A Lesson For The One-Year Anniversary of the Japan Tsunami: Be Prepared

As Japan and the world look back one year ago to that devastating earthquake and tsunami, let’s pause and consider how we can prepare and be less vulnerable.

TODAY IS the one-year anniversary of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Today is a good day to remember what happened.  The Net is filled with stories this day about that day.  Here are two for your contemplation as well as a big side note that, in fact, is the primary thrust of this post.

First, you can view this slideshow for a retrospective of nature’s carnage through pictures of what happened then, and how things are now.  Then take a look and read some stories about how specific people handled that day and fare today.

Here are two pictures to get you started (click on them to enlarge):

Next, is the aforementioned “side note”.  The theme here is preparation.

During and in the aftermath of the Japan tsunami, the news was rife with reports of people needlessly suffering due to the lack of fresh water, food and clothing.  The Japanese people are tough and resilient and thereby suffered through this courageously, as I wrote in 10 Things to Learn from Japan, A lesson for the World, but those who were prepared did a lot better than those who were not.

And now with through the magic of a sweep of my imagination, I’ll segue from Japan to Washington State, USA and to an unusual, snow-heavy storm that happened there this past January.

Water, Light and Heat

The rest of this post focuses on how to have access to water, light and heat when they’re not being delivered to your door, sorta speak.

With her permission, this comes to us from Teri Simpson of Optimum Energy, who begins her tale about herself and Optimum Energy this way:

“I’ve had a passion for personal preparedness for over 25 years. I’ve had an emergency preparedness supplies and survival equipment business since 1990. It started as a way to be prepared to deal with natural disasters – earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms or ice storms, power outages short or long. Then we had Y2K, and 9/11, anthrax attacks, school lockdowns and pandemics” …

“Many times, people know they should prepare, they want to prepare, but just don’t know where to start. We have some good checklists to help you get started. The important thing though is to START. Do what you can. Start small if necessary, but make sure you get started today. Remember: The more PREPARED, the less SCARED. Having emergency/disaster supplies for your family brings peace of mind.”

So, given this context about Teri Simpson, let’s turn to her article, What A Runner, where she presents the Washington State storm story and tips to avoid and ameliorate the hardships that Nature can bestow upon us of the modern world.

Here are some excerpts:

“For most people, once they lost power Thursday morning they lost water. And heat. (and our phones didn’t work until late morning, but since there was no electricity, only those people with a plain phone could call anyone). The temperature outside sat at 30 degrees all day (-1.11 C) so within a few hours peoples’ houses were getting mighty cold if they didn’t have a wood stove or propane heat.”

“I have one friend who is on a community well – 5 households share that well. When her power went out before she had no water, but she was able to drive to the store and buy bottled water. But not this time. Luckily, she remembered what I told her after that experience. The MINUTE you realize the power is out, FILL UP EVERY CONTAINER you can lay your hands on, because all it will take to empty the water tank is 4 households flushing their toilets, then you’ll have no water.”

“I told [one friend] to thumb tack up a blanket where the hallway went off from the living room. If you only have a small amount of heat, use it wisely. For her it was the kitchen/living room area – no sense in heating a hallway or extra bedroom. She had recently gotten 3 flat wick oil lamps. I said get those out and get em going – they will give off more heat than candles. Then about an hour before bedtime, put one in your bedroom and close the door (but leave it open about an inch for air flow). Then when you and the 2 dogs go to bed, turn the oil lamp off. It worked like a charm and they all slept well.”

“Using bleach to STORE water is different than using it to SANITIZE containers. If you are putting drinkable water in a 50-55 gallon barrel to store it, you use 3 Tablespoons of unscented bleach for that one barrel. If you are putting up one gallon containers of water you can use 10 drops of unscented bleach.”

There’s plenty more to learn from Ms. Simpson’s article and from her web site, so do go check them out.

Let this anniversary day of that horrible Japan earthquake and tsunami be a wake up call to learn more about what you could do to fare better in a similar situation.

To help you along, here is a bunch more resources written and presented by ordinary people preparing themselves for an uncertain future, which I wrote about in How to Survive the Scary Future:


Last Updated on September 29, 2022 by Joe Garma

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Joe Garma

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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