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by Brittany Yap, editor


That Sunday morning I was up getting ready to pickup my mom from the airport when I heard a loud rumble and my entire apartment started to shake. The concrete walls were like Jell-O, and I stood in the middle of my room in astonishment hoping the big picture frame above the countertop wouldn’t fall. Nearly 15 seconds later, the shaking stopped.

I was unsure at that moment if what I experienced was an earthquake. To be honest, the thought “North Korea” came across my mind. Shook up and alone, I got in my car and drove in the pouring rain to the airport. Several stoplights were out, and the radio produced only static. The airport security guard confirmed that the rumbling had been an earthquake, and the entire island was without power.

Luckily for my mom, airport officials allowed her flight to land, but she was forced to do something she hasn’t done in years: exit the plane by stairs.

My lack of preparedness started to bother me when my cell phone kept beeping and displaying “low battery.” It was my only connection to my family and friends.

I didn’t have a portable radio at home, so every half hour I’d sit in my car and listen to Perry and Price give updates. I was stocked up on D batteries and toilet paper, but the D batteries are only useful if they power something.

By 3 p.m. the only thing in my stomach was a Rice Krispie treat. Thirsty and out of bottled water, I wished I hadn’t waited until Sunday to do grocery shopping. I chose not to open my refrigerator, hoping to preserve the food so I wouldn’t have to spend money I didn’t have.

At this point I really wished I had a gas stove or grill, but I didn’t. A generator would have been a quick fix, but I didn’t have that either.

After seeing my neighbors come home with armfuls of groceries, I decided to make the trip to Kahala Times Supermarket. I have never seen such hoarding of produce. There was such a panic around the banana stand that I, too, felt the need to grab some bananas. After an hour, I paid for my three sushi rolls, Gatorade, and package of beef jerky.

If you are like me, you, too, need to be more prepared because at any moment anything can happen. The following are suggestions for a power outage and/or earthquake:

• Cash (in case stores cannot accept credit cards)

• Portable battery-powered radio and batteries

• Flashlights and candles

• Bottled water, canned foods.

• Manual can opener

• Back up battery cellular phone charger

• Generator (if you can afford one)

• A deck of cards or book for entertainment

• At least a quarter tank of gas in your car

Power was finally restored to the Kahala area a little before 7 p.m., life went back to normal, and homework, not hunger, became my biggest concern once again.


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