I’m not working today, but wish I was. It is days like these when the news junkie in me thrives in covering a huge event like the Japan quake and tsunami. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, this story has a huge local impact, and I have been riveted watching the coverage on the TV station where I work, NBC Bay Area. I watched the tsunami capsized boats in Santa Cruz, and watched as people evacuated the coast. As I write this, the two morning anchors, Brent Cannon and Laura Garcia-Cannon have been on the air for nearly six hours straight, mostly ad libbing as the news happens. It is a hard job, a very hard job, and they are doing an amazing job as they relay the information to the public. This of course is nothing in comparison to what’s happening in Japan, but when it comes to local news, people need to know what’s happening in their area, and that’s what they’re doing. It’s not always perfect, but it’s live television, and by its nature, it will never be perfect.
I’ve been riveted to the images I’m seeing, and stories I’m hearing for the last 12+ hours. Like so many millions of other people, I first heard about the quake from Facebook. I then turned to CNN. The video didn’t look real. It was hard for my brain to compute that the huge rush of water crashing into entire towns was not something out of a movie. In one instance, I saw people in the second story of their home, waving white sheets out the window trying to get rescued. I also know this is just the beginning. Right now, the number of known deaths is in the hundreds, but that is only going to multiply. It is simply heartbreaking.
The quake also puts in perspective that I too live in earthquake country. I know I need to be prepared, but I’m not. We should have a plan. We don’t. In the nearly ten years that we’ve lived here, I’ve felt my fair share of quakes, but nothing significant. I know it’s only a matter of time before I’m in a serious earthquake, and this weekend I will get an earthquake kit, and make an evacuation plan for me and my family.
In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the devastating quake and tsunami. They need help, so I’m going to give to the Red Cross. I encourage you to do the same. You can text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief.