When I was growing up on the East Coast quite a few miles from the shore, my mother carefully taught me about tsunamis. Just in case it was ever relevant, you know.
She bequeathed her knowledge of tsunamis to me like one of those ugly little magic pebbles in stories that the protagonist carries for years and years until they save his life or enable him to achieve the goal of his quest.
“When you see the water retreat, don’t follow it. Don’t get curious and pick up wriggling fish that are left on the beach. Get away from the water as fast as you can, because there will be a tsunami.”
Probably she was thinking of the 1960 tsunami that hit Hawaii, when 61 people died.
Fortunately, I have yet to use this magic pebble of knowledge. But because this information had been drilled into me so carefully, I paid special attention to the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, just in case I could learn anything else.
Indeed I did: That in the aftermath of great destruction, work gloves are of great importance to personal safety as one climbs through the wreckage. I had never thought of that before, but my soft fat paws, which I use intensely to earn my livelihood as a desk jockey, would be in great danger from broken wood, glass, and metal. Having only once handled wooden pallets and recoiled from the splinters and nailheads projecting from them, I knew I needed hand protection.
For weeks and months after the terrible events in Japan, I anxiously scoured the internet for the “best” gloves. I decided that industrial gloves looked the ideal in terms of cut resistance and impact dissipation. Big, strong, hefty hand gear meant for first responders and rescuers, they surely would protect my squishy paws from the aftermath of a disaster.
But for almost three years afterward, I hesitated to buy them, while they languished on my wishlist. I was puzzled at my own behavior, because buying gloves seemed like a no-brainer.
Finally, some months ago I thought about the 7/7 bombings in Britain, and thought about what if something similar happened to me in the subway. Eventually, I thought about my purse, which only seemed roomy before the prospect of gloves arose. My headlamp is in there already.
My reasoning was that it is better to have two gloves in the hand, so to speak, than a pair at home. If I were home and a disaster were to occur so terrible as to separate me from my purse holding my identification and money, I would surely not have the time or ability to fetch out a pair of bulky industrial gloves. Thus, I choose to have disaster gloves that I can carry all the time easily. Like carrying a headlamp, a pair of coated knit gloves, light but tough, is an easy step to take for emergency preparedness.
But if you are or know a first responder or rescue worker, I can think of no better addition to the daily work gear than the Hexarmor gloves I lingered over for years.