When we lived in Southern California we had to get used to earthquakes. We lived there just three years. But before that the only ground I knew was solid and the worst that happens in Wisconsin are tornadoes, and usually, there is time to get weather warnings. Sirens signal if it’s time to take shelter, go to the basement, cover your head, etc. But earthquakes don’t get announced. The ground starts vibrating, jerking, or, falls away from under your feet. There’s barely time to duck and cover.
The most prep you can do is have a closet of supplies just in case things get shut down for a few days, and you need to have a family earthquake emergency plan. There are actual commercials on radio and TV telling how to construct such a plan. By the time things stop shaking and it’s over, unless there are aftershocks, it’s over. In the years of living in CA we experienced some sort of shaking every few months. The worst we experienced was a 6 something on the Richter Scale, and we were always far enough away from epicenters to not really be affected. Much. Nerves rock for days after actually…
Southern California has learned the hard way that earthquakes happen and it’s best to build to withstand, and use materials that will hold up to shake, rattle, and rolling. Kids in school are drilled, like fire drills and tornado drills in other states. So are employees in businesses. Folks stay on the alert for disaster. In South Texas you stay ready for hurricanes which are a seasonal, yearly, and nowadays, predictable weather happening. Since Katrina, most everyone takes it seriously too. When they say evacuate, most sensible folks, evacuate.
There is comfort in being prepared, and being prepared is a good way to live, if you can. If, you can afford extra supplies, extra sturdy building materials, extra insurance for flood and other catastrophes, then it makes it easier to know there are better days on the other side.
But, what if the way you have to live is not being prepared, unable to afford the extras to sit as an inventory hedge against danger, then imagine how it feels to have the roof over your head pancake down on top of you or topple down a hill. Imagine how it feels to have buildings down everywhere and not know where your family is? Imagine. Then go look at the pictures of this week’s earthquake in Haiti. I don’t think you can be prepared for that no matter where you live.
The fact is, a 7.1 earthquake is a devastating earthquake. Not much would have helped Haitians except changing the unchangeable…history, location, geographical makeup, and a bunch of other things. Humanity seems to be stepping up to help. And if one wonders why God allowed this to happen, the answer is imponderable and unanswerable. Period.
Things rock you in life. Job experiences, job loss, deaths, disappointments, bankruptcy, broken vows, all the life stuff we try to avoid but also try to prepare for, can still rock us to our core. I’m still learning to ask what the lesson I need to learn as a result of my last job since some stuff came back to rock me this week. And why it still hurts when someone intentionally hurts me? All, nothing, compared to getting rocked out of a house and a city!
I’m praying for Haiti, as I am sure you are. I’m also praying for peace and understanding to avoid any further diversion from the work at hand. In the mean time I’m rocking back and forth in my rocker hoping for some comfort at the end of this rocky day.