Emergency Preparedness during Massage (Massage Monday #437)

Imagine you are getting a massage and nice and relaxed. Then a fire alarm goes off. Or the whole building starts shaking.

Today is March 11, 2019 which is an 8th year anniversary of the magnitude 9 Tohoku earthquake which resulted in the big tsunami in Japan. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just Google “311 tsunami” or “311 earthquake” and you’ll see the footages.

This week I will cast a question – Are you prepared to evacuate if there is a disaster like fire or an earthquake during the massage, especially if you are pretty much naked on the table?

311 Tohoku Earthquake

Last year, there was a fire at a restaurant in the same complex where I work. I work at a high-end spa with a nice jacuzzi and saunas and the customers leave their stuff in a locker and wear robes and sandals to come to the massage room.

When the fire alarm went off, we all had to evacuate outside on a very hot day. The poor customers had to evacuate in a robe and sandals with nothing underneath. Lucky if they happened to have a cell phone with them but they couldn’t go back in to get their wallet and car keys from their lockers.

The restaurant next door generously accommodated us in the shade. Some looked very upset which is totally understandable while others made the best out of it with a nice breakfast on an IOU basis while we waited to be allowed back in.

I give hundreds of massages every year and I have quite a few regular clients but there is only one client that comes to the massage room with a Ziploc bag with ID, wallet, cell phone, and keys.

I asked her why and she told me one time she was at a gym in a group class and there was a fire in the building. She had to evacuate out of the building on a cold day with nothing but the cold sweaty clothes. Since then, she carries her essentials with her in case of emergency. I think that’s very smart and now I carry my stuff with me too when I go to a massage room when it is separate from a locker area.

Essentials – Keys, ID, Wallet and Cell Phone

I’m originally from Japan, which sits right on top of the Ring of Fire and now I’m living in Southern California which also sits on top of the Ring of Fire across the Pacific Ocean.

Ring of Fire

I am concerned about the earthquake but I guess not enough to leave this paradise.

San Clemente Beach

But I like to be prepared and I have become kind of a prepper.

After the magnitude 9 Tohoku earthquake in 2011, there was another big one with magnitude 7 in Kumamoto in 2016.

Tohoku and Kumamoto Earthquakes

I heard on the news that people who chose not to go to the evacuation centers and slept in their cars were forming blood clots. So I changed my car from sedan to SUV so I could sleep in my car with my legs stretched out in case of emergency.

Around the same time in 2016, there were earthquake warnings at Salton Sea although it wasn’t a big news for some reason.

Salton Sea

Salton Sea is at the end of the San Andreas Fault

Salton Sea at the end of San Andreas Fault

where it is predicted to be the origin of the next big one in California which is overdue according to physicists like my favorite Dr. Michio Kaku whom I actually got to see and meet recently before the big one. I was super happy.

With Dr. Michio Kaku

Anyway, since then I stock my car with food and water and camping gears. Here’s my recent purchase.

A portable toilet because I heard that’s one thing you will have a hard time when the toilet doesn’t flush.

And also this pop-up shower tent because I want privacy for my business.

I also avoid parking in a structure as much as possible because I don’t want my shelter to be pancaked.

But the big one may hit when I happen to park in a structure or next to a big tree or something. If that happens, I’ll just laugh and go to the evacuation center.

There’s a new podcast by NPR called the Big One: Your Survival Guide which I highly recommend if you are in an earthquake prone area. It makes you think about different aspects of a big earthquake. I realized I’m under-prepared but then you can’t really prepare perfectly for the situation either.

But at least for massage, I highly recommend you carry at least your essentials such as keys, ID, wallet and cell phone in case of emergency. I am even thinking about carrying some easy clothes I can put on quickly like Uniqlo’s tank top with built-in bra that I love:

and pants and closed toe flats that I keep in my car because I would feel very vulnerable wearing just a robe and sandals if I’m lucky enough to be able to evacuate.

And this is how you can go into the emergency preparedness rabbit hole.

Massage Monday #437 – Emergency Preparedness during Massage http://bit.ly/mm-437