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.


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.