If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.-Catherine Aird
This past Saturday, I'd say that Hawaii served as a good example of how to deal with a horrible warning. The illustration above depicts the 1960 Chilean tsunami that brought destruction to our shores after a 9.5 magnitude earthquake. Luckily, our floating lei of islands made it through this time.
All of us in Hawaii have our own stories, experiences and opinions of what happened on February 27. These are the five things I appreciated the most:
- Text alerts from the Hawaii County Civil Defense. I signed up a few months ago to receive news for my Guava Bee blog and receive notice of road closures, high surf warnings, brush fires and earthquakes. I'm so glad that I wasn't caught by surprise. I got a Tsunami Advisory at 9:41PM Friday evening and a Warning at 1:08AM on Saturday. To sign up for the service register with HCCD.
- Twitter provided news and civilian updates. I learned via Twitter that the sirens would be sounded at 6AM on Saturday and decided that I wanted to be far away from Alii Drive by that time.
- A place to go. I packed a few days worth of clothing, my computer, passport and birth certificate and drove up the hill to my parents' home in Kealakekua.
- People. Family, friends and the people of Hawaii made it all so bearable. I witnessed a respect for nature and for the agencies responsible for our safety. I received concerned phone calls, e-mails and generous housing offers. At the end of the day, when the warning was canceled, I saw several "garage parties" in neighborhoods that I passed on the way home. I even went to a baby's first birthday party that had been canceled that morning and resurrected by the afternoon!
- The Tsunami stood us up and for that I am most grateful. It gave us a chance to appreciate our strengths and fix our weak points as we served as a good example of how to deal with a horrible warning.
Surviving A Tsunami - Lessons from Chile, Hawaii and Japan
Haiti and Chile need help and March is Red Cross month - HawaiiRedCross.org Have fun helping through their On-line Auction, March 8 to 31.