The Answer Matters: How Connected Are You in Times of Disaster?


It’s hard to believe it’s been one year since the magnitude 9.0 Tōhoku earthquake that struck Japan. The earthquake, followed by the tsunami followed by the radiological disaster depict one of the greatest combinations of disasters that we have seen in quite some time.

While we saw news reports of damage, death and destruction, many people did not see the stories of the Japanese people coming together as communities to respond as a people – surviving even without power in the cold.  Disasters over time stress on people, but the power of knowing that you’re not alone is something that can help people overcome almost anything.

We can usually get our minds around one disaster – a tornado, a flood, a hurricane, an earthquake, etc. However when the events cascade and multiple events occur at the same time we end up realizing that it is quite difficult to juggle and respond to several simultaneous events.

The truth of the matter is though, life isn’t neat and we rarely end up ONLY having one thing to respond to at a time. Most of us don’t have to look far beyond our own lives. How many friends and family members are going through rough times with jobs, health, family crises, etc? Too often, we fail to remember that those things don’t just stop when a disaster occurs.

Looking back at the past year, the above map should give us a reminder that disasters can happen anywhere in the world…  These disasters can change the world for a number of people, but so too can the situations they face on a daily basis.

We’re increasingly in a connected world – especially one connected by technology.  News of the earthquake spread like a wildfire as you can see from the video below, but for all of this connectedness and the technology, we still have to ask the following question:

How are you going to respond, and who/what are you going to rely upon to get you through the next disaster in your life?  Our ability to prepare and adequately respond is directly tied to how well connected we are – because we don’t know all of the answers and we can’t do it all ourselves.

So what is it that you think is most important to you in your ability to get through a disaster?  I would love to hear your thoughts on what is most important to you.  Please check out the poll on the right scrollbar and share your opinions!

Your answer to that question will have more impact on your ability to respond and recover than anything else..

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