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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Volcanic Ashes and other Emergencies


There is a game I play before I blog: I begin by randomly selecting a picture and posting it before I know what it is.  Today's choice is an arch somewhere in France, in one of those mountain top towns that remind me of  places I knew as a child. 

That green arch at the end made me think of how we go through passages in life with confidence and faith because we identify the exit strategies, and are prepared for the journey.

The game is to relate the picture to an issue in the news.
 Here is my take: the volcanic ash cloud is stopping all air traffic in Europe and in other parts of the world. How do people cope with these things?

At any moment, in our lives, something can break, someone can be injured, something can be damaged beyond repair.  We must know what to do at those times, how to wait it out, or fight it out. We must have a backpack handy with exit strategies. 

At  school when the fire bell rang,  you lined up quietly, and filed out in single line.  You worried about nothing else except to reach the exit and the designated place of reunion.  Go, go! That's all there was. Survival mode. You didn't whine; you didn't call your mom; you didn't blame anybody for the inconvenience.

What if I'm caught under this structure and all exits are barred?
What do I have with me that I can use?
We must all think like McGiver: a bit of string, a bobby pin, a lipstick cilinder, saliva and credit card we will concoct a communication device or a breathing device until help arrives.

You see, the more emergencies situations you experience, the more ideas you will have accumulated to prepare you for the next one. I bet we all carry our cell phone with us no-matter where we go. But, what if that ash cloud interrupted all communication?

So, are you stuck somewhere in an airport waiting for that volcanic ash cloud to dissipate? You are bound to come up with lots of exit strategies in the next week. 

28 comments:

CambridgeLady said...

I think it is sometimes good to be reminded that we cannot control nature and the Earth. (Though I feel very sorry for the people stranded with no end in sight!!). I am too passive I know - I barely have enough in the house to cope with an electricity outage or problems with the water supply, let alone anything major.

Funnily I lived in two areas of the world where earthquakes might be expected - Oregon and New Zealand - and never experienced more than a light tremor. I have been shaken by two earthquakes in the UK which is nowhere near a fault-line.

Good thoughtful posting :o)

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Just got word on our good friends is stuck in Amsterdam. Supposed to fly here for the wedding. Plenty of time to get here before next week, but we never know what might delay us or cause us to change course.

Helen said...

I may have lived most of my life without a well-conceived strategy in case of emergency. BUT ... faced with three hurricanes in Florida (all hit my home) I sure figured it out! AND FAST! Great post Rosaria ... enjoy your weekend. It is beyond beautiful on the east side of the Cascades today.

becky at abbeystyle said...

Icelanders live such tenuous existences...we became aware of that when we traveled there last June. They live in the land of fire and ice knowing that the earth can erupt beneath their feet at any moment...I'm in awe of their abilities to cope with what-ifs.
I'm sorry to hear the Midlife Jobhunter's plans are becoming ever more complex!

Maggie May said...

This has taken us back to the dark ages....... Some things we cannot control and a spewing volcano is one of them.

Nuts in May

Marion said...

My foolproof emergency strategy is books. I take a minimum of 3 books everywhere I go along with a notebook and pen. I'm never bored. :-) Blessings!

Brian Miller said...

i like the game you play...

yeah, trilas have a way of teaching like nothing else...and preparing you for what is yet to come...have a wonderful saturday!

Dedene said...

Were you living in Oregon when Mt. St. Helen's blew up? We had ash and grit all summer long. I don't think Europe has finished with this volcanic cloud cover.
The airports in France are still closed.
This all makes us humble in front of nature.

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

Yep that is sad to listen through news. Prayers.

ellen abbott said...

Back when I was a river guide, for fun, I made up McGiver kits that I gave to all the guides. I took a film can (remember those?) and crammed as much stuff in them as possible. there were about 20 some-odd things in it as I recall. razor blade, wire twistie, screw, a couple of nails, matches, candle, needle and thread, waxed string, I forget what all. I still have mine around here somewhere.

Ocean Girl said...

I think I can handle volcanic ash, but not no internet. No gallons of saliva can help.

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

I've seen lava on the surface of the water, and huge rocks and layers of ash everywhere few days after volcano erupted (in Asia).
Right now I am also a bit nervous because my parents are in Europe...

Rachel Cotterill said...

We're already making backup plans for what happens if it hasn't cleared by the time we're due to fly on our summer holiday. It's hard not to!

Tabor said...

I cannot imagine how hard it is for people trying to get back home from Northern Europe. It is OK if you have an unscheduled life and lots of money...but who has that?

Susan said...

I like your style. Only someone with an unlimited ability to write could randomly choose a photo and have it all come out meaningfully.

Eva Gallant said...

Interesting and thought-provoking post, Rasaria! We never know what life has in store for us.

RNSANE said...

These kinds of events certainly make us humble! The Haiti catastrophe was horrible but it still was far from home, or so it seemed. Iceland isn't really close, either, but, when it impacts travel to and from Europe, suddenly it really is on our radar! Scary.

Cloudia said...

I think like that too.




Aloha from Waikiki


Comfort Spiral

LadyFi said...

Great thoughts! I guess most of us just take if for granted that we are in charge.. when in fact, the opposite is true.

Marguerite said...

That's how I felt when I was stranded in Maryland, for 5 extra days, after the 911 tragedy. Thankfully, I had a place to stay. I think that it's a very good idea to have an emergency kit packed, at all times. Be prepared, the old girl scout motto!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Good strategy but very difficult to cover all the angles - probably impossible because nature or man will always come up with some sort of tragedy we are not prepared for.

She Writes said...

My horrible marriage has left me with too many exit strategies. Now I must learn they are not always needed.

Jennifer said...

It's refreshig to hear your thoughts. I feel that almost everyone I deal with wants someone else to solve the problem that they themselves have created, let alone the sheer unpredictability of life or nature. Yet, we have within us the ability to solve our own problems and persevere - or create an exit strategy. Good post.

NitWit1 said...

Last year's severe ice storm and resultant 10 days w/o electricity, telephone (except cell) television, etc. quickly trained us to be better prepared for Mother Nature's excentricities.

No matter what, we are prepared for everything that might happen. We must depend on our own ability to accept some discomfort, and make the best we can of the situation in which we find ourselves.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

What an amazing and brilliant bit of inspiration you gleaned from your "random" photo!! I am in awe...This post is terrific...gives me so much to think about...And yes, the more difficult we encounter, the better prepared we are! So true! Have a wonderful week! You have started mine off wonderfully well with your wisdom and smiles! ~Janine XO

Rob-bear said...

An interesting process; a delightful post!

When it comes to volcanic ash grounding aeroplanes, I remember a line from Chief Engineer Scott in one of the Star Trek movies: "The more complicated the system, the easier it is to foul it up." (Or words to that effect.) Right on, Scotty.

Ironically, word verification for my comment: "fiero." Another every-day irony.

Velva said...

I like this post on a few different levels. It is a good reminder, that life is full of inconveniences, deal with it and move on. On a deeper level, it reminds me that Mother Nature is in charge and she calls the shots as she sees them.

As always, thanks for taking time out of your day to share your wisdom. I am always learning be gently reminded when I read your blog posts.

Have a great day!
Velva

Hilary said...

A thought-provoking post. And very interesting how you decide what to blog about. :)