Friday, March 11, 2011

Devastating Magnitude 8.9 Earthquake Strikes Japan

My thoughts and prayers go out to my Japanese readers and those with friends and family that has been affected during this terrible, devastating time.

A magnitude 8.9 earthquake had struck Japan Friday, March 11, 2011 leaving behind the loss of life, missing loved ones and severe damage to the Island. Shortly after the earthquake, a massive 23 foot Tsunami swept inland destroying everything in it's path. This earthquake is the largest on record and from what I have heard, lasted close to two minutes long.

A rage of fires, power outages, road damages and crumbling buildings continue to be a threat to Japan's heavily populated area. The loss of life is unimaginable....several hundred lives have been lost and thousands are still unaccountable at this time.

Large aftershocks and the possibilities of more Tsunami's continue to be a threat in Japan as well as around the world. Waves have already struck the west coast of the United States. Authorities warn that this could be a potential problem for several hours to come.

I, Michele of Michele's Little Bit Of This & That am truly so very sorry for the loss of your loved ones and homeland damage. This is an urgent request for all of my readers and beyond to please keep this country (Japan) in your thoughts and prayers regardless of which religion you may have. If there is a way you can help anyone overseas, please do so. The United States will be involved in trying to assist Japan with any needs they are able to assist with.

This is not a time for rivalry, it's a time to extend your kindness and generosity to those in need. Imagine for a moment that this has happened to you personally, wouldn't you want all nations coming together to assist you? Even thoughts and prayers are sufficient if you don't have funds, clothing, shelter, etc. to extend at this time.

If you wish to donate, please visit the Red Cross for additional information.

***Good time for an Earthquake preparedness reminder***

I'd like to focus a bit on being prepared for an emergency if a disaster should strike your area. Though, you could never be fully prepared, you can take comfort in knowing that you have taken steps to help and protect your family the best way that you can.

Being born and raised in California, an earthquake is a common disaster. I haven't lived through a major earthquake but, I had always worried and prepared for one.

***What to Do During an Earthquake***
Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and stay indoors until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

***If indoors:

*DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON on until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.

*Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.

*Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.

*Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, load bearing doorway.

*Stay inside until shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.

*Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

*DO NOT use the elevators.

***If outdoors:

*Stay there.

*Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits, and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

***If in a moving vehicle:

*Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.

*Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

If trapped under debris

*Do not light a match.

*Do not move about or kick up dust.

*Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.

*Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust

Here are some simple steps to building your kit: This information was found on which also provides many more informational sections on emergencies. Keep items in a large/sturdy trash can with a lid or other source with a lid.

***Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
*Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

*Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

*Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

*Flashlight and extra batteries

*First aid kit

*Whistle to signal for help

*Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

*Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

*Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

*Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Local maps


***Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

*Prescription medications and glasses

*Infant formula and diapers

*Pet food and extra water for your pet

*Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

*Cash or traveler's checks and change

*Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from

*Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.

*Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.

*Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

*Fire Extinguisher

*Matches in a waterproof container

*Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

*Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
Paper and pencil

*Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children



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