SURVIVAL: What do you have when your house collapses or worse

The tiny gap between life and death: Entombed alive with the body of his friend, Nepal earthquake victim is finally pulled free as death toll rises to 2,500

  • The earthquake survivor was pulled from rubble of his home in Swyambhu in the Kathmandu Valley on Sunday 
  • He had been stuck with the lifeless body of his friend after the building they were in collapsed around them 
  • In the Nepalese capital city of Kathmandu the bodies of hundreds killed have been laid out in the street 
  • Rescue teams are frantically using their hands to dig out survivors as aid relief from neighbouring India arrives
  • As many as 18 climbers on Mount Everest were killed when base camp was swallowed by avalanche on Saturday 
  • More bodies are being pulled from destruction in cities ‘by the hour’ as the death toll continues to rise 

PUBLISHED: 03:55 EST, 25 April 2015 | UPDATED: 14:32 EST, 26 April 2015

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Thousands of people spent the night outside in chilly temperatures and patchy rain, too afraid to return to their damaged homes or sleep indoors for fear of another tremor. Aftershocks from the deadly earthquake have ravaged through the country today. When the aftershocks come you cannot imagine the fear… you can hear the women and children crying ‘The aftershocks keep coming … so people don’t know what to expect,’  said Sanjay Karki, Nepal country head for global aid agency Mercy Corps. ‘All the open spaces in Kathmandu are packed with people who are camping outdoors. When the aftershocks come you cannot imagine the fear. You can hear women and children crying.’

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We see “natural disasters”, but it’s like no one prepares.

In the USA, we have tornados, floods, power outages, and blizzards. There are gas explosions, fires, and wind damage. 

Many different ways a house can become a total loss.

But no one is prepared it seems for anything.

My paternal grandmother in Oregon had a storm “cellar” nearby her house. Up on a rise, dug into the hill, with her “put up food”, blankets, and stuff. In bad weather, she sleep in it. 

Most people have nothing, zero, nada. Not even a plan.

We’re very luck that this doesn’t happen often. But it does happen often enough.

I have serval 72 hour bags around. Maybe even I need more.


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One Response to SURVIVAL: What do you have when your house collapses or worse

  1. There’s always the question of striking a balance between the likelihood of something bad happening and the amount of effort you should put into preparing for it. We risk our lives every time we go up or down a flight of stairs… but does that mean we want to live in one floor flats? How about the killer blasts of radiation from outer space that strike us dead with malignant melanoma? Do we want to live underground our whole lives?

    I grew up during the Cold War and like to always have some basic food stocks handy — ten or twenty pounds of rice, some beans, cheese, etc. And I fill up the odd empty soda bottles or milk jugs with tap water while also pouring out some old ones. Heh, I even like to keep a few salted liters of water frozen in my freezer … and this past winter when the (forget the name at the moment… the little jumper/starter thing that gets the motor going) in my refrigerator burned out, those frozen liters kept things nice ‘n fresh in my fridge for a few days while I worked out the problem and got a new part.

    But am I going to build a five story deep bomb shelter in my basement with supplies for five years? Nope.

    Life is a balancing act.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Peace Studies 1973

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