What’s Left?

Mar 17th, 2011 | By admin | Category: Opinion

By Lee McLane Editor/Publisher and Simba the late Squeaks adoptive baby.

By Lee McLane Editor/Publisher and Simba the late Squeaks adoptive baby.

It’s Tuesday night and I’m watching the developing story in Japan as they try to deal with the aftermath of the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which hit on Friday afternoon and now the potential meltdown of a nuclear facility. Now it is snowing in northern Japan to make matters worse for the homeless people who are in shelters. I’ve just heard that the 50 workers that were remaining in the nuclear facility which is facing the potential meltdown have evacuated. That sounds like a terrible sign. I have a friend who lives in Tokyo with her son and she is a teacher on a military base. She is trying to decide whether to leave. I hope she does. She says they are having rolling blackouts, limited food and gasoline. They have been asked to stay inside and turn off their heaters which pull in air from the outside. They have been offered potassium iodide tablets for possible radiation damage.
It is a scary and unbelievable scenario. First the earthquake - the largest in Japan in 100 years; a huge tsunami that followed and now the precarious events which have brought the nuclear plant to a potential meltdown event. Luckily, the winds are all blowing out to sea at the present time and are supposed to do so until Saturday. Any radiation that might escape into the air will be blown out to sea for the near future. So far, the experts are saying that we, here in the U.S.A., are not in any danger from the radiation. But we feel so sorry for the Japanese people. We would love to be able to just open our homes to all those who have lost theirs until they can rebuild. At this point, I can’t even imagine how you would go about rebuilding or if you would be able to rebuild depending on the radiation situation. It makes you think twice about whether you would want to have nuclear energy at all. It is just too dangerous. The three or so backups that the plant had to cool the reactors, all have failed.
Now it’s Wednesday morning and they are still working with the reactors trying to block a meltdown. My friend’s son will be able to leave to come back to the states tomorrow. She has not gotten clearance to leave yet but is hopeful that she will be able to leave in a day or two. I can’t even imagine what the people are going through over there. I have been watching CNN for hours on end, trying to decipher what is being said and what is happening. I know sometimes information is “softened” so as not to create panic. But sometimes your intellect tells you that you are not being told the truth and that makes matters worse. I think that is where most of the people are in Japan. They are wondering what is being withheld from them.  We should all pray for their safety.
As far as disasters go, my friend was also forced to evacuate Guam when their volcano erupted several years ago. So now, she has seen the gamut of disasters: volcanic eruption, earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. An unsual amount of disasters for one person to go through.
I think about disasters here in our area. Do you have your disaster kit ready? I don’t have one ready. You would need a first aid kit, medications you take daily or occasionally,  batteries, working flashlight, lots of fresh water, canned food, can opener, blankets, rain gear, radio, and I would say gasoline - but really - it’s not safe to store so you would just need to try to keep your vehicle filled up. I don’t think we have to worry about a tsunami, but we definitely need to think about an earthquake since we’ve had so many little ones lately. So, maybe we should take a little time and put together our emergency kit.
After all this - I hope you have a good rest of the week and those of you who are on Spring Break next week - have a good one!
Go to your happy place.
See you next week!