Hard to comprehend

As the tsunami swept across farmland in Japan we couldn’t help thinking it was like a pail of oil one might see tipped over in a shop. Of course, the actual activity on the ground was a far different circumstance.

A fury of water, accumulated debris and organics of all kinds raced past cameras placed at or just above street level, providing a perspective that was hard to comprehend. Watching the unfolding drama over the weekend, we were struck by a number of notions.

First, the power of nature continues to astound us. We tried to help the girls understand the enormity of such waves  – higher than the peak of most homes.

To further explain the effect we offered up the many experiences we have had up at Lake Huron where pounding waves can easily knock kids, and adults for that matter, off balance. And this event would see those simple analogies compounded exponentially. It’s incredible.

This week we note in our publication on page 3 efforts by TD Canada Trust to gather donations for the people of Japan horrifically impacted by this disaster. Meridian Credit Union had also stepped in as of our deadline. Other groups will surely come forward and when notified, we will share those opportunities to donate for people so inclined.

If the tsunami resulting from the earthquake were not enough, nuclear power plants along the shore were still in tough shape as of this writing. Back-up systems and containment facilities had, or were failing, causing great concern for citizens and technicians alike as radiation spewed into the atmosphere.

As happens in these turbulent times – however poised the Japanese have been in the face of this adversity – store shelves were quickly cleaned out as people braced themselves for the ensuing days of peril. International help will be needed in the weeks ahead.

To draw a local parallel, during power outages here in the summer of 2003 a loaf of bread was hard to find, pointing to the consumers’ reliance on grocery purveyors to have stock on hand. Reflections were made on other disasters like Haiti and the hurricane that submerged parts of New Orleans.

Nature is a power to behold and a telling statistic we picked up was that most stores have a two-day supply of food, and often consumers begin to get incredibly antsy once nine missed meals have passed.

These tragic events and pending epidemics warned about this past decade have led municipalities to engage in better planning for emergency preparedness. The task, however remote we might believe disaster can be, is mammoth.

Consider for a moment, that those nuclear plants had several back-up plans that failed. Consider our reliance on hydro and fuel.

We owe it to ourselves to reflect a bit on natural disasters, count our blessings on generally optimal living opportunities here, and rally to help a people dealt a blow most of us can’t even bear to watch in the comfort of our own homes.