Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On expecting the unexpected and being prepared

In the midst of this disaster in Japan, where earthquakes and tsunamis have started an unprecedented series of disasters, we are reminded why we have to expect the unexpected. Japan is the country which has the latest and greatest in building codes and tsunami warnings, their nuclear power program seems to be succumbing to the crisis.

My husband spent 20 years in the US Army Reserves, including 2 years mobilized recently and six years of active duty between college and business school. Before that he was an Eagle Scout and a Boy Scout camp counselor. He can tie complicated knots and set up a canopy using a tarp and a few tent poles all by himself. He is always prepared. He is always trying to convince me why we need to be prepared for an earthquake, blizzard, hurricane, week long power outage or some other disaster. I often scoff at his need to be so prepared.

But then along comes a disaster such as the one in Japan, or lets not forget the devastation in Aukland, New Zealand, Haiti, New Orleans and countless other locations. His logic seems to make sense. And a small generator, flashlights everywhere, 5 gallon water jugs, and MREs in the basement offer some sense of comfort.

This is why we have health insurance - to expect the unexpected. If we are uninsured the result of a poor medical diagnosis is more often going to result in an unhappy outcome. Maybe being prepared isn't such a bad iea.

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