You see, I live on the island of Kauai – the island that was projected to be the first to be hit by a tsunami set in motion after Japan’s earthquake.
I had just laid my head on the pillow Thursday night, when the phone rang. A friend called to tell me about Japan’s 8.9 earthquake, that it had set a tsunami in motion and the state of Hawaii was under a tsunami warning. Shortly thereafter, the Civil Defense agency call to evacuate came and the tsunami sirens went off. It was about 10pm and the tsunami was projected to hit around 3am.
I started to pack my things. It’s interesting to me that what I found most important to pack were my photos, sentimental jewelry, my computer and some clothes. Probably 99% of my belongings were left behind.
I thought about my mom’s silk bathrobe that I’ve had for so long and my dad’s terry cloth bathrobe. And, I left them behind. However, when push comes to shove, mom & dad’s bathrobes hold so much sentiment to me. So, heaven forbid there’s a next time, I’ll take those with me. Do you think that’s odd or just being human?
Anyway, my friends and I went to higher ground – to a condo that was available to use, but totally empty. We had bedding and “set up camp” on the floor. We did not have TVs and couldn’t get internet access. So the news we received was from phone calls we were getting from family & friends on the mainland.
I got a call from my brother in NY around 3:20am HST saying he heard on the news that the tsunami had hit Hanalei (which is 5 miles from where I live), but no damage reported. So I called KKCR (the public radio station) and they said “the tsunami hasn’t hit.” Interesting how different media report different things.
At any rate, around 6:45am they said there were still surges coming so they wouldn’t give an “all clear” for anyone in low lying areas to return to their homes. At approx. 8:00am they gave the all clear and those of us on low lying land could return home. That includes me (I live about 2-3 blocks from the beach).
Compared to Japan, we are VERY lucky on Kauai. We did not have any damage to speak of, except for a couple of north shore oceanfront homes that had some water damage on the ground level. Basically, every one on Kauai is safe.
I am so grateful that my home is still standing and I didn’t have to deal with the tragedy of losing it like so many in Japan are now doing. Time to count my blessings.
To those who called, e-mailed and put posts on Facebook – thank you. I am grateful for your caring & concern. Those close to me know, I treasure my friends & family so much. This is when it’s hard to live so far away from so many who are near and dear to me.
While I hope you never have the experience, it’s not a bad idea to keep a list of things you want to make sure you take with you (there’s one my fridge).
If you had to evacuate your home, what would be the first thing you’d reach for as you prepared to leave?
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