the aftermath

Posted on Apr. 13, 2011 by geoffropuff

this is a followup to my post about my earthquake experience: so i have a question for you all: what’s the first thing that people do in emergency situations?  if you answered “LOOT!” then you’re probably from los angeles, california.  and no, “overdose on potassium iodide” is also wrong.  the correct answer is HOARD.  i guess correct isn’t quite the word because it inherently implies that it’s the correct thing to do, which it isn’t.  but i digress, immediately following the earthquake the markets, convenience stores, and drug stores were bare shelved, legally.  no meat, no milk/tea/juice/etc., no bread, no rice, no veggies, no eggs, nothing.  mickie and i ate canned soup, packaged ramen, and spam for a week.

earthquake no meat

no meat.

earthquake no milk

no milk.

earthquake no bread

no bread.

earthquake no toilet paper

no toilet paper.

earthquake no lights

no lights. (closed during scheduled blackouts.)

it got so bad that they had to start posting notices around tokyo letting people know that by hoarding they were depriving everyone else of stuff.

earthquake hoarding notice

i don't know if it's my own gastrointestinal problems talking, but there's no way in hell 12 rolls of toilet paper can last for 1,000 people.

the earthquake was the least of the problems facing japan.  of course it was one of the worst quakes in history but the following tsunami and the failure at the fukushima nuclear reactor it caused were the real problems.  aside from the obvious nuclear issue, the fact of the matter is that the electric company (TEPCO) lost about 25% of it’s electric output capacity, causing a great power shortage and need for rolling blackouts across the kanto plain.  again, japanese people pulled through and did the right thing, conserving enough energy that few, if any, scheduled blackouts actually occurred.  mickie and i are doing our parts by not using the heater/ac and not running the laundry machines during peak hours.  however, we were running our tv all day, which was an entirely different issue.

fukushima power plant explosion

you thought this was bad...

a side effect of the tragedy was the 24/7 news cycle that showed tragic scene after tragic scene of houses being devastated by the tsunami, newly homeless people shivering in gathering centers, and smoke rising from the compromised nuclear power plant.  breaking up the news with commercials like these hardly seemed appropriate.

so instead, the wonderful AC (advertising council) decided to throw together some public service announcements about various social issues.  for example, greetings.

breast cancer.

be kind to elders and pregnants.

separate your plastics.

every commercial break had about 5 ads.  seeing as how there’s only about 5 ads, you were lucky if you got 1 of each.  i, no lie, once saw the animal aisatsu (“konnichiwa, arigatou”) 5 times in a row.  5 TIMES IN A ROW.  and at the end of every commerical: AAAAA SHIIIIIIIIII!


don’t get me wrong, i’m not trying to make light of what the people in northern japan had to go through.  i’m just trying to share a little bit about what the rest of us had to go through.  it was rough, i swear.

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