It’s been weeks since devastation hit the shores of northern Japan, and the images of a country tattered and beaten, continue to flood our TV sets. Aside from the rising death toll, and millions upon millions of dollars in structural damage, the scariest of problems still remains.

 When the massive earthquake and tsunami hit northern Japan, Fukushima nuclear plant took a direct hit. The damages subsequently knocked out the plants ability to cool the nuclear reactors, which led to nuclear contamination now affecting a large area around the plant.

In a situation like this, I question what America would do if this catastrophe would have landed on American soil. In reviewing past natural disasters here in America, It can be slightly frustrating picturing this kind of disaster in America. The government was widely criticized in their handling of Katrina, the largest natural disaster in my lifetime.

 It seemed as if people were stranded for days and days with no one coming to their aide. Reports from the Sri Lanka Tsunami of 2005 claim that the 3rd world country suffered the worst losses due to their low economic standing. Reports say that the underdeveloped countries are not prepared to handle natural disasters on such a large scale.

So what’s the excuse for FEMA and their less than impressive efforts during Katrina? As one of the most economically developed countries I would hope a better rescue effort could have been mounted. And still, people in the city of New Orleans and other cities are still feeling the burden form Katrina.

If Japan were to handle this latest disaster like we have handled Katrina, how long will those people feel the after effects? Not to mention, there was no full-scale nuclear meltdown with Katrina.

Initial reports claimed that Japan was extremely ready for this type of activity. First responders were on the scene and prepared to handle the immensity of the situation. Preparation and readiness would not be the first words used to describe the rescue efforts during Katrina. I would hope that in future events the government would have a better plan than storing people in the Georgia Dome like their a bunch of animals. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this wasn’t the best of options.

What would America do with a full scale nuclear meltdown? It seems that over the course of history nuclear disasters have not been handled well. With reports surfacing about nuclear contamination spreading further and further pictures of the Chernobyl disaster come to mind. This disaster occured in an underdeveloped country with little to no training on how to deal with a large-scale disaster.

 The Japanese have been doing their very best to minimize the nuclear damage but it seems their efforts are continually falling short. When the best solution to their problem is dropping sea water into nuclear reactors, I’m not very confident that the situation is under control.

The Japanese have taken the necessary steps to fix their problems. The Japanese government is not too proud to call upon experts of other countries. Reports from Japan say that teams of multiple experts from many different countries are all working together in the effort to solve the nuclear meltdown.

 How would America react? Would we be too proud to call upon foreign allies for help? I would hope not. I would hope our government would do everything and anything in their power to address the problems at hand.

 The devastation in Japan is truly unfortunate. But lets take the opportunity to increase awareness and become more prepared on our own shores. I think it’s healthy to ask ourselves, “what would we do?”

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