One of the thousands of compelling scenes captured on film in Japan was the sight of the tsunami hitting land. It was hard to tell how big the wave really was, but it carried houses and vehicles and set several fires.
At first it moved across farm land. As it started to demolish the edge of a town, one lone car could be seen racing away from the oncoming destruction.
Who was in that car? Did they escape? If so, what lay ahead for them?
Did they have time to grab a backpack with a few life-saving necessities? Was that backpack ready to go? Near the front door? In the car already?
What about the thousands of people who spent the first nights after the earthquake out in the elements in near-freezing temperatures with only what they carried with them on the subway to work that morning.
Or the 80-year-old woman and who was pinned under her fridge for 9 days.
We're not telling you anything new. You've seen the footage. You've probably already wondered, "What would I do?"
You know that you should have a 72-hour kit -- the essentials to get you through the first 72 hours of an emergency.
If you're honest with yourself, most likely you do not have what you need for the first three days, let alone a little something to see you through the following months.
We know you've heard this all before. We've written it before -- many times.
Our hope is that today is the last time we will write this editorial, because next time you will be ready for anything.
Don't know where to start? There's a lot of information about how to prepare for a disaster, what you need to have on hand and how to form a family escape plan.
One short article was on the Life page of Tuesday's Tri-City Herald. It would be worth digging it out of the recycling pile.
This column won't tell you how to get yourself prepared, but it might be the motivating force to get you to do what you already know you should do.
We aren't likely to have a tsunami, and we don't live in hurricane alley, but emergencies come in all shapes and sizes.
In the Mid-Columbia, an earthquake is possible and an ice storm is likely. Your personal emergency could be anything from a house fire to a pink slip in your next paycheck.
Today, sit down with your family and design an escape plan and a meeting place. Make sure the windows to your house open and you can operate them. No cost involved.
Tomorrow, resolve to meet your neighbors, exchange phone numbers and create a support group of whom you would check on and who would check on you should trouble arise.
Get your 72-hour kit put together. Water, nonperishable food, necessary medication, an emergency blanket and flashlight.
Work toward getting out of debt and building a little savings account.
It's good to be prepared for a variety of potential problems.
We are not immune. Know that. Believe that. Be prepared for that.