The phone rang at 4am on Friday morning. It was a call from the City of Newport Beach warning that an earthquake had hit Japan and a tsunami was headed our way. It was our first experience of the emergency notification service. The message was very explanatory announcing that the tidal wave would only be a few feet high and there was no need to evacuate. We also have tsunami sirens. If it had been life threatening, the sirens would have sounded and signaled a clear indication that we should leave immediately.
We turned on the television to see the awful news of the devastation. It’s heartbreaking and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Japan.
I find it fascinating that an event miles and miles away across a vast ocean can effect us in such a way.
It seemed silly to worry about a few feet of water when we could see the overwhelming amounts of water pounding Japanese communities.
At 6.30, the phone rang with a message that school had been cancelled – a tsunami day. The school is on the beach and they weren’t taking any chances. As the boys woke up, we explained that they had the day off school due to a tsunami. They had a look of fear until they realized it was just precautionary.
Watching the news made me realize how vulnerable we are. I haven’t got an earthquake preparedness kit tucked away. We live on a very flat piece of sand, a peninsula jutting out, a tsunami would roll across it taking everything in it’s path. It’s utterly terrifying. I plan to prepare a kit with water and food next week.
There are many ways to help support the victims of this disaster. I hope you can make a donation.
We may have woken to a frightening phone call but it really was more of a reality check. We live in a vulnerable place – and we need to be prepared.