I've been moved, as I'm sure you have, by the unfolding disaster in Japan. First, they have a 9.0 Earthquake, which triggers a tsunami, followed by massive power outages and an ongoing nuclear disaster at several of their power-generating reactors. As one who has only seen Japan from a distance, and on TV and in the movies... I can't help but wonder, what's keeping Godzilla at bay?!!
Those people amaze me. First of all, I'm amazed that so few buildings toppled in such a huge quake. Their strict earthquake-resistant building codes are obviously very effective. I believe much more damage was done by the water, than by the quake. Second, I'm amazed at how downright civilized they seem to be! If such a disaster hit Los Angeles, lawlessness would reign supreme, and it would be "survival of the fittest." (Or maybe not. Maybe I judge my fellow citizens too harshly. I hope we never have to find out!)
I happened to see and grab this amazing photo of a cyclist amid the ruins. His bicycle is still providing mobility.
I'm a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or "Mormons." We are strongly encouraged to be prepared for disaster. Our leaders advise us to maintain a store of food, water and other essentials. At the very least, we should have a "72-Hour Kit" containing food and water, first aid, medications, some cash - everything we would need to maintain life and health for 3 days. (You would do good to heed that same advice, no matter your religious persuasion!)
Perhaps it's because transportation isn't vital to staying alive, at least in the short term, but very little is said about "disaster mobility." That bothers me a bit. We should think about it. Could we still get around if the roads were buckled and crumbled? How about if the fuel supply were cut off? I take some comfort in being confident I could still get around following almost any type of disaster, at least in the short term. I could forage for provisions, or get to the river for water.