The recent earthquake that hit near Japan set me to thinking about emergency preparedness in general and disaster-preparedness, in particular. The earthquake-prone nation is being widely praised for the strength of its building codes which contemplate the need for buildings to be able to withstand these inevitable periodic massive shocks to their structural integrity. And by all accounts, all things considered, the minimal damage that was sustained by buildings in cities closest to the epicenter of the huge quake has vindicated the decision to implement those precautions.
Where I live, we seldom experience earthquakes, a fact that prompted the actor David Morse [St. Elsewhere] to move here with his Philly-born wife, after an earthquake destroyed their family home in California in 1994. And the ones we do experience tend to be at the lower end of the Richter Scale. I personally have never experienced one and apparently slept through one that took place here in the early ‘70s.
We do get our share of capricious weather, however – Nor’easters, blizzards, hurricanes and the occasional tornado – for which you do have to be prepared. As President Kennedy sagely observed, “The time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining.” The time to plan for disaster is before disaster strikes.