Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Why I Have Not Prepared for Disaster




When a mountain fell down, there was no warning; or was there? Geologists have done study after study and they knew the mountain would fail some day and come crashing down. Loggers had cut away trees from the side of the mountain decades ago and yes, even a short time ago just to the side of the place that cut away a logging company got permission to clear cut. Yet, the people felt they had no warning. The slide is 1 1/2 miles across at the top. But they called it Slide Hill! Here is an aerial photo showing the extent of the slide.
 Courtesy Gov. Jay Inslee via Flickr.

I understand. I have been pondering in my dreams what might happen here where I live. I try to think what might cause us to evacuate? What if we have no warning. What would I save? Is there anything aside from myself, my spouse, Mary, my dog Miles Jo Cocker, my two cats, Lili and Dash that I would try to bring with me?




What should I do to minimize the destruction? We have two 250 gallon propane tanks with open valves. Should I close them before leaving? Should I turn off the water; trip the circuit breakers?
Is there anything that I should do, that we should do? I have journals that I’ve been keeping since I was 16. They aren’t even in a box. I could get a metal box and store them, or I could transcribe them.
My resistance to preparing for a disaster is as big as the mountain that fell on the people who lived on Steelhead Dr.. Here is what it looked like before the slide. Now, the whole neighborhood is gone.


Steelhead Dr.  before the slide.
I resist even writing  here about the potential of a disaster. A great mountain of denial is protecting me from feeling the impermanence of this creation of ours -- this living being we call Gaia of which we are only a small part. We humans have built whole belief systems to protect us from our vulnerability.  We have become so comfortable in our denial that we are unwilling to face the fact even as we continue to over populate, over fish, over log. We would rather deny that we have created the conditions to which Gaia is responding with big weather than face our need to change the course of human civilization.  
If I can’t even muster up the courage to call my neighbors together to prepare for the earthquake we have been told by seismologists will come to us, how can I expect those who are profiting in the trillions from our civilizations depending upon big oil to give up their lion’s share of world’s resources to give up their search for big oil and natural gas?
Do I have the courage to care for my neighbors, my own legacy that is stored in my journals? I don’t have the answer. It is hard enough to have posed the question.What about you? Are you willing to look chaos in the face and stare down your fear? I'm curious about that; let me know what you think.

For those families in OSO you have brought out the best in all of us here in Washington. I am sorry for your loss yet grateful for the compassion you have shown and the community you are forging.

2 comments:

Dennis Browne said...

A lot to this about, that is for sure Eileen. A few things come to mind though ... but will have to give deeper thought get to some of you points.

As far as preparing for a disaster ... I do what I can. A "disaster" is relative ... and I do as my Dadtaught me, and I learned in the Boy Scouts ... "Be Prepared". A mud slide is as dangerous as being lost in the woods with 5 kids and the temp in the low forties. Being prepared in the most simplest of ways with the 10 essentials around will take you far in surviving the unexpected.

Secondly communicating with neighbors, friends and family as to your whereabouts is a great way to "have someone know" when you are missing where to look.

But thirdly, the "Fear" in your post seems to pop out at me. That's a tough one to "prepare for". Don't know if you ever can, except to live life each day to the fullest and roll with what comes your way.

I do know that saving your personal valuables, which from your blog seem to be your journals, can be tackled in the near term ... scan those pages into a PDF document and either put them on an external hard drive and store it "someplace out of vicinity" ... or in the "Cloud". I am here looking at documents from my Grandmother that I collected from my recently deceased father's house. Fortunately he saved them. They are being digitally archived and to be shared with extended family. My Grandmother now will be introduced to those in the next generation who did not know her while she was living.

Do that with your valuable writings. Then if tragedy comes to our neighborhood you will be "Prepared".

These are my first thoughts ... Dennis

Dennis Browne said...

A lot to this about, that is for sure Eileen. A few things come to mind though ... but will have to give deeper thought get to some of you points.

As far as preparing for a disaster ... I do what I can. A "disaster" is relative ... and I do as my Dadtaught me, and I learned in the Boy Scouts ... "Be Prepared". A mud slide is as dangerous as being lost in the woods with 5 kids and the temp in the low forties. Being prepared in the most simplest of ways with the 10 essentials around will take you far in surviving the unexpected.

Secondly communicating with neighbors, friends and family as to your whereabouts is a great way to "have someone know" when you are missing where to look.

But thirdly, the "Fear" in your post seems to pop out at me. That's a tough one to "prepare for". Don't know if you ever can, except to live life each day to the fullest and roll with what comes your way.

I do know that saving your personal valuables, which from your blog seem to be your journals, can be tackled in the near term ... scan those pages into a PDF document and either put them on an external hard drive and store it "someplace out of vicinity" ... or in the "Cloud". I am here looking at documents from my Grandmother that I collected from my recently deceased father's house. Fortunately he saved them. They are being digitally archived and to be shared with extended family. My Grandmother now will be introduced to those in the next generation who did not know her while she was living.

Do that with your valuable writings. Then if tragedy comes to our neighborhood you will be "Prepared".

These are my first thoughts ... Dennis