Ever since I was texted late last night from the Blue Mountains, to warn of possible tsunami in the Pacific Ocean, thus potentially threatening the low-lying Dunedin coastal community where I live, it has been all about the getting of information. Fascinating. I've been struck by the way some nations, some authorities (and some people) choose to opt for denial as their first line of defence.
Nope. No. Not at all. Not likely.
But I'm a civil defence junkie. I immediately remembered the last Chile tsunami alert (I was five years old then and living by another NZ harbour) and I remembered that there were tsunamis that day too. And deaths, elsewhere in the Pacific.
Fortunately we get a long lead-in, from a Chilean tsunami. We were ready by mid-morning, and we evacuated, just in case the lottery threw its dice our way...
It seemed I had lost the small bet I had entered into, that emergency personnel would blare sirens and evacuate us. But we did all agree that it would be wise to get away from the high tide mark anyway.
Eventually, the nation, the authorities and the individual skeptics came around to the idea that "this is not a drill". And our neighbourhood was evacuated, in our absence.
So I won the bet. But even better, everyone is safe.