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Arizonans are safe from exposure to radiation while Japan struggles with its nuclear power plants on the other side of the globe.

The Coconino County Health Department released a statement Wednesday, March 16, informing residents the level of radiation in the air has not changed since a 9.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the island nation bringing with it a tsunami and threat of nuclear meltdown at power plants.

While we are safe in Arizona due to our distance from the devastation, what we see come across the television, in newspapers and online reminds us all nature holds the trump card.

Humans have made great strides developing technology to manipulate the world around us. We’ve discovered all sorts of scientific processes — some require tinkering with chemical reactions — enabling us to control many aspects of what goes on around us when it comes to meeting the needs and demands of the world.

Whether or not we should be playing with plutonium is debatable with strong arguments on both sides.

However, whatever dabbling our species is doing, it’s important to consider one thing — nature isn’t a constant and it can turn at any moment.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, wildfires, hurricanes, dust storms, floods — you name it, nature can dish it up just as we become confident in our ability to control the uncontrollable.

Nuclear development and advancement will more than likely by closely examined in the aftermath of Japan’s tragedy, and it should be.

Whenever we’re playing with anything as powerful as a nuclear reactor, procedure, plant location and safety should not be taken lightly.

Tragedy also reminds us we need to be personally prepared for disaster to strike our community.

Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek experienced the effects of a natural disaster on a smaller scale nearly five years ago when the Brins Fire skirted the community on its way into Oak Creek Canyon and the La Barranca Fire displaced residents, burning one home to the ground.

Nowhere on Earth is exempt from nature’s fury.

So, we must all be ready to deal with it. People don’t need to go crazy and build underground shelters or stockpile 10 years’ worth of food, but they should keep extra necessities on hand and develop an evacuation plan in case nature comes knocking on our front door.

Hopefully, we can learn from Japan’s situation and make smart decisions in the future.

For now, I’d rather live near a solar field or wind farm.


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