American Elephants


Being Prepared for Disaster, But What and How? by The Elephant's Child

The lockdown has become a story of its own. This kind of decision has to be done, I understand, by governors, who are doing so with too little information. Northern California has reported an increase in suicide. There are apparently large numbers of people who don’t have a financial cushion should they suddenly be out of work. The need for food banks is way up.

I don’t, offhand, recall seeing much in the way of what one might call good housekeeping, by which I mean being prepared for  unemployment, disaster, power outage, earthquake and such. I’ve been through flood, lightning strike, being snowed in, and (in California, of course) earthquake, several times. My first earthquake occurred when I was just putting dishes away, and they came flying out of the cupboards as fast as I tried to put them in. Scary! Some quakes were fairly large, like the Northridge quake in Southern California. You can tell they are bigger when they get a name. (Like viruses)

I just looked up dam collapses, and they have occurred all over the world, usually from improper monitoring. 230,000 died in a the collapse of the Bangiao Dam in China in 1976 that the Chinese kept secret for years. We just had a bad dam collapse in Michigan, apparently improper maintenance or regulation of maintenance.

As you get older, you are more aware of these disasters, and at least begin to recognize that bad stuff can happen, and you have to be somewhat prepared. Parents usually don’t recognize what their children do not know, and the next generation grows up unprepared. Young people don’t know what questions to ask.

This year’s college graduates face a troubled climate. Municipal and State lockdowns, high unemployment, particularly among the low-paying, high turnover jobs usually available for those starting out.

What do you tell your kids? Save like crazy until you have $1,000. tucked away in an emergency fund? Is that enough? Don’t live directly below a dam? Or do you just instruct them to pay attention to the news and know what is going on around you? I still have a little lamp on a dresser that was once a lovely long-necked vase, neck removed in an earthquake shortly after my parents were married, as a reminder.

I notice that in the article about the collapse of the Eden dam in Michigan’s Midland county, the article says “the dam collapsed, in a failure experts are attributing to shoddy maintenance and climate change. 

Sorry, it has nothing to do with climate change. The climate has been changing constantly for millions of years, and will go on peacefully doing so, probably for several more millions. You can believe the Swedish kid and AOC if you choose, but they do not know what they are talking about.

(The picture is of a hailstorm somewhere south of the border, several years ago. I do not remember how far south, but I was astounded that it was hail, and at the quantity, but neglected to keep a note of where and when.)

Question? Do other countries or other cultures do a better job of preparing for disasters? Obviously China does not, but that is the Communist way. They do not want any publicity that does not reflect well on Communism. That is common to all communist countries.




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