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If you need me tomorrow, I’ll be under my desk

October 19, 2011

10/20/2011 at 10:20am is The Great British Columbia ShakeOut – the largest earthquake drill in Canadian history! I have just registered, and am looking forward to crawling under my desk tomorrow morning at the appointed time.

Last year’s earthquake in Japan had a profound impact on our 7 year old’s social awareness (he wrote a song about it, at the bottom of this post), and he has been very interested in making sure that we are prepared in case one happens here. As well, having recently completed a chapter on risk management for our upcoming book, the topic of emergency preparedness is top of mind, and I thought I’d share with you what my plans are for getting ready for tomorrow’s ShakeOut.

  1. Prepare my shelter: I have a Superman desk: the thing is actually made of steel and it doubles as a pretty decent earthquake shelter. While it may be sturdy, truth be told, it’s also a wee bit dirty under there, so in preparation for tomorrow, I plan to clean it out later today.
  2. Prepare my provisions: I also plan on hiding a bottle of water and a protein bar under my desk. The way I see it, if that’s the most likely place where I could get stuck in case of an earthquake, I should probably have some food and water close at hand.
  3. Prepare my communication plan: In case of an earthquake, I have no idea what type of communication might be available. I also think it’s probably a good idea to not tie up phone lines if they are working, so I’ve configured my phone so that I can send tweet via text message. That way, I’ll be able to communicate to a large number of people instantly with very little phone line time taken up. It took just a few text messages to set up, and the information is easy to find on twitter help. One caveat: you need to do it before the emergency happens, so you might as well set it up now. And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve been known to send texts to the wrong person, so hopefully I won’t accidentally ask everyone I know on twitter to please pick up some milk on the way home. Instead, I’ll try to tweet #ImOKBCShakeOut to let friends and family know about my status.
  4. Prepare for my physical and mental health: While I can probably go a few days without my Omega 3-6-9s, in case of an earthquake and being stuck under my desk, having my inhaler if dust is everywhere would probably be a good idea. It’s going under the desk as well. For my mental health, I figure I might as well have some positive mind-food, so, assuming I’ll have some light available to read, I’m stuffing “Today We Are Rich” by Tim Sanders under my desk. My favorite part about this book is that it gets me thinking about the positive influences in my life. And, if I am stuck under my desk in an earthquake, that seems like a pretty good thing to do. It actually took me a really long time to read the first time because of the amount of reflecting it inspired. I found myself reading a few pages, and then pacing through my house thinking about people who have made a difference in my life, then picking up the phone and calling them.
  5. Prepare my walking routes: I have two main walking routes to daycare/school. One involves a tunnel and the other a bridge. Assuming that these might be inaccessible, I’ve also planned a longer route that would allow me to get to the wee ones as quickly as possible.

And… here is the promised video of the little guy’s Song for Japan. (One of his other songs, Sometimes the World Needs a Little Hand, follows half way through the video).

What’s on your list of emergency preparedness?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Judy Kucharuk permalink
    October 20, 2011 7:49 am

    You have an amazing child…..he is absolutely fabulous – so very talented.


  2. October 20, 2011 9:27 am

    Love this post Mariela and the song. Growing up in Alaska I remember earthquake drills but this was nice to link to a global message. I hope you do well under you desk of steel.

    • October 20, 2011 9:33 am

      Thanks! I made it through just fine, though I was a bit disturbed to find a rather large cobweb under there! Tweeting via text message worked!

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