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Christian Storms and his family say they are "lucky" to be located in Chiba City, just outside Tokyo and removed from the greater devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Northern Japan.
“Tokyo is fine in comparison because we have the resources to dispatch." He stressed that they are "lucky, lucky for now.”
The main concern for those in his area now Storms says is “when will the next quake hit?”
“We keep feeling the aftershocks not knowing if it will be the next big one, so we keep the TV and radio on and will be alerted through an early warning siren system,” Storms said.
He says that each town has an emergency evacuation center where residents are told to gather if and when an alarm sounds. For the Storms family, it's a local library three to four blocks from their home.
“Each member of our family has a backpack packed with food, water, and camping supplies,” Storms said.
Storms has lived in Japan for 21 years and says that he has never experienced such a shocking earthquake. He described the feeling in his sixth floor apartment as “rippling.”
“The whole house was shaking for what seemed a very long time, over two minutes,” he said.
He was at home getting ready to drive into town when the quake hit. His wife was out and his children were at school.
“My daughter said she was proud she did not cry, but did call out for Mommy and Daddy to save her.”
Storms said his family was able to make it back home safely and was lucky to find all friends were accounted for.
“People were in shock, out on the streets crying.” Storms said.
Storms said many people he knows had to walk home from Tokyo and it took one friend 10 hours to drive 20 miles due to the road conditions.
Since the Storms family is located so close to the main hub of Tokyo, they do have access to food and water, and maintenance crews are already fixing their parking lots and roadways, trying to restore order.
Storms says he was again counting his blessings as he witnessed the explosion at the Cosmo Oil Company refinery from his window. The refinery is located in Ichihara, across the bay from his home, but the explosion was still visible. (See picture above).