Friday, May 18, 2007

Disaster Preparedness

So it's 5:30 in the morning and these really loud sirens go off. Not like fire engine sirens, they sound like the air raid sirens from the movies... or from real life, I guess, if you're a few years older than me.

Which wouldn't worry me except there's no one on the streets- just a policeman in the intersection. And it's quiet- like you-can-hear-birds-chirp (and, oddly enough, roosters crow) quiet, and I didn't think there were any birds in this city. I can't describe how weird it was to see no one on the streets and to hear this much silence. It would be one thing in the US but there is just always noise here.

My roommate was up and she didn't know what was going on, and I started to get... pretty scared. Jasmine was the only person I could think of who would probably be up at this hour, and she answered her phone (I hope I didn't wake her up!) She said it's kind of a drill in case China "sends the missles," in her words. She said usually they do it in the afternoon, and the sirens sound and everyone is off the streets, and then in half an hour they will sound again and everyone can go back~ actually, that happened as I write this. And it was like instant- everyone driving again.

So it's good to know. Especially if it happens when I'm on the road- I guess I would have figured out to stop driving, but I wouldn't have known what was going on- I would have been as scared as I was this morning, times 10.

I will have to find out if they announce these things in advance, or if there's a way to tell the real ones from the fake ones...

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