"you're In Good Hands"................

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_caneadea, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. B_caneadea

    B_caneadea New Member

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    Have you ever experienced fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, earthquake or other disaster? Details, please.
     
  2. headbang8

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    Lots of earthquakes, small to middling. I spent most of my life in Japan in tall office buildings or high-rise apartments, built to sway when an earthquake strikes. My reaction was seasickness.

    I got quite blase about minor earthquakes after a while. Once, I had a houseguest who worked for the Australian National Gallery in Canberra. She was in Tokyo to deliver a painting for a Matisse exhibition at the Tokyo Museum of Western Art, and stayed on a few days after.

    I was cooking dinner and she was on the phone ot her family. She stammered in the conversation for a moment as she called to me in the kitchen..."Headbang...are we having an earthquake?"

    I looked up at the utensils hanging above the stove, and saw that yes, sure enough, they were swaying to and fro. (that, or the curtains, were my pendulum of choice to judge whether we were having a quake) "Yes," I said, "Nothing to worry about."

    As a woman who had just delivered a priceless painting across the equator, she felt a little differently. A quick call to the gallery revealed that the painting had done nothiong more than sway a little, just as the earthquake-proof hangers were designed to do.

    A great deal of the Japanese built environment is designed with eartquakes in mind. Furniture is screwed or strapped to the wall. My partner bought a new refrigerator when we set up his apartment, and I was amazed at the design--there are countless compartments, straps, bars and what-not to hold food in place if the fridge should need to go for a little walk. And the fridge itself is strapped to the wall.

    He's a lot less blase about earthquakes than me, though. He lived through the big one in Kobe in 1995, and so our Tokyo apartment is tight as a drum, earthquake-wise. The only thing I can see that is capable of tipping over is the Christmas tree--and given the rarity of Christmas trees in Japanese households, I don't think they've designed a quake-proof tree stand.

    Of course, I consider myself blessed not to have suffered as I know so many Japanese have in earthquakes over the years.

    HB8
     
  3. Onslow

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    Fire--yes, it was 1982 and the building I was living in started getting smokey, I saw the smoke creeping in under the door of the apartment and lost my mind--some say I never got it back. I went by the window, looked out, considered my odds of surviving a 40 foot drop and then waited a few seconds before I opened the window and took a better look at what was below as I watched a fire truck pull up. The fire was brought under control and I exited through the main door of the building with the assistance of a very sexy fireman, who escorted me to an ambulance and I was whisked away to a hospital for smoke inhalation. To this day I am worried about fires.


    Tornado--Oh for crying out loud I was born in Oklahoma and have lived in Arkansas and Missouri. Seen a few approaching, narrowly been missed by most, was in a basement of a church once as the tornado took away almost the entire building above, never actually sucked up into one though. The closest near death tornado was in 1980 while living in Arkansas when I saw the sky turn that sickly color followed soon after by a dark mass--it didn't look particularly funnel like to me--it got closer and took off the roof of a building some 100 feet away and then went along the rest of its route destroying a few more things along the way. When asked after why I didn't take shelter, I just took another drink from the bottle in my hand and shrugged off the incident. These days I live in non-tornado land but have the occasional high wind snowstorms and ice storms to contend with--a fair trade off.
     
  4. Sam1070

    Sam1070 New Member

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    As one who lives in an area profoundly affected by Katrina I think the most lasting and frightening memory is the realization that money was worthless. We were, in our area, without power for 18 days - and we were fortunate because many were out of power much longer - no grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores, etc. opened for weeks. When electricity was finally restored and gas stations opened, the lines were from three to five miles long in some places. The realization that one could starve to death (thinking in the most pessimistic terms, I suppose) was a reality. Modern technology was worthless. It was suddenly like being back in frontier days, or some might say the stone age. Federal and state support systems were non-existent. Now, "fema you" is part of the vocabulary locally instead of the usual. On a more positive note, it did serve to bring families and friends closer. Without their unified support I don't know what many of us would have done. I live in central Mississippi, in a very isolated rural community.
     
  5. ClaireTalon

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    Something that runs as disaster, I guess.

    During my second solo flight on the T-37 (trainer plane) I had a bird strike as I was training patterns over the base, which caused one (of the two) engines to flame out. Actually I was glad that it was just a pretty simple flame-out and no explosion or heavy fire, but it scared the shit out of me though. Still being a rookie, I just knew this situation from the text books, but being confronted with it is something different. The drills and procedures are so clear in the theory lessons or simulator training, but when your life suddenly depends on it, you get clammy hands. What was funny though was that at after a moment or so, I became so unbelievably calm, I can't explain it. It's as so many describe it, the shivers and the wobbly feet come after it's all over, in this case, when I left the plane, and my knees gave in on the small ladder, and I fell flat-faced on the apron.

    Other than that, some rough weathers and two minor earthquakes, none of which are worth mentioning.
     
  6. Shelby

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    I was in mid fuck (no shit) when I experienced my first earthquake.
     
  7. RideRocket

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    Despite being in the military and flying, I have lived a blessed life thus far and never been in any situation where the 'pucker factor' was there.

    _______________
    Knocks vigorously on wood...
     
  8. B_caneadea

    B_caneadea New Member

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    When I was 13 years old, our house burned down. Luckily, we owned another very small house on our property which we moved into and built on a large addition.

    The effects of a hurricane that swept up the East coast, caused wide spread flooding of the Genesee river in New York state. My high school graduation was postponed several days. Although there was considerable damage over numerous counties, my family lived high upon a hill and had no real problems.
    It just rained continuously for a week.

    In 1989, I was living here in San Francisco, but working 50 miles south which was close to the epicenter of the big earthquake that happened that year.
    I had just left work and was driving towards the freeway, when suddenly it looked like everything outside my car had turned gray and my car was rocking back and forth pretty severely. The street light poles were flopping back and forth.
    When I did get on the freeway, there was a good size "speed bump" across all lanes where the pavement had lifted.
    It was smooth sailing back home to San Francisco where all electricity was out.
    My best friend called a bunch of us together for a champagne toast to our survival.
    With no electricity, common citizens stood in the intersections and directed traffic. There was amazing cooperation everywhere.
    The only damage in my apartment was that one vase fell off a shelf and broke.
    There were small aftershocks for weeks after the big one.

    BTW, April of 2006 marks the 100 year anniversary of the devestating San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906.
     
  9. UniDude

    UniDude New Member

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    Many Earthquakes as I had lived in California all my life. I just moved to Miami Beach six motnhs ago and was introduced to two "lovely" women. Katrina and Wilma (What bitches). Not Tornado as of yet, but I'm sure its coming.
     
  10. SpeedoGuy

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    Some of the things I've been in or around:

    * California's 6.9 pointer "Loma Prieta" earthquake in October 1989. Ever seen solid ground oscillate like ocean waves? Ever see a toilet come off its gaskets in the bathroom and bounce down a hallway and out the front door? I sure did.

    * The Oklahoma City bombing April 1995. I was in the vicinity of downtown Oklahoma City when it went off. The concussion rattled pictures on walls and cracked windows.

    * Fire in the Sands Hotel, Reno, September 1988. Not a major fire but enough to empty the hotel in the middle of the night, scaring the bejeebers out of me because of the amount of time it took the crowd of evacuees to go down the emergency exits from the 17th floor. It took waaaaay too long.

    * Severe Clear Air Turbulence near Pikes Peak, Colorado, 1982. I was a passenger in a commercial 747 that encountered severe mountain wave turbulence over the front range of the Rockies at flight altitude. This experience exceded all other frights I've had in flight due to the sudden drop and severe shaking the aircraft went through, throwing it momentarily out of control. When the the airlines require passengers to always war lap belts while seated, this is why. I would have been thrown against the aircraft's roof without the seatbelt.

    * Blizzard, Donner Pass, California December 1987. 100 mph hour winds and heavy snow created a life-threatening-traffic-halting hell on I-80 just west of Donner Pass. It took 12 hours to get to Lake Tahoe from Donner Pass during this episode. Ski lifts were buried by the resultant snowpack.

    * High water, up to 100,000 CFS flood on the Colorado River, June 1983. A huge snowpack in the western Rockies from the 1983 "El Nino" winter created a huge runoff of meltwater piling up in Lake Powell behind Glen Canyon Dam. Dam operators were forced to use emergency spillways to prevent the floodwaters from overtopping the dam. The resultant flood through the Grand Canyon created fierce rapids during my first rafting trip down the river.
     
  11. Matthew

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    Are you advising us to stay clear of you, SpeedoGuy?
     
  12. mellowmal

    mellowmal New Member

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    Odd timing on the question.

    The house I was living in (with friends) just burned on 12/27/05. They had homeowner's insurance, but through clauses and subparagraphs, I'm not really covered by it. The insurance company they deal with has put them up in a trailer for the next 6 months (which they estimate will be the time it takes to rebuild). I've found another room to move in soon as it's ready (another week or so) and meanwhile, I'm in a motel. My cat died in the fire, along with two of their cats. All four people, one cat and the dog made it out. The fire seems to have started inside a surge protector that was below a shelf filled with decorative oil lamps, most of which had oil in them because they got used during power outages. The inside of the house is charcoal, ceiling fans melted into drooping tulip shapes, most of the windows cracked if not shattered from the heat, and the insurance adjuster said he doubted there would be much of anything salvageable. I'm not sure I'll ever want barbecue anything again.

    Other traumatic things.. hmm.. I moved to Southern Dade country 2 weeks before Hurricane Andrew hit. I still can't watch storm or aftermath footage from that or any other storm without getting really creeped out.

    I've lived through very small earthquakes in Maine and Arizona. (Arizona was just shockwaves from one of the big California ones.)

    Don't even get me started on the list of oddball relationships gone wrong I spent time in when I was younger.

    Some culture or other has a curse that runs along the lines of "May you live in interesting times." I must've been VERY bad at some point.
     
  13. B_caneadea

    B_caneadea New Member

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    ____________________________________________
    My heart goes out to you. It's tough having to start over after a fire. But, you'll find an even better place to live. Sorry about losing your cat. When you're ready, I think that it would help you to go out and get a new one. Good luck and give us an update when you get resettled.
     
  14. SpeedoGuy

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    LOL. On most of my adventures, something interesting can usually be counted on to happen.
     
  15. SpeedoGuy

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    LOL. On most of my adventures, something interesting can usually be counted on to happen.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    While living in New Orleans, I lived through three bad hurricanes. I lost a house and many irreplaceable valuables. Luckily, I wasn't around for Katrina.
     
  17. SurferGirlCA

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    I live in California, and I was in college here when the big 1994 earthquake happened. Not fun! However, the most unusual traumatic experience I witnessed was being caught in the middle of a cattle stampede in the middle of the night in Costa Rica. Trust me, it's an odd sound to jar you from your sleep. I later learned that the local farmers tend to herd cattle through town at night so as to avoid the heat/humidity of the day.
     
  18. B_Danceswithlamps

    B_Danceswithlamps New Member

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    Good Grief SpeedoGuy, you're jinxed!

    I had a traumatic experience as a kid. I was riding a bike slightly too small for me, and with training wheels (I grew out of them at about age 5)(I was 6 when this happened). I was riding this bike, my dad walking with me. I was having difficulty riding it, when we went by a creek, about 500 feet long. This creek was at the bottom of a miniminihill (think v shaped), and I veered a little two far too the right. Well, this creek had many large circular rockes in it. As luck would have it, I fell of the bike, rolled down an earth and concrete chunk hill, onto the rocks, and hit my head on a perticularly bumpy one. After screeching bloody murder I lost concienceness for about 4 minutes. I woke up when we got back to the friends (my parents friends) house, and got into our car. (my sister was left there. she went with them after us) I layed down on a pillow, unable to talk, and lost concienseness again. I woke up 3 hours later. They x rayed me, (really cold!) and put a cast on. That was a long summer.

    A friend told me once, that if you have a tramatic experience as a child, then you stop mentally developing for a long time, at that age. Well, that seems to fit. I have the hyperness, energy, and sillyness of a 6 year old! :bounce: :biggerGrin:

    Otherwise, nothing much has happened to me. (except stupid stuff, like putting a thing of Peanut Butter (in original packaging) into the microwave, putting open popcorn into the microwave, trying to dry my hampster in a microwave (my mom caught me before I could turn it on), putting a huge solid metal bowl in the microwave, and then, turning on the microwave with nothing in it.) Wow. I had many experiences with that microwave... haha
     
  19. GoneA

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    i was definitely wondering about that.

    *can rest easy at night, now*
     
  20. DC_DEEP

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    I grew up in a tornado-prone part of the country, but fortunately we had only close calls during my youth. My first major experience was when I was stationed at the Naval Amphibious Base in Norfolk, VA in 1985. I don't remember the hurricane name, but one made landfall in the area. I was on guard duty when the emergency was sounded (I was "duty driver, tasked with doing any official driving for the unit). As luck would have it, there is no guardmount (change of the guard for all you non-naval types out there) during an emergency, so I was on call for about 48 hours. Everyone else was having hurricane parties, but I couldn't join them because I was on duty. <pout> We had a new arrival during the storm, so I had to drive from our barracks to the main gate to pick him up. Everything was covered in water, and the only way I could tell where the road was - look for the storm drain swirlies, and drive in between them.

    There were several earthquakes in California when I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, and I felt many of them, but no serious damage where I was. It is a very odd feeling when you are walking along, and suddenly the ground starts having waves, like the ocean.

    After my tour of duty, I was in the process of moving, but my apartment was not yet ready. I had most of my worldly possessions in a storage building, and it got hit point blank by a tornado. I lost everything, except just some clothes and more precious items which I kept with me. My entire library, including all school yearbooks from 6th grade through college graduation, demolished.
     
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