Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Are you ready for the Next Big One?

One hundred years ago today, the San Francisco Bay Area experienced a literally earth-shaking experience. This Big One made history. The destruction was devastating and wide-spread. But the subsequent fires in the city of San Francisco that almost destroyed the complete city are especially notorious.

I have had very little experience with earthquakes. For the past 5 years I've been living here, there were only twice, to be exact only once, when I really felt a shake. For the first time, I only learned about the occurrance when I got onto my car and turned on the radio. Then Husband called me on my cellphone after he felt it in his office ... and I told him I didn't feel a thing inside Costco. BTW, Costco may be the last place you'd want to be in when there is a quake ... think about how high they stack their merchandise!

Then for the second time, we were both at home and it lasted maybe about 3 seconds. My memory of the shake itself is now really vague. But I just need to look at one of the shelves in our living room to reassure myself that it did happen.

So, there have been a lot of talks about preparing for the Next Big One. I started building up supplies for emergency a few years back (it's really hard to get everything ready in one go!). I remember after Katrina, there was this discussion in KR forum about donating knitting supplies to knitters affected by the hurricane. Someone said that knitting would be the last thing you need in such situation. I tended to agree at the time.

However, now I think differently. Of course, there would be lots of things to attend to and worry about when we experience a disastrous situation. But imagine there is a moment when all I can do is just wait (for whatever it is) ... wouldn't it be mind-soothing and psyche-calming if I can do some knitting? Besides supplies for physical existence, supplies for mental sanity are also important. So, I put together this kit to be put into the emergency supplies tube:
Here, I have everything I would need to knit 2 pairs of socks - yarns, needles, yarn cutter and darning needles - all put inside a quite sturdy plastic bag (the Hefty School Bag is my most favourite project bag). I chose a cheerful colourway for myself and one of Husband's favourite colours for him.

Of course, I hope I wouldn't need to use this kit.

17 comments:

Ruth said...

that's so cute that you have an emergency kit for knitting!!! i would be devastated if i lost all my knitting.

i've lived in northern california since i was in the 2nd grade... i vividly remember the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. where i live now, we don't get that many earthquakes, but alot of funnel clouds during the rainy season, and lots of flooding scares (if levees break).

did you see the History Channel special on SF 1906? it's really interesting and detailed documentary on the circumstances. after i watched it, i had to be in SF for a wedding... got a little nervous being there after hearing about how unstable some of the older buildings are. =P

KnitNana said...

What a fabulous idea! Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, blizzards! I can think of a lot of occasions where having just this kind of emergency kit makes too much sense!
Going home to make up mine...and pack it with the kitties supplies to charge out the door with....
Thank you!
(((hugs)))

Rebekah said...

Now that is a perfect earthquake survival kit!

Jennifer said...

Good point about creating a knitting emergency kit. I experiences the Loma Prieta and remember how bad a big quake can be. Maybe I should go check out my stash to make up a kit...

Laura said...

that is too funny! you should also include a little flashlight so that you can see what you're doing

hege said...

Laura's comment about a light is a great idea. And if you make it a headlamp, then you would have both hands free for knitting! I agree that it would be a nice thing, to bring some sense of normalcy to a stressful situation.

Laura.Y said...

:) thanks for making me smile with that story. Just dropping by to say hi..:D

Sheryl said...

Hurricane season is coming up soon and I will definitely add a sock knitting survival kit to my list of emergency supplies. Thanks for the great idea.

amanda said...

Fabulous idea! Hurricane season is less than 45 days away so I guess I need to make a supply bag :o)

Jason said...

What an interesting idea! :-) If I put one kit together for myself, I would probably end up with a small container of stuff and not just one bag. LOL

What's your experience with Jawoll yarn? That's what I am using for my sock class and there are only two balls of them. Getting worried that they won't be enough for a pair of man's socks.

What are the two you chose for yourself?

Debi said...

Don't you remember me knitting away in my closet during Wilma? If I didn't have my knitting I would have freaked out completely! A non-knitter wouldn't get it but to paraphrase a famous quote, Knitting soothes the savage breast!
PS - your emergency yarn is really pretty!

Angel said...

I grew up in So Cal- in Whittier to be exact and when I was a small child a big earthquake hit my town, and levelled the older houses and stores. I can tell you that when you are in an earthquake (a big one) you are thinking so fast that you don't have time to be scared. You only get scared afterwards, when you realize what has happened.

(I agree a Costco or grocery store is the worst place to be in an earthquake- I've been in one and everything starts crashing down.)

However having an emergency yarn kit around is a good idea- I have one for hurricanes (being in grad school in NC there are no more earthquakes) Hurricanes freak me out more then earthquakes because they last so much longer and you have to sit there and listen to the wind howl and stuff getting thrown around outside.... Knitting definetly takes the edge off.

Elspeth said...

What a great idea! Of course we should probably do the actual emergency kit first .. I was in the last L.A. earthquake and my DH was there and also in the last S.F. one. They are scary! I'm not looking forward to the next one.

Mimi said...

I've been through two big earthquakes, the Loma Prieta (1989) and the one in Taiwan ( 1991). The last one was very scary as i was alone with my boys ( DH was on a business trip in Europe) and i ended up passing a night in my car with the boys in an open area . And returning to my place the next morning to find out huge cracks in the walls.
There are plenty of earthquakes here and we are approaching the Taiphoon season. I certainly could make a good use of the emergency knitting kit to calm the nerves! :D

Siow Chin said...

We were travelling in India 6 or 7 years ago when an earthquake hit and it was really scary. I can really appreciate how an emergency knitting kit can work to soothe the mind.

Dipsy said...

Earthquakes might be the thing I'm most afraid of - when I went to school, we learned that we're in no danger here due to the high mountains around. Well, talk about nonsense one learns at school, it turned out that we're in high danger here DUE to the mountains around, their shifting and everything... I'm in horror of such a thing ever happening - but your amazingly fabulous idea of storing the emergency knitting kit sure got me out of my gloomy thoughts! How absotutely great - just imagine how calming this could be? And well, way better to be calm and knitting than to running around panicking, no?
But let's hope we all will never have to experience an earthquake!

lori said...

That's a great idea. I definately think that in a disaster/emergency, once my immediate survival needs had been taken care of, I would want emergency yarn and needles. Not to survive physically, but to survive mentally.

I would also need emergency rations of chocolate and coffee...