Sunday, March 13, 2011

What to do before an Earthquake

Since earthquakes are on everybody's mind lately this is what you should do before an earthquake. Look around your house and see what things need to be rearranged in order to avoid heavy objects not only shifting but falling in the case of an earthquake. In addition to securing things, heavy items should always be placed on the lower shelves of bookcases. Then consider how you and your other family members are going to get together after a significant event. You should plan how your family is going to contact each other and talk about it with family. FEMA has a list of things to do before an earthquake. Go to the link.

During an earthquake you obviously need to seek shelter. Use common sense. One of the best things is to think about where you live and work and how you can make these places more secure. If you know you have a heavy fan over your bed, at the first sign of a tremor, get out of bed and move to a more secure spot. Possibly under or next to a strong piece of furniture like a desk or a doorway. What does FEMA suggest?

Finally what do you do after an earthquake? In one simple statement, check and proceed. Don't let childhood foolishness and the curiosity of a cat lure you into unsafe places. Avoid fallen power lines and leaking gas tanks! I would add save water because it will be gone almost instantly if you live in a high rise building or at a higher elevation. Actually, don't wait. I already have water stored in my garage in a plastic bag inside a plastic bin. It can be boiled if needed and is readily accessible. It will tie you over until the county or state steps in. I have gone through three hurricanes, and in two the water was out for days, and it was the water I had already stored that provided for my family and myself. Of course you do not know when an earthquake is coming, or if it ever will, but the same preparations you take for an earthquake, tornado or a hurricane will help you in the very least. FEMA has suggestions.

The final preparation is your relationship to God. Do you know him? Is your eternity secure in Him? God is alive and is an ever present help in time of trouble. When I went through a hurricane here in Orlando in 2004, God was right there with me. That was the year we had four hurricanes move through our state. I had barely moved into this house when Charlie came to call. During the severest part of the storm, a tree fell on my house just in time to prevent the front door from blowing in. I just didn't hear it. I was in my walk in closet and did not even hear the tree fall. My neighbors called me later to make sure I was alright. Early in the morning before I woke up, there they were chopping down all the branches so I could get out the front door! They had run to Home Depot and bought a chain saw and came right over. They were such good people! I thanked God for them! God will be faithful to you, too.

Earthquakes and the US Geologic Survey

Since experiencing first hand a significant earthquake in December I started to track earthquake activity in the Caribbean Region by going the University of Puerto Rico's website from their Mayaguez Campus. They have the Red Sismica website in Spanish and in English. My only complaint is that they are not consistent in how they update seismic activity. For example they put up an earthquake in the South Sandwich islands and not the 8.9 earthquake in Honshu, Japan.

On the other hand they do have an excellent link to the US Geologic Survey which lists all tremors around the world, and highlighting the most significant ones, those 6.2 and above, in red. See this map

The color tells the story. On March 11, at

MAP 8.9 2011/03/11 05:46:24 38.322 142.369 24.4 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

What the news articles don't tell you precisely is that after the 8.9 quake, Japan had at least 19 significant after shocks on that day alone! Could you imagine? Some of these quakes have been up to 7.1 in intensity. The earth continues to shake and things have not settled down at all.

To add bad to worse, now they have a nuclear catastrophe on their hands.

Please pray for the Japanese people that God would spare them from any further damage and rescue all that are suffering. If you would like to help here is the link for the Red Cross

Another link leads to a long established missionary group called SEND which has been in Japan for over 50 years.

Nick Vujicic

Last weekend we had a special speaker at our church who had no arms, no legs, no hands, no feet, yet has traveled the world being God's hands and feet. He delivered his heart felt message about how God delivered him from suicidal thoughts, depression, and defeat. He now carries the message of Hope, about what Jesus/Yeshua did for him. He still has hope for God to continue to astound the wise with the foolish things of this world. His name is Nick Vujicic.