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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blog - Becoming Earthquake MacGyver (Moata)

Becoming Earthquake MacGyver

Last updated 11:37 10/03/2011
 
 
The absence of change, they say, is death. This certainly applies to languages and probably to companies and, more broadly, cultures. If change is a requisite of a thriving organism then, by golly, I've never felt so alive! And tired, but alive!

However, as I mentioned earlier this week, I am generally fearful and anxious about changes to my environment or situation. I like my warm, cosy familiar things. But the changes I've noticed in the last few days are not the changes to the things around me as much as the ways in which I am changing to accommodate them. There are a number of ways in which my own behaviour has changed markedly over the last couple of weeks.

For instance, I no longer see my beautiful strappy shoes as an asset but rather as a liability. Ever since the earthquake I have been living in sneakers. Once or twice I have felt adventurous enough to branch into sandals or ballet flats but despite their flatness, they don't quite feel sturdy enough. What if there's a large aftershock and I'm on the other side of town and have to walk several kilometres home? Will sandals protect my toes from falling masonry, or glass, or stay on over uneven terrain? (After all, we've got a lot of that now.) Probably not. Consequently my Adidas Superstars are getting a hammering and holding up very well, thank you. I honestly cannot imagine tottering about in high heels at the moment. I feel like even my most comfortable pair would "endanger" me.

I've also taken to performing amateur structural assessments on any and all buildings I enter. Do those walls look sound? Where are my means of egress? Where is the nearest solid thing I can duck and cover under? 

Earlier in the week I made a visit to a mall and as I was wheeling my bike to the nearest stand, found myself calculating the height of the tall concrete wall I was walking right next to and estimating the distance I would have to run to get out of the way should it fall in an aftershock. I decided that two car lengths would probably be sufficient but if I were somehow unable to make it that far, crawling underneath a parked car might be a good option. I even shifted my backpack on to one shoulder so as to fit under if necessary.

And speaking of my backpack, no matter where I'm going my backpack has the following: bike lights, some kind of food item (sometimes a muesli bar, but often chocolate), boiled water, Swiss army knife, my passport, money, small transistor radio, torch and a small bottle of hand sanitiser. I am pretty much only a roll of duct tape away from being "Earthquake MacGyver", though I have yet to figure out how I'm going to use these items to escape from the compound of a Colombian drug lord and render his henchmen unconscious without causing them serious injury. But actually I'm sure once I have the duct tape the whole thing will just fall together like the daughter of a kidnapped diplomat and a science-geek-hero-for-hire exchanging yearning looks in the back of a runaway train carriage. Or something.

Another noticeable difference in my behaviour (because my references to 80s TV shows is nothing new) is that I'm not really interested in drinking. Actually, it's more that I'm not really interested in being drunk. Lord knows there are times of stress when I find myself wishing for a nice chilled glass of something alcoholic and sometimes I even indulge, but now I never have more than one or two. The idea of being impaired during an emergency just isn't an attractive one. I feel like I need to have my wits about me more than usual and given how little sleep we're all getting and how stress is definitely making me more forgetful and less able to reason, adding alcohol into the mix just seems like a bad idea. And I really like drinking. I really like drinking and high heel shoes and doing both of those together but now is definitely not the time.

And as far as my wardrobe is concerned it's jeans, it's T-shirts, it's a hoodie if it's a bit cold. It is not skirts. It is not "nice" clothes. I am essentially dressing like a boy. All the better for climbing over rubble/escaping from Colombian drug lords in, I say. So far the Silver Fox doesn't seem to mind but I'm sure he'd like to know when his "girly" girlfriend will be back.  

So this is the way I react to what I perceive as "increased risk", with small practicalities that make me feel better but probably do very little to actually reduce risk to my person. How are you coping? Have you found you're less interested in drinking or wearing frivolous footwear? For those outside Christchurch, have you put your Civil Defence kit together? You really should. First, you'll need some duct tape...

Comments:

MRG   #1   11:42 am Mar 10 2011
There really isn't much that duct tape can't fix.
BellBird   #2   11:44 am Mar 10 2011
That reminds me of when I was camping around Europe, and we were constantly calculating when our next toilet break would be. Should we drink this water? Will we be in the vicinity of a loo when it passes through us? Will this meal agree with me? Also we were stock piling toilet paper. I had never carried rolls of toilet paper in my handbag before, but I was never without one (or two if the first one was getting a bit low).
Amy   #3   11:46 am Mar 10 2011
MacGyver...happy sigh. He was dreamy. He's gone a bit squidgy around the edges now, but when I was 12 I wanted to marry him.
I'm in Welly. My complacency regarding emergency kits has been replaced by an eagerness to get things safely in the garden shed in a clippy shutty rubbish bin (garden shed is least likely to be affected by fire, plus we never shut the door so it won't jam shut in case of an emercency, plus there are no large trees right there to squash it). I always have my sneakers under my desk so I'm sorted there, and we've sorted out a couple of emergency plans - what to do if it happens when we're both at our respective jobs, what to do if it happens at home etc.
I've also gone through the emergency cabinet at work and refreshed everything, checked the radios work, and actually filled the previously empty water containers.
And I put merlot in the emergency supplies at home.
Gazza   #4   11:49 am Mar 10 2011
I am not sure of the details or exactly how it would work but i imagine you could escape from the columbian drug lord and his evil minions by taking apart the radio and bike light with your pocket knife and building some form of mild stun gun like piece of appartus.
Does hand santizer conduct electricity? if so you could spray before mentioned drug lord minions to increase the effectiveness of your macgyvered stun gun.
I would defintely recommend getting some duct tape though, i cannot imagine the short of shock thats generated by standard bike light / radio batteries would hold a determined minion for long so you would need a way to tie them up swiftly and effectively.
Dave (not Doug)   #5   11:53 am Mar 10 2011
Have been thinking about putting an emergency kit together (Hawkes Bay must get hit again sooner or later). How much red wine does one need before the supermarkets come on tap again? How big a Swiss Army Knife if you have to do the 127 Hours thing? I carry a small SAK now, but it doesn't even do a good job on toenails.
And yes, that was an unfortunate acronym.
MC   #6   11:53 am Mar 10 2011
I'm not at all surprised about the drinking thing. When my sister went into labour last year, she ended up having massive complications and on life support. It was a day that started out with joy of a gorgeous wee nephew and ended up with some very very high pressured moments of waiting...holding her hand to keep it warm and letting her know that your there even if she can't hear you between operations. Usually in highly stressful situations, I am a big drinker but the thought of having my sister in that state and navigating my distraught family through it all and turning to a glass of wine to 'relax' just didn't seem to fit.
As for the Civil Defence kit, yep, now got one at home and and at work.
A-T   #7   12:04 pm Mar 10 2011
There might be a marketing opportunity in that for you, Moata. I'd buy and replicate your own backpack and its contents, scrawl "Earthquake MacGuyver Survival Kit" on it and you'd probably make a bucketload.
I'm coming to Chch for the weekend March 18-20, my first time ever to the city. It's weird that the locations we see destroyed on the news really meaning nothing to me, having never been there. I'm sad I won't ever know the "old" Christchurch.
It certainly makes you appreciate having emergency items. My mum pointed out the other day that unless the pipes get smashed, we'd still have gas hot water, gas cooking... I remember when Cyclone Yasi was about to hit Queensland, Campbell Live or some show talked live on Skype to a family holing themselves up in the bathroom - the safest place in the house. That started a discussion about where we'd hide if a huge cyclone was coming.
And as much as I've been regularly tempted to eat the nut bar sitting on my filing cabinet at work, part of me says leave it there as emergency rations.
 
Noodle   #8   12:09 pm Mar 10 2011
Now that I've actually read your post...
"I no longer see my beautiful strappy shoes as an asset but rather as a liability."
- I cried for you.
 
Nemo   #9   12:19 pm Mar 10 2011
Duct tape is like The Force---it has a light side and a dark side and it holds the universe together.
And despite its many uses, the one thing it's crap for is taping ducts. There's a lesson in there somewhere.
David S (ChCh)   #10   12:22 pm Mar 10 2011
What ARE beautiful, strappy shoes? (Roman sandals perhaps?). I'm most perplexed. There are jandals, shoes, sandals and boots right - and something else now. Oh for the world I grew up in.

Michelle   #11   12:26 pm Mar 10 2011
I know exactly what you mean - whenever I am entering into new territory, I cant help but check the roof and walls first, just to make sure the place isnt planning on falling down anytime soon. I no longer want to go shopping, let alone enter a mall or drive anywhere that isnt strictly necessary. I have a back packed at home full of clothes and essentials just in case, and I am still keeping my toiletries and make up in their bags so if another large earthquake happens, I can grab them and run (even in a national disaster, I dont like the thought of being anywhere without makeup on, but thats an issue for another day!). If Im at home, it takes a decent aftershock to bother me, but at work its a different story. On the East Side of town, the building creaks and shakes for each one and I have considered getting under my desk for a few of them! I thought about wearing heels to work today, but decided Im also better off in flats if I need to get the heck out of here quick smart!!
...Louise...   #12   12:28 pm Mar 10 2011
Hell I feel like dressing like that, and I live in Wellington!
I think we should draw up the contents for a MoaGuyver Survival pack like A-T suggests. I think we should add glowsticks with enough ducttape you can tape them together in a long line and push them through a hole in the rubble and wiggle it around to attract rescuers or steal the keys from Columbian prisonguards, and also cos eventually this tragedy will settle down and then we can use them to party - whoop whoop
xLeahx   #13   12:31 pm Mar 10 2011
I started an emergency kit but it's not got very far yet. I bought a lot of tinned food, but it consists mainly of tinned peas and corn, and tiny taters. So if there is a disaster I will not really fancy eating cold canned vegetables. We are campers though, so in the garage have all the equipment to survive house-less for a good long while (tents, cookers, solar showers, airbeds, gas bottles, pots, pans, picnic equipment, spades, buckets, etc).
Karlos   #14   12:49 pm Mar 10 2011
Awesome - Earthquake MacGyver.
My mind also works overtime when I go into buildings now days. I think about which parts of it would do the most damage if things started falling and I'll think about where I would be best to park my car etc. I also leave my work boots on when I'm at the office - if the place collapses at least my toes wont be crushed!
The other day I went into the covered car park area of Westfield Riccarton and I swear the ceiling is lower than it used to be! But of course they wouldn't be open if the place had sunk (I hope!)
vickless   #15   12:51 pm Mar 10 2011
Ok, not exactly on the subject, but I would like to make an observation. Firstly, a little background; I haven't been through an earthquake, but I am currently in the middle of a whole family - including me - with a going-both-ends type of virus. (I can't be more specific, it produces a counter reaction here). Anyway, my point is I do know what it is like to be so tired that the world swims when I stand.
That said, Moata I can't help but notice that your sentences are suddenly getting very long. A definite sign of over-tiredness. I really feel for you, and I hope you are able to find ways to catch up all the zzzzzs you need. Cuddle Silver Fox real tight at night; let him absorb the earthquakes, cover your ears from the creaking noises, and warm you to sleep.
And back on topic - well done on the chocolate. I've been doing that for years, but no-one up til now believed my reasons why!
Poppy   #16   01:13 pm Mar 10 2011
Being a Wellingtonian who grew up in Napier, I've *always* had an emergency kit at home, and I've kept one at work for the last few years with some basics to get me through, including a pair of sturdy sneakers for clambering over rubble to get home to my probably-burning-anyway Newtown cottage. Since Feb 22 I've been almost compulsively planning escape routes, and did feel nervous in the first week when I had to head down to Lambton Quay. Impaled by falling glass, anyone? It is starting to wear off though.
I think the thing is that it's really hard for your body to cope with living in constant fear (or any other heightened emotion), so it forces you to start adapting - hence the androgynous apparel and sensible footwear. :)
JAM   #17   01:16 pm Mar 10 2011
Thanks Moata for continuing to share your ChCh experiecnes and emotions. it really helps us outside the city to get a better idea of howe it is for you all. I work in Wellington and live in a small town over an hour's train ride away. I have a pack full of all the essentials under my desk at work. Particularly important as it may take me some days to get home again. My worry is, that becuase it's a multi-story building I'm not always at my desk, becuase I'm off meeting with other people. I can just picture the earthquake happening here and I'm 2 floors away from my desk when it happens, my bag full of shoes, muesli bars, water, warm clothes out of reach. At least now I have attached a whistle to my access card (thanks for that idea Moata), and carry my cell phone with me wherever I go.
The ChCh earthquake has changed the behaviour of many of us it seems.
Noodle   #18   01:27 pm Mar 10 2011
So disappointing. My first post didn't show up. I just wanted to show you what I'd found....
 
Alice2   #19   01:29 pm Mar 10 2011
I freaked my flatmate out by informing her that I don't eat baked beans - which she's been stockpiling in the pantry on the assumption that if there was a disaster, we'd have beans to eat. Sent her into a 2 day worry about what I'd have to eat in the cupboard (there's plenty of other canned stuff in there which I'd eat, and if it was down to beans or nothing, beans would do).
I'm definitely only in flat shoes & pants now - I've resurrected an old pair of Kumfs which were on the verge of wearing out, but they have a strap which holds them on, so they win over my other flat work shoes. I avoided wearing jewellery for a couple of weeks, in contrast to after the September quake, when I had a compulsion to wear a ring all the time.
I park my bike outside at work instead of in the basement stands, I always have something with me that could work as a torch (headlamp, bike lights etc), and I have a raincoat with me all the time now.
I don't drink as much now due to a change of flatmates, however I bought some beer last week & over 4-5 days, those 6 bottles were awesomesauce.
 
EMV   #20   02:05 pm Mar 10 2011
I've just 'hosted' some wonderful friends from Christchurch who planned an overnighter in Auckland for their wedding annivesary and they were sharing some of their stories with me. The hard habit to shake was while they were in a mall (in Auckland) a train went past which caused a fair amount of internal shaking while they figured out the cause of the rumbling wasn't anything remotely sinister (unless of course you're waiting for Aucklands Public Transport). But it did make me stop and realise that feeling safe is something I take for granted and not something I hear much about in the media, its more the lack of water (flushable or otherwise) and more tangible 'things'. Once again, I'm totally in awe of the spirit of people and their amazing ability to keep one going - I'm sure I would have fallen in a big silty mess had I been down there.
 
Kei   #21   02:25 pm Mar 10 2011
Oddly enough for several days I switched OUT of my jeans into long skirts - I didn't fancy the idea of being caught squatting precariously over the short drop in an aftershock, and skirts were so much EASIER.
I'd add strapping bandages and tube bandages to the kit, personally. If you twist an ankle or something it's a good way to strengthen the joint a bit. Also instead of bandaids I use the long strips that you cut a bit off so if you get a longer scratch or cut you can size the bandage to the wound.
 
Leon   #22   02:26 pm Mar 10 2011
As a tribute to the 80's, I have an emergency KITT.
It's a black transam that talks in a slightly nasal voice.
 
Ataahua   #23   02:34 pm Mar 10 2011
Is your whistle is included in your backpack, Moata?
My emergency pack preparations are much better than they used to be, thanks to reading about friends’ experiences in ChCh, but I’ve still got a way to go. I’ve got a brick BBQ in the garden but I figure that’ll be a bit useless if the emergency is a cyclone.
 
Karlos   #24   02:38 pm Mar 10 2011
@ Noodle #18 - Haha awesome! You should buy them for Moata.
 
Kirsten   #25   02:50 pm Mar 10 2011
I live in Wellington, and am embarrassed to admit that (like many others here), I'd become blase about earthquakes after a lifetime of small ones, and didn't really have an emergency kit, apart from a few bottles of water. I'm annoyed with myself, and somewhat mortified, that it takes a disaster of such epic proportions, so close to home, to remind many of us of the importance of being prepared.
I now have an emergency kit at work under my desk, a 'go bag' emergency kit at home, and am part way through putting together a more comprehensive, less portable kit at home. Here's hoping I never need it....
 
...Louise...   #26   02:50 pm Mar 10 2011
@ EMV - I was down in ChCh in January, being hosted by friends, my experience was kind of relatable to your friens, apparently what I had mistaken for large numbers of trains going past all evening/night was actually a series of tremors that culminated in a reasonably large shake in the morning. You relate things to personal experiences, quakes weren't on my scope so I didn't think the shaking could be anything else.
 
Noodle   #27   03:16 pm Mar 10 2011
@ Karlos - I thought about it. But where would I send them?
 
Geoff   #28   03:17 pm Mar 10 2011
So if we add up all the things people are including in their "portable" emergency kit you'd need Leon's #22 emergency KITT to transport it all.
 
Rad   #29   03:23 pm Mar 10 2011
I have my pack at work: sneakers, hoodie, torch, water, lollies (which strangely keep dissapearing) Not doing so well at home: have a bucket with plastic bags, a few tins of something, can opener and candles. No water just yet, figure it rains enough in Welly to not need much water!
 
David S (ChCh)   #30   03:42 pm Mar 10 2011
I don't eat them myself, but baked beans apparently make you fart. Not ideal if you're planning a first date I'd suppose.
This is free 'grandfatherly' advice for young gents and you other lot.
 
Nemo   #31   03:46 pm Mar 10 2011
Yep, you can use duct tape for just about anything.
(23, 46 and 59 are just...disturbing)
 
Alice2   #32   04:05 pm Mar 10 2011
@Rad #29 - you would think collecting rainwater would get you through, however we discovered on the night of the 22nd that it has it's own problems. The fire in the CTV building & smoke from the few working chimneys (people were using them as there wasn't any power) meant that the water we collected outside was full of ash & not suitable for much.
Best advice I've heard is to freeze tap water in soft drink bottles (even after washing, juice & milk bottles can harbour particles which can go off later). If you lose power the bottles can be transferred to the fridge or chilly bins to keep food cool for an extra day or two.
 
Michelle   #33   04:09 pm Mar 10 2011
We had our first work meeting today since the quake, and everyone laughed at me because I was wearing flats. Quake day I was wearing my 2nd highest pair of heels, ended up wandering barefoot around the work carpark in a daze afterward, and then walking home, also barefoot. Heels are definitely a liability!
 
Asha   #34   04:17 pm Mar 10 2011
@ #5 Dave (not Doug) - that was awesome, totally cracked me up.
You have some very witty commenters Moata, love it!
Working on our kit, so far, have made a list of what we need.
I would say most of Chch is suffering from post-trauamtic stress right now, you poor things.
 
tickedyboo   #35   04:20 pm Mar 10 2011
So far for my emergency kit I have started to dry seeds etc for planting when there is no food left. Thats as far as I've got!
 
Rad   #36   04:36 pm Mar 10 2011
That's a great idea actually, the freezer is fairly solid so it shouldn't get crushed! Thanks!!
 
michelle   #37   04:47 pm Mar 10 2011
We just got water today (lucky because the water we got from the well last night has a dead moth in it )so I have been carrying around shampoo etc in my handbag in case I come across someone who offers me a shower.
 
GeorgieGirl   #38   04:49 pm Mar 10 2011
Is it worrying that many of the things people are talking about having in their earthquake kits are usually in my handbag? These are some of the standard contents:
Tape (3 kinds - duct tape, regular tape and medical tape) Glue (more than one kind) Leatherman Pocket knife Torch (2) Rape alarm (the world loudest) Painkillers and about 6 other kinds of common medication Antiseptic/anaesthetic lotion Hand sanitiser Tissues Band aids (in multiple sizes and shapes) Scissors (2) Wet wipes My lunch Flat shoes
And that's only the stuff that's useful in earthquakes. There's also makeup, jewelry, pens, beer bottle openers.....
Men in particular are always giving me a hard about the size and weight of my bag - until they need something like a pair of pliers or water pistol.
Bring on the zombie apocalypse!
 
Muppie   #39   04:52 pm Mar 10 2011
@ Moata: Nice GTFO bag. Perhaps you could add a small first aid kit? Nothing too serious, just enough to handle minor-ish booboos.
For example: Some plasters, a triangle bandage, a couple of non-stick dressings, a couple of bandages, a roll of medical tape, a small bottle of betadine, some gauze pads, some blister-packed paracetamol and maybe a couple of pairs of medical gloves.
You should be able to get all of those things at a Chemist shop and fit them into a 400ml size Sistema Klip-It container (water-tight and easy to operate under stress).
Maybe also consider some leather gloves and some dust masks? Just in case :-]
 
Mel   #40   04:59 pm Mar 10 2011
@Alice2 #32 - Some tramping huts I have stayed in have had that problem too. But when there is no other water source, you make do! Also, freezing water is all well and good IF you have a big enough freezer to do it! We need to upgrade our carport into a garage to create the space at our place for a chest freezer. Its on the to-do list for about 2013. If the worlds going to end next year anyway, whats the rush!?! :P
 
Azzie   #41   05:07 pm Mar 10 2011
I am in Christchurch and am doing some of the things you are too (though not all) so it is great to see I am not the only one....I also am keeping my cell phone fully charged and making sure I know where my nearest and dearest are at all times, also considering getting new employment closer to my kids school as that was the most terrifying experience ever as a bridge was out about 2k away so I had to run through water and sewage from my knees to thighs in bare feet as I was wearing sandals that wouldn't stay on and the ground was very covered in the sand stuff from liquefaction and there were big cracks and hills underwater which i had to judge with my toes and it was really scary not knowing what to expect, I am just so relieved we are all ok when so many are not
 
JR   #42   06:19 pm Mar 10 2011
We did a quick trip last weekend to Dunedin so I could take care of a few things. Driving into the city we were pointing at buildings saying "that would fall over, that would fall over... that would DEFINITELY fall over.." etc. We stayed over in Oamaru Saturday night and I can't believe how relaxing it was to be out of the city. I didn't even realise how stressed I was til I wasn't anymore. There was a list on FB about "You know you're from Chch when....". Number 9 was "You are always noting what you are under". Only been here 6 weeks and doing that already!
 
IsisAhmet   #43   06:21 pm Mar 10 2011
I had the MacGyver theme song playing in my head the whole time I was reading this. I live in Oz and love reading your blog, am finding out more about the earthquake thru you than the media and in a way that I can relate to as well. My prayers are with you in the hope that sooner rather than later you too can again enjoy a glass of wine in gorgeous impractical stappy heels.
 
T   #44   08:03 pm Mar 10 2011
You've pretty much summed me up there, Moata. Especially the dressing down thing. I haven't worn a skirt or heels since 22/02/11 - then I high tailed it back to my mums and found track pants and the sturdiest pair of slippers in existence (that I got for $5 from Farmers aaaaaages ago!)..Also have forgone makeup - it saves on baby wipes!
 
Kit   #45   01:58 am Mar 11 2011
Amusingly, I'm in London but have found myself checking the building on my route to work. There is one wall which has already started to lean so am now walking on the other side of the road there. And it's not like London is suddenly going to have earthquakes! Too weird.
 
Ian   #46   03:14 am Mar 11 2011
Er, I'm in the UK and my emergency kit will be 12 weeks of dried food and an atlas; if the terrorists drop "the big one" over here, I will have to steal a boat to sail back to NZ. Scary thought, must refresh my competent sailing crew cert.

Alice2   #47   08:42 am Mar 11 2011
@Mel #40 Yep, the freezer space restriction is a flaw in the plan. We're lucky that we have a chest freezer which is never completely full (my flatmate would love to fill it with frozen veges, but is happy with putting a layer of bottles in the bottom to use the space). We also have a huge bladder full of water & more bottles on a shelf in the garage.
We just couldn't collect enough water via rain to satisfy our needs - covering the back patio with bowls, basins & buckets only got us about 1.5L - and nobody was willing to use it with all the ash in it. The dog wasn't that picky though, so she used it :D
 
Kate   #48   09:37 am Mar 11 2011
I too keep all that in my bag of awesomeness at the moment(including the chocolate). Based on these comments i think i will be adding some kind of bandage, or 2. We have started a collection of water again, didn't have one for the sept or feb quakes. Lesson learnt
 
el   #49   09:45 am Mar 11 2011
@ Amy #3..hehe bit squidgy round the edges? hmmm gives ya something to hold on to O_O
Well Moata if you got stuck in a building a good stiletto could help you dig your way out.....try doing that with a running shoe. I am yet to get a kit organised however i do carry a bright led torch with me everywhere i go, although it may not help i feel it's something :p
 
Ella   #50   10:09 am Mar 11 2011
When I'm at work I have my purse between my feet in case I have to dive under my desk at any moment. I have a torch, muesli bar, water, a little radio and even a whistle in case I get stuck under there and no one can hear me. Thank goodness girl's can carry around huge purses so we can store our lives (now our earthquake survival kits) around with us!
 
Geoff   #51   10:52 am Mar 11 2011
@ Alice2. Filter the collected "rain" water through a paper towel. That will get rid of the ash etc. You can also get more effective filter paper from various outdoors type stores or a filtration thing. Depends on what level you want to take it to really.
 
Karlos   #52   11:03 am Mar 11 2011
@ Noodle #27 - Send them to Moata Tamaira c/- The Silt City!
 
Cate1   #53   01:50 pm Mar 11 2011
I live in the Wairarapa, and there's a fault line not too far from me - so we've always been aware, but also fairly blase about the whole thing. This is no longer true. We now have an almost fully stocked emergency kit - just a couple of things to sort still - and the only problem I foresee is checking that stuff stays in there! The indignant wails from my husband, as I callously stuffed chocolate and other insta-grat food into the bin, alerted me to the fact that I'd better check the contents every week or so, rather than in 3 months...
Now, if I could just find a job outside of Wellington, things would improve even more...
Love your blogs, Moata - a very real look at what's happening for people. Kudos to you.
 
chris   #54   02:15 pm Mar 11 2011
agree the leather gloves - you can get them $10 from garden stores.
Also never saw the point of light sticks - they don't exactly shine bright and go off after a short time. much better are the $10 metal 5-led torches you can get from the battery rack of any supermarket - bright as anything and run on AAA batteries forever. Fits in a handbag too.
Ella #50 - i think man-bags need a revival.
 
Kimbo   #55   02:57 pm Mar 11 2011
On a side note, the garden solar lights are awesome to bring inside on those powerless nights so you don't drain all your batteries. The way it affects you long term is horrible, lost house 1 in Sept and lost rental house 2 in Feb. After the sept earthquake though I was on a long haul flight asleep when we hit a bunch of turbulence. I hadn't even woken up properly when I noticed I had started climbing over those next to me (I was in the aisle seat) to get out and take cover. Totally freaked them out :)
 
workingmum   #56   04:07 pm Mar 11 2011
I have been living in tights and tunics still looks good but oh so practical. And yes all my beautiful shoes are for now just for looking at. Water purification tablets are good to have in your kit...I wish I had some as I am sick of boiling water.
 
cm   #57   05:04 pm Mar 11 2011
What amazes me is how country and town folk handle these events so differently.
Country people expect to lose power every now and then. We have back up systems in place (torches in every room, kero lamps and gas stoves).
We expect to get snowed in for a few days now and then. We keep a good supply of food, warm clothing etc.
We also tend to have good emergency preparation because we don't expect others to come bail us out.
What amazed me when helping shovel out the eastern suburbs was how most people had grown so reliant on having everything put in front of them 24/7 that they struggled to cope when that support is no longer there.
Perhaps things are just too reliable and too accessible in cities. It seems to have dented our resilience.
 
blue   #58   05:13 pm Mar 11 2011
in wellington and fully hve our earthquake kit sorted! i guess thats one small good thing to come out of all this, wellingtonians will be fully prepared for when we are hit,
well SHOULD be prepared, no excuses guys! we started sorting our kit last year but just got serious about it and now we hve more than enough to get us through... and still adding to it :)

jac1   #59   06:46 pm Mar 11 2011
This is not totally relevant to this blog but I love your blogs Moata and felt I had to post this - I too am in Quakechurch but luckily living in not-too-damaged Beckenham. A good friend of mine however is in Avonside and posted on facebook today that he was in merivale mall looking a tad unkempt (that happens with no water) when 2 old ladies (though they did not act like ladies) looked him over and said "isn't it annoying how these eastern suburbs people are coming over here". I'm totally lost for words....
 
JustHugging   #60   07:12 am Mar 12 2011
Moata, honey, we all deal with things in a different way. There is nothing wrong with you being prepared and soon you will be back to a "normal" way of life. Will things ever be the same? No. How could they be? The city you live in and love has had a devastating natural disaster. Landmarks you used to give tourists so they could find their way around no longer exist in a recognizable form. The very ground beneath your city has changed and in some areas is unstable. The silt has proven to have toxins in it and the massive cleanup with that many tons of it. It is mind boggling, not to mention where did the silt come from? Under Christchurch, so that entire city is now lower by some degrees. Everything has changed and people have to change with it, to adapt. No matter that it is something no one wants to do, there are times when you don't have a choice. So stay prepared for now but know that soon you will put on those strappy heels and drink to a nice happy buzz and beyond. Side note..I love MacGyver. Definitely the kind of guy you want around in all kinds of situations.

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