I've been following the news from Japan pretty closely this morning. I've also seen some blog posts from online acquaintances, who've had their electricity turned back on.
Grim stuff. Although the doomers are moderately better prepared with food and fuel, etc, no one is prepared for this kind of thing. Not really
It got me thinking about my own disaster preparations.
Up until the last couple of years, many of my friends (who were not doomers themselves), have often looked at my "preps" (doomer nomenclature for the preparations one makes against disaster) with a mixture of amusement and indulgence. Most of them probably figured that, as long as I didn't go off the deep end and become a card carrying survivalist, it was just that I had weird hobbies and I was a little paranoid.
My husband became a real prepper about ten years ago after a nasty ice storm we had when we were living in Shreveport, Louisiana. We lost electricity for ten days, but we had water, food and heat because I was a little paranoid. Bryan got it.
I'm not prepping for a "Mad Max" end of the world scenario. I'm prepping for the more common End Of The World As We Know It (referred to in doomer circles as TEOTWAWKI) scenario. You know, the one where your world ends, not neccessarily the world.
Now, in Japan, it is the end of their lives, as they've known them. Like Katrina survivors, like Haitians after the earthquake, like Americans after 9/11, there will always be a Before and an After
The news reports are horrific enough, but the blog posts I'm reading from the people on the ground are so much harder. BBC talks about people queuing up for food and fuel, and some of the blog posts talk about people listening to the radio to discover what stores might be open.
Interestingly, there is a tone of surprise from the BBC for how darn orderly it is. They go on to say they're sure it would be different if it happened in Britain--as if British culture had become especially hooliganish.
But the reality is, in a disaster people become more helpful to each other. Chaos only sets in after the social order has broken down. And, indeed, the Japanese are sturdily maintaining their social order.
My thoughts and prayers to the Japanese people.