"The doomsday clock is ticking...loudly."
"San Francisco sits...on a time bomb."
"City officials will have to make choices...deadly choices."
(The ellipses indicate a dramatic pause in the voiceover.)
Yup, they got me. All these damn documentaries they've been showing the last few weeks (culminating today, on the anniversary of the 1906 earthquake) have finally gotten to me, and I'm officially scared of the next big earthquake. I was handling it OK at first, consoling and comforting myself with the usual pragmatism--we're prepared, you can't live your life in fear, disasters happen and life goes on, living here is worth it, etc. We reminded ourselves where our emergency food, water, flashlights and batteries were. (Note to self: get more water...tomorrow!) We researched earthquake insurance and called a structural engineer to get work started on our ancient house's foundation. (For the record, he said it was in decent shape and he'd seen much worse.) We told ourselves our house, built in 1880, survived both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes just fine. (Though we are eager to get the retrofit finished, but until then, you live with it, right?) In short, we had...faith.
I mean, I've spent my whole life in California, and I lived through a 7.1 earthquake in 1989--I know the risks, and I've always accepted them. But the writers on this MEGAdisasters show on the History Channel really went for the terrormongering, and dammit, THEY GOT ME. That Loma Prieta earthquake I like to say I lived through? "Not a wakeup call, but...merely a snooze button!" (The "big one" will be 1000 times worse than that one and 100 times the 1906 quake!) San Franciscans? "Apathetic, arrogant, and complacent." Future tourists to this city? "They'll be visiting...its ruins--the stump that was the Golden Gate Bridge, the stump that was the Transamerica Tower." Worst neighborhoods to be in? "The Marina and...The Mission!" They got me.
I'm not sure what I else I can say. Those MEGAdisasters writers sure made their point. I really wish I'd watched Starting Over like I'd intended to when I switched on the TV. And I'm getting more water.
Here's what you should have in your disaster preparedness kit.