My emergency kit
Gum tape is one of the greatest inventions ever. You don’t even go into space without a roll of gum tape in your space ship.
What did you do during the great earthquake? During the week following March 11th I wrote thousands of words in a couple hundred E-mails documenting, reporting information and relaying anecdotes to people abroad. Now, though, I want to talk about my emergency kit. Earthquake-proneJapanhas a reputation for practicing natural disaster drills and people are encouraged to have an emergency kit containing important items, preferably kept near their doors for easy access as they run out for occasions exactly like the earthquake of March 11. Such a wide range of ‘important’ items could add up a considerable weight, but typical items include: bottled water; blankets; flashlight, radio and batteries; cooking fuel; first aid kit; money; toilet paper; passports or copies of passports and other important family documents, etc. Some people might go all-out and keep tents, tools, ropes, chemical toilets, weapons and more.
My emergency kit included blankets, ground sheets, radio, flashlight and batteries, candles and matches and lighters, face masks, condoms, a small suction pump for siphoning liquids, first aid kit, lip balm, soap and hand towels, hammer, knife, cigarettes, saw, tent pegs, compass, whistles, work gloves, rope and bungee cords, and most of all gum tape. I am convinced that gum tape - not duct tape, which is slightly different - is one of the greatest inventions ever. You don’t even go into space without a roll of gum tape in your space ship.
I stopped hanging my laundry out to dry on the balcony as soon as the fuel-rod-overheating-and-emitting-radioactive-steam crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant began on Saturday 12th. In my apartment I had a store of about 30-liters of drinking water, three buckets of extra water kept in the shower for use in the toilet if we lost our water, a pile of extra batteries of different sizes, about a month’s worth of toilet paper and tissues, vitamins and toothpaste, dish washing soap, laundry detergent and toothpaste, plus some bleach, plenty of vinyl garbage bags and at least four days of food - fresh food, frozen food and instant food. Despite power outages in Tokyo that began on Monday 14th I did not lose power or any utilities at all in my neighborhood. But I made sure to keep my computer and cell phone batteries fully charged. Life in my neighborhood seemed to go on pretty normally, except that supermarket and convenience store shelves were mostly bare and the local ENEOS gas stations were either closed or else had long queues of waiting vehicles.