AS much as we are bombarded by the negative news of the day (which seems to be a key driver for media consumption), we should be just as balanced in our sharing of the positive. In this instance, while my heart goes out to the people of Turkey who have recently experienced a catastrophe that will have a lasting effect on the lives of thousands, I find the local media fear-mongering to be nothing short of reprehensible, and even more so, lacking in merit.
Earthquakes are not a man-made occurrence. They are not an event that can be predicted and they are not avoidable. What we can do, though, is try our best to prepare ourselves for one, to avoid becoming victims. At this point, readers, I am sure you are asking about what the Government is doing about earthquakes. That is a great question that I myself had after learning of the tragedy that befell Turkey. While, as I already stated, we can’t predict earthquakes, I saw that as a nation, we have been taking steps to cope with the possibility of an earthquake.
For those wondering, I am referring to the article published by the ODPM on Wednesday on Trinidad and Tobago’s plans for coping with an earthquake. Though we all might join in chorus to ask where are they when there is flooding (but after some research, I understand they are not first responders), we would do well to remember that ‘Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management’ is not limited to one type of disaster.
With that in mind, I was heartened to see the measures that T&T has in place to deal with the effects of earthquakes, and put myself at ease knowing that there is some national foresight on managing such a potentially devastating event. It is encouraging to learn about what has been going on ‘behind the scenes’, though I take some fault for perhaps not paying as close attention.
Now, even though the Government is working on their plans, we the people must do the same. There is much information available out there to help us prepare for disasters, and as the saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’. Let us properly inform ourselves, so we can do our part to prepare ourselves. Let us get involved in community response teams and volunteer groups.
While we sympathise with the misfortune of others and seek to send aid, let us not forget to learn from those events, so we can cope if it were to happen to us.
Stephan Grant Diego Martin