May 22, 2012

Preparing for the wrath of an earthquake

Do you live in California or an earthquake area and are not fully prepared in the event of a seismic disturbance? California has the worst seismic disturbances and the worst earthquakes. With the damage that can be caused by an earthquake it makes sense to be well prepared by doing the following before an earthquake starts:

• Move your pets to a safe area or take them to an animal shelter. Ensure they have a three day supply of dried dog food and enough water.

• Turn off the power, the electricity and the water. Also make sure the kids know how to dial 911.

• Put all glass items on the bottom shelves of cupboards and cabinets and keep mirrors under the bed on the floor.

• Put poisonous items such as pesticides and herbicides on bottom shelves of cupboards which have locks.

• Make sure there is no loose wiring and nothing in the way of small items that can fly around the room.

• Hide under heavy furniture or desks.

• Have a flashlight and batteries, food supplies and a first aid kit at hand.

• Draw up an emergency plan in the event the family is separated.

• Stay inside the house. The worst thing you can do is try to leave the house.

• If you find yourself outdoors, move into the open space and stay where you are until the shaking stops.

• If you are driving when the earthquake starts, stop the vehicle and stay in the car. Stay there until you are told you can get out.

• When the earthquake stops, get the animals where you have left them and give them water to settle down.

• There can be after shocks for as little as a few hours or for months, so be cautious and take care of the elderly and the children.

• Do not use the land line except for emergencies.

• When you open the doors to a cupboard or cabinet do it cautiously as things can come tumbling out.

• Check your chimney before lighting a fire.

• Listen to a battery operated radio for news.

• Do not switch on or use electrical appliances until it has been checked; this includes telephones and electrical devices.

For those who have never experienced an earthquake, don’t panic. When you get the command, hide under heavy furniture and do not move until you are told to do so. Listen to the radio for up to date news.

Are dreams insignificant?

Are dreams meaningless? Do they count for nothing? Have we just had too much food to eat before falling asleep and suffering a bout of indigestion? I have discussed this at length in some forums, with friends and other writers and have come to the conclusion that while I don’t have the answers, I believe there is significance as it can tell us things about our lives.

The first time I knew I was talking in my sleep was when my son told me one morning that I was talking and screaming in my sleep the whole night. I knew it to be true as my body which usually feels rested in the morning was tense and tight and my breathing was a little shallow. A few days later he woke me up in the midst of my sleep because I was shouting profanities at someone and kept saying, Get away! Get away! I used the eff word and was screaming at the top of my lungs. This was nothing, however, to other extreme experiences I had.

The first real bad experience I had was when I was standing on my bed and stepped off it in the dark, bumped the front of my head against the cement wall, and had a big knob on my forehead. I could not believe that I was on the floor holding my head and woke my son up to see if there was blood on the top of my head. I put on an ice compress and went back to bed, sitting up, too afraid to go back to sleep. I went to the doctor and was told I had night terrors and was talking and acting out and fighting in my sleep.

Another occurrence I had one night was dreaming that four men pulled me off the bed and rolled me in a carpet to take me away. I woke up and I was lying next to the bed on the floor, wrapped up in the duvet. I was in a daze. I did not know how I got there. A somewhat embarrassing incident that also took place was when both my kids were laughing when they told me that I was talking again in my sleep and that I was flirting with a man in my dreams and was laughing. So far I do not want to participate in tests as some of them involve sleeping in a clinic overnight and being recorded. How do I know when I am sleeping what I am going to do next? I am fully responsible for my behavior when I am awake, but not when I am asleep.

Here is my response then to whether dreams are insignificant. In my case do you think they are? I believe that these dreams and night terrors were an indication that something was wrong. I have since learned I have Parkinson’s, which is a degenerative brain disease. Don’t you think there is a connection? I do.