Enduring the next epic disaster

Does the current situation in Japan qualify as an “epic” disaster? I don’t know, but the unfolding drama at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will cast the final vote.  All eyes are focused on the crisis, but what exactly are most of us seeing…and learning? As a writer that recently launched a novel centered around an “epic” human disaster…The Jakarta Pandemic, I saw frightening similarities between the research driven scenario I had created for my story, and the media stories spilling out of Japan. I admit, there is a big difference between the instantly devastating impact of an earthquake/tsunami hit, and the slower burn of a gradually worsening pandemic disaster. However, I wasn’t thinking in terms of the immediate blunt physical impact.  I really focused on the after-effects.  Stories of evacuation, refugees, food and supply shortages…and not just for the immediate victims, but everyone ultimately affected, even as far away as Tokyo. I especially considered the citizens forced to evacuate the 12 mile radius around the Fukushima plant.  What did they bring with them? How much did they have to bring? What about the people in the next distance ring, who were told to stay indoors? Do they have enough