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Thread: Being Prepared and LAH

  1. #1

    Being Prepared and LAH

    I live in California, and every year we have an event called the “Great ShakeOut.” It is coming up soon, so there have been lots of advertisements about earthquake safety and getting prepared. Which of course got me thinking about my household and if we are prepared.

    My significant other and I used to camp all the time, so we are pretty well prepared with gear, and have supplies, etc. But we have gone a few steps further, last year we both got our HAM radio licenses so we could help with communications if needed during an emergency. And my SO has gotten trained as a CERT member (Community Emergency Response Team); so, if there is an emergency he will head off to join the first responders and do whatever is needed.

    Now you might think, wow they are really prepared for the worst and what does that have to do with LAH? Well, I’ll explain why I’m posting here.

    Last week a hurricane hit the east coast, about a week before that my SO got an email from the Red Cross, since he is a CERT member they wanted to see if he could volunteer to go to Georgia for two weeks after the hurricane to help with the recovery. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a currently certificate in CPR so he wasn’t able to join them; but he was ready to step up and because of his preparation and training would have been able to Lend A Hand. And now he is looking to get his CPR certification updated, so he will be ready next time.

    Another example of how being prepared can allow you the opportunity to Lend A Hand. A few years ago someone hit a transformer in my neighborhood, so the power went out. I was in the middle of cooking dinner, and our apartment was all electric…. So nothing worked. Within a few minutes we had out the camp stove, lanterns and flashlights. At that point we went and checked on our neighbors, several didn’t have flashlights so we spread ours around, some haven’t made dinner and so we lent our stove. But again because we were prepared, we could also help others.

    Last example, on a recent camping trip we had a camper from another site come over because no one had jumper cables and their car was dead. We were far enough from anything that AAA wasn’t going to come. But my sister had cables, so it wasn’t a problem.

    From these examples and so many others overtime, I have come to learn that the more prepared I am; the more able I am to Lend A Hand when something goes wrong. Which is why I really think, being prepared, trained and ready is a great way to Lend A Hand.

    What are some examples you could share of when you were prepared and so you were able to lend a hand to someone?



  2. #2

    You are a good neighbor to have around.


  3. #3

    Where I grew up (a long time ago and far, far away as they say!), we had a drive-in movie theater. Your jumper cable story reminded me of the time I went there to see the movie "Signs" (which is extra creepy in a cornfield, by the way) at that drive in. You listen to the audio on your car stereo usually, but each time I went with friends we'd bring a boombox so we could sit on a blanket and listen outside.


    Sure enough, after the movies about 10 cars had drained their batteries. Myself and a few other folks had cables so we drove all around the lot, giving people the jump they needed. I'm very glad my dad instilled in me the habit of always carrying cables!

    I really admire that you and your partner live that preparedness ethos.




  4. #4
    In consideration of all of the violence in American society, I decided to arm myself as well; commensurate with my training, experience, and faith practice. Therefore I carry a squad-level combat lifesaver pack in the car, and a wilderness first aid kit on my shinrin yoku rambles. If I can help someone, I will without hesitation, but I sincerely hope that I never have to use either ever again.

    Even the best weapon is an unhappy tool, hated by living things. Therefore the follower of the Way stays away from it.
    Tao Te Ching; 31:1

    Sat today.
    Last edited by Emmet; 10-20-2018 at 01:28 PM.

  5. #5
    When the big earthquake and tsunami happened here, the neighbors all pulled together. It was lovely. We had too much water and kerosene, others had lots of vegetables or batteries. One of the things I really came to appreciate about an agricultural community was at such times.

    One thing, though, is they got a little mad at me when the nuclear reactors (Fukushima) were melting down about 100 miles from here. On advice from a physicist friend, at the height of the crisis, I evacuated my kids to Osaka (my physicist friend said that the kids were vulnerable although, me and the wife, well, we are so old he said it was not much of a concern. Kids are still growing,). The neighbors, however, refused to leave and even seemed insulted by my offer to drive some of their kids out. There ancestors had been there for generations and they would all just stay put. It was a very common attitude here at the time. A relative in Osaka gave us an old tumble down apartment to stay in as long as we needed (which I actually thought might be rather permanent at that point).

    When we were also in the middle of a week long blackout after a big hurricane when we were in Florida, all the neighbors came out. No lights, no tv, no computers, we sat on the porches and BBQ'd whatever was available in the melting freezer, and then whatever we had to share. The kids played kickball and hop scotch (they had to be shown the rules), neighbors who barely said hello before got to know each other. We all said it was lovely, in the midst of fallen trees and broken windows (which neighbors helped others patch up). However, the minute the lights came on days later, everybody went back inside. We should have a mandatory "Lights out" day each month! I recommend it.

    In any case, in the event of an emergency, good to have extra supplies. Make a note of the location of any elderly folks in your neighborhood, and check on them, see if they need something in case of such an emergency. They might just need reassurance or a can of soup. That would be a real service.

    Gassho, J

    Last edited by Jundo; 10-20-2018 at 07:03 PM.

  6. #6
    Hi Shoka,

    This is a wonderful thread. Thank you.

    In many parts here in Mexico, we are vulnerable to earthquakes. They happen many times a year and last year Mexico City got hit pretty hard. It's amazing how people came together to help each other and we always remind ourselves on how to be ready.

    So there are lots of efforts from some organizations to make people aware that we must have at least a few survival things always at the ready. The usual: a backpack with clothes, water, radio, flashlight, matches… but when talking about this I also say that all the important documents must be scanned and uploaded to a server. This way you'd have a copy whenever needed or in case the original documents get lost.

    And of course, having an extra survival kit also helps because we can have something to give to others.


    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  7. #7
    How wonderful, Shoka.

    This is pretty much how we live here, in a rural area outside of Albany, NY. I wouldn't be able to even come close to guessing how many times we have helped each other out... my earliest memory is when my oldest was having her maybe 5th? birthday party and our well ran dry, and our neighbor came over and filled it with his own water! And another neighbor stored milk for my daughter in her freezer during a power outage before we got our generator. We have cleared snow from driveways and lent folks any needed equipment we have on hand and been recipients of similar kindnesses for many years. It's a wonderful way to live.

    清 道 寂田
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

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