, but I admire their actions to prepare. (quotes from 'Panic and Confusion Trump Preparedness', Kenji Hall and Mitchell Landsberg, Tribune Newspapers)

Another Tribune article titled 'Amid Suffering, Politeness Reigns' was quite telling. It was a beautifully written piece about how the typical Japanese politeness has been played out during this tragedy. It made me think, 'How are Americans when tragedy strikes?' I don't know that our politeness shines through when we're at our worst. Maybe it's because we don't prepare. We freak out, we're scared. We think only of ourselves and not of the needs of others. Would we be different, would we be polite if we trained and prepared ourselves for emergencies (or if we lived politeness in our daily lives)? It's something to think about. (Tribune article written by Laura King)

As I've shared before, I'm not always overly concerned with what happens in other countries. I believe we have enough problems here to occupy our time. I guess that this situation is on my mind more because our son is there. For any of you who have friends or loved ones there, I pray they're all right.

Prep On!
Gen-IL Homesteader

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