November 3, 2009

Tsunami drill

Every month they sound the Tsanmi warning alarms as a test. This month they organized a complete Tsunami drill.

I was unprepared, I didn't bring water or really know what to do. So I set out to keep the kids in line as we made our dry run from the school to the edge of the airport where we waited in the sun for 20 minutes for them to open the gates. We walked with 700 kids across the tarmac of Hilo airport to then sit for 2 hours waiting for a bus ride home.

The kids did not take it seriously, they were rude and didn't follow directions and were plagued with selfish behavior as previously mentioned. In the event of a real Tsunami they might focus a little more because it's serious, but they'd also be under prepared and there would be a lot more chaos around them.

Tsunamis are a very real thing here. There have been serous ones within memory for some members of the community and the kids' families, so it's not like an abstract idea. I wish I knew how to convey the serious nature of this threat and the benefit of being prepared and focused.

The reality is that if a Tsunami hit where we are most vulnerable most of that area would not survive, there isn't enough time or organization to get everyone out.

The price of island life.
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