Saturday, August 27, 2011

Disaster Planning.

I have lived in the Mid-Atlantic region my entire life.  I was born in North Plainfield, NJ and moved to Mechanicsburg when I was 4.  I attended school in Philadelphia and Middletown (PA), and returned to Philadelphia when I got married.  I know what hazards we face here and how to prepare.  When a blizzard approaches, buy milk, bread, and eggs, and hope for the best.  If a tornado is possible, find an interior room and hope for the best.

That being said, I was and am very prepared for the disasters of this week.  I'm fascinated by geology and have been since I was about 8 years old.  I'm fully aware of what to do in an earthquake: Duck, cover, and hold.  In other words, get down under a piece of heavy furniture (a desk or table is good), and stay there until the shaking stops.  Don't run outside like a ninny.  You run the very high risk of something falling on you from the exterior of the building.  It seemed during our seismic event this past week that EVERYONE I talked to ran outside.  No!  Bad!  Don't do that!  Buildings here are grounded in solid bedrock and aren't going to just topple over because they're not built with earthquakes in mind.  You are safer inside.  Still, it was pretty scary when the earthquake happened because I didn't register what was going on right away.  I thought it was my neighbor walking upstairs.  It was only when Barney bolted under the bed and cried that I realized it was an earthquake.  Animals generally sense the ground movement earlier, especially cats and dogs (they can feel it in their paw pads!).  I ran back to Elliott, who was sleeping peacefully in the Pack 'n' Play, scooped him up, and got under the doorframe, mainly because there wasn't an easy piece of furniture to get under while holding an infant.

For this hurricane, we have taken a few precautions, since we decided to stay in our apartment (which is under no evacuation notices):
 - We moved our car far away from the scary trees.
 - We gathered important documents into a ziploc bag.
 - That bag is ready to go in our go-bag, which has some important items in case we do have to leave in a hurry.
 - Elliott's diaper bag is fully stocked and ready at a moment's notice.
 - We took everything off of our patio.  We don't want our things to become projectiles.
 - We are ready to gather Elliott and Barney at a moment's notice.

Preparedness is the most important thing in a situation like this, and I think we are ready.

Stay safe readers, and we'll see you on the other side of Irene (and this surprise long weekend; I was supposed to return to work on Monday, but they cancelled classes for Monday and Tuesday)

- J & M.

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