Lessons from Fukushima

Lesson Number One
Disaster Strikes Without Warning

As we go about our day, disaster is the last thing our minds. It doesn’t matter where we live, there are potential natural disasters in every area. We think we’ll get a warning, but sometimes there is none.

A disaster is defined as any tragic event with great loss stemming from events such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, blizzards, prolonged drought/heat or explosions (including bombs).

Meteorologists can warn of a approaching hurricane, a flood, a landslide and even an ice storm. Once a weather warning has been announced, it may be too late to prepare. Try purchasing flashlights or bottled water after a hurricane warning has been issued. The shelves are striped in a matter of minutes.

Within a short time after Fukushima’s earthquake and tsunami, potassium iodide (radiation pill) was impossible to obtain…anywhere in the world.

Delphine prepares for a disaster.

Lesson Number Two
There Will Be Another Disaster

Friday, March 11 Japan experienced three mega disasters in a matter of minutes. A 9.1 earthquake was immediately followed by a tsunami. Both affected six nuclear reactors in Fukushima Daiichi. Not only Japan, but the world has been attempting to avert an all-out nuclear melt-down there.

Natural disasters are not only increasing in frequency, but growing population and infrastructures are being located in coastal areas (with greater exposure to floods, tornadoes and tidal waves). To make matters worse, land available for urban growth is often risk-prone, for instance flood plains or steep slopes subject to landslides (think California).

In the US, we have 104 nuclear plants located in 31 states. These nuclear plants supply 20 percent of our nation’s electricity. The potential for a problem in any one of these plants is mind-boggling. The US shares some or all of the risk factors which played a role at Fukushima: locations on tsunami-prone west coast or near earthquake faults, aging plants and backup electrical systems relying on diesel generators and batteries which could fail in extreme circumstances (think Three-Mile Island).

Lesson Number Three
Food & Water Are Essential

If an earthquake, hurricane, blizzard, flood or other disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water and electricity for days or even weeks (think Hurricane Katrina). Obviously, if your home is lost, then your emergency food will be also.

But if your home is spared, you may be waiting for days or weeks to have to basic necessities. Ten days after Japan’s triple disaster, there are millions, yes millions of people, without food, water or power.

Having an ample supply of clean water is a top priority in any emergency. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts (half gallon) of water each day. You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. It’s wise to store at least one gallon per person, per day. Consider storing at least a two-week supply of water for each member of your family. If you are unable to store this quantity, store as much as you can.

In addition, you should have a pantry with emergency food for a minimum of three weeks. Three months is better. That way you’ll have enough food to help out family members and friends who may not have been able to prepare.

For food storage ideas Click Here to see “Stretch Grocery $$$.”

Easy Food Storage SolutionsClick Here for a long-term food storage solution.

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