So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Friday, September 21, 2012
Just another normal day in Pompeii
Imagine you are living back in the Roman city of Pompeii in the year AD 79. It’s a prosperous place. Civilized. Your day to day life is pretty normal. You do what you normally do. Everyone does their daily routine. One day the volcano erupts and everyone dies.
Minor earthquakes were common. People got used to the occasional rumbling of the volcano. It was probably considered normal behavior. After all, nothing major ever went wrong -until it did and everybody died.
There was some warning. One year there was a earthquake bigger than most that did a lot of damage. Some people rebuilt. Other moved away. About 17 years later, the volcano erupted and killed all those who stayed.
Lessons for us today?
One could easily say that people shouldn’t have lived in such a geologically active area. There were good reasons to live in Pompeii. It’s volcanic soils were fertile and productive. That whole area is geologically active, so why move from one shaky place to another? We could say no one should live in southern California. One day the “big one” will hit and it will suffer a devastating earthquake. Yet, just like in Pompeii, there are good reasons to stay. There are good jobs, cultural attractions, agriculture and manufacturing.
We all have to weigh the risks against the benefits. Of course, many people don’t know the risks of living in an area, and don’t want to know. Others downplay the risks. They assume the danger is far away and the benefits are here now. There is a tendency to assume the future will be like the present. Of course, people in New Orleans have no excuse whatsoever.
What if you were one of the Pompeii residents who left after the moderate earthquake. For 17 years nothing else really bad happened. Your old friends in Pompeii might have ridiculed you for years about moving away. Of course, then one day they all died. There wasn’t even a chance to say, “I told you so.”
We should take a cold hard look at where we live and time we live in. In most places, most of the time, there’s no major problems. However, we should know what the potential troubles might be. Some disasters, like a volcanic eruptions, are rare, but they have the potential for high death tolls. Other calamities can be dealt with. For example, a friend of mine lives in an earthquake area. His house is well stocked with supples and his vehicles have huge bug out bags. He’s weighed the pros and cons of staying in the area. Job and family obligations keep him there, but he’s done what he can to mitigate the risk.
Keep in mind that some things are too big to prepare for. All one can do is to be somewhere else. All I’m suggesting is that people keep they eyes out for warning signs of big trouble and then act accordingly.
Don’t get caught in Pompeii when the volcano blows.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.