Thursday, January 11, 2007

disaster, averted

as i was studying up for an interview today, i was interrupted by a commotion outside. for me, commotional intrigue sparks when someone screams expletives more than once or twice (just once is too pedestrian). in this case, i heard noises outside like sirens and such, but as we live near a fire department, i couldn't be bothered.

i'm not sure what coaxed me to the window, but when i peered outside, nonchalance was overcome by fear; a fire broke out two buildings down from us.

the number of emergency vehicles and uniformed people blocking the street was a clear signal i should discover what was going on. as i walked down our internal stairs, i smelled smoke and my heart began to race.

outside, people were congregating on sidewalks, making wagers about the situation. i saw a woman walk near the building in a panic, telling someone on her cell phone, "come home right now. there's a fire. come home!" and then someone else offering to tell the firepersons where to find the pets left behind.

suitably scared, i ran back inside and started gathering important stuff--including nene--that i may need in case the fire reached our building.

everything turned out ok.

acting on mom's suggestion, i asked a fireperson if i should worry about the fate of my building. she said no--sweetly, i might add--the fire is contained. her words took the edge off my tension, but it still took some time to wind down, and watching the firemen use an axe and a chainsaw to carve a hole in the building didn't help.

the outcome of this experience is a push i needed to complete a task i've had on my mind: create an emergency hub where important documents live and other resources like water, flashlights and the like can be stored for the next emergency. earthquakes happen, and as a person who craves preparedness, i may as well follow through and get everything in order.

2 comments:

jini said...

great action photos! i'm glad everything is ok, and that you got yourself together very well today by loading essentials in your backpack. i was impressed. i do have to confess that after i was calmly reassuring to you on the phone, i hung up and yelled holy s---! now i'm calm again. :) love you!

Jay Fienberg said...

We've been steadily getting more "disater prepared." The main guide we're using was actually created for San Francisco, so I thought you might find this useful: 72 Hours.