Editor's Column: We must be prepared when Whidbey’s disaster arrives

Catastrophes are happening all around us in the “Ring of Fire,” so it seems certain that Whidbey Island is advancing toward the front of the disaster line and islanders should be fully prepared.

Judging by all recent disasters, the most important precaution to take is to make sure the batteries on your recording devices are always fresh so you’re first on You Tube with the best stuff. Just as important, keep a box of fresh backup-batteries. In Japan, many people filmed the earthquake and those who survived headed straight to their computer for downloading. Then of course the tsunami arrived, by which time most people had already exhausted their phone battery, camera battery or video recorder battery. But those who planned ahead simply popped in a fresh battery as the wave approached and filmed some more awesome You Tube footage to be enjoyed by billions around the world.

Those who survived the tsunami hurried to their computers to be among the first to post the big wave video, hoping to become the Justin Bieber of the You Tube disaster film set. But as they tried to rest on their laurels, which had been washed out to sea, they heard about the nuclear reactor meltdowns. Very few people had looked far enough ahead to make sure they had enough batteries to cover a gigantic earthquake followed by a humongous tsunami and then huge explosions at nuclear power plants. No doubt millions of powerless video devices were futilely pointed at those flames and clouds of escaping radiation, but only a minuscule number of people had the foresight to keep enough  fresh batteries around to cover the belated nuclear disaster. That’s why it didn’t seem like such a big deal at first — images on You Tube were scarce.

Fortunately, Google, which owns You Tube, is said to be planning  to airdrop emergency supplies of fresh batteries to whatever survivors may remain so they can resume filming and downloading. At this point, the disasters are thought to be over except for a worrisome volcano erupting in southern Japan, the expected reemergence of Godzilla from Tokyo Bay, and the possibility that Charlie Sheen might show up out of nowhere.

With this kind of forewarning, there is no reason why Whidbey Island should be caught with a battery shortage when our time for disaster and worldwide fame arrives. When the bridge collapses, the ferries sink and our two-story buildings pancake we want to make sure it’s all there on You Tube. I’m particularly looking forward to surviving waterfront property owners making their way up the hill and into the woods where the poor people live and houses still stand. I’ll film their grim faces as I say, “Sorry, it’s private property beyond the county ditch line.”

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