Our Level of Earthquake Preparedness

The recent earthquake in Nepal made me think about the level of earthquake preparedness in my home and community.

I’m not talking about having a couple wrenches, a crossbow, a couple clean pair of gaunch and cases of canned ravioli and pork and beans set aside in case of natural disaster like an earthquake.

What I’m talking about is the earthquake preparedness in the sense of what do you do in the days after an earthquake?

For example do you go to work? Are you expected to show up to work? I can understand how police, nurses, and firefighters would be going to work, but what about everybody else? What about teachers or office workers or credit union workers? What about the people at McDonalds or Starbucks? Or the local grocery store?

And what if the place that you normally work, like many of our community schools have collapsed or been rendered uninhabitable, or unsafe to enter, well then what happens next?

Do people still have a jobs? Will people be without jobs until such a time as they can find a new place to do business or for students to go to school?

And if there is no place to go to work, no office for you to go to work at, or no bank or credit union or grocery store or Starbucks do you still get paid?

It is pretty safe to assume that if you are not going to work, even if that is there no longer a place to go to work, I suppose that you wouldn’t be getting paid.

If people are not working and not getting paid, then they are very likely to rapidly run out of money, how are people expected to to pay their rent or mortgage? That is if their home has actually survived the earthquake.

And what if your home has been destroyed in the earthquake? Do you have to continue paying your mortgage?

Are you expected to continue paying your electricity, gas, cable and Internet if your home has been destroyed?

Very, very few people actually have insurance that would pay them any money for damages to their homes in the event of an earthquake. So what happens if hundreds or thousands of houses are destroyed? Where do people go and where do they live during the coming days and weeks?  What happens if an earthquake takes place during our rainy season?

These are the questions that I’m wondering about now after hearing about the earthquake and aftershocks taking place in Nepal. Never mind having canned beans and ravioli set aside, I have bigger and more pressing questions on my mind about our level of earthquake preparedness.