Thursday, March 04, 2010

From tornados to earthquakes

I spent 30 years living in the Midwest. We grew up having monthly tornado drills and hearing tornado sirens multiple times each year. When we moved to NC in 2006, while the chances of having a tornado were pretty slim, our kids continued to have drills at school.

When we moved to Japan, we were given information on what to do in the case of an earthquake. There are usually earthquakes daily somewhere in Japan (small ones, you can relax mom). The kids are drilled at school. Our home has a flashing locator light and alarm in case something should happen. This morning I somehow accidentally hit the home security system button without knowing it. Emily left for school before Sami and Chris. I was in the kitchen and didn't actually see her walk out the door but I heard this weird alarm noise go off. Sami's eyes instantly got big and she climbed under the kitchen table. Then the alarm stopped and Sami climbed out. Then almost as soon as she climbed out, the alarm went off again and she flew back under telling me it was the earthquake alarm.  Apparently the recent earthquakes throughout the world has really made her paranoid.

I hadn't realized the alarm was on, and I hadn't realized that Emily had come back in the door. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Obviously it wasn't an earthquake, and even a tiny one would never set off any alarm. However trying to tell Sami that was nearly impossible.  The alarm sounded different than the normal home security one, but I guess I had hit the "home" alarm, meaning it was for if we were actually in the house.

After this little learning experience it hit me just how different our lives are here from just over a year ago. It's not just which side of the road we drive on, what we eat, or what language we speak, but even down to things like being prepared for something as an earthquake.


Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

Kimmber said...

And look, she did exactly what you are supposed to do. She is prepared!

When we moved to CA, 6 weeks in they had the Northride earthquake. We were 5 miles from the epicenter. By the time we MOVED out of CA, 6 weeks later, my kids weren't annoyed with jumping under tables and standing in archways!