When it comes to the spectre of potential natural disaster, the developed world is roughly divided into two parts: Those who worry about their possible dramatic demise, and those who like to make fun of and belittle those who worry. They’re both extremes, the first worried about what may never happen, and the latter who blithely dismiss the existence of even real threats.
The truth, as it so often is, lies somewhere in the middle. Here in New Zealand, the entire country is potentially at risk for something: Earthquakes and tsunamis pretty much everywhere, volcanoes in most of the North Island, plus routine dangers of cyclones, floods and even snowstorms in parts of the country. It makes simple, prudent sense to be prepared for such events, and that’s what the Get Thru website and campaign are all about.
It’s easy to make fun of those who worry obsessively about potential natural disasters, but some people make fun of even prudent preparations. Here’s the thing: New Zealand is a geologically-active land in the midst of a very geologically active region—the Pacific Ring of Fire. The two most recent South Pacific earthquakes happened in the same region, geographically, as New Zealand.
The threats to New Zealand and the South Pacific are real and potentially lethal. That’s a fact, though there’s also no reason to obsess about it. But neither is it anything to make light of. After all, sooner or later, some day, the doomsayers may be right.