Tuesday, July 29, 2008

As a native Californian, I've grown up with earthquakes, so they just don't bother me that much. Since I was a young girl, I've been taught to get out of bed in the event of a quake and stand in the doorway. (A disproportionate number seem to come in the middle of the night - particularly the bad ones). There have been 2 major quakes in my life time. A quake centered in the San Fernando Valley in the early '70s, and the Northridge quake in the '90s. My condo in Santa Monica sustained a fair amount of damage with the Northridge quake which was all repaired thanks to insurance and FEMA (this was back in the days when the program apparently worked).
When the shaking first starts, these are the steps I follow:
1. Determine if it is a quake, or a big truck driving by.
2. Determine if it is a short shake, or if it is gaining momentum.
3. If short, stay where you are. If gaining momentum, think about moving into the doorway.
4. If lying in bed, remind yourself again why it's a bad idea to have a really heavy painting over your bed's headboard.
5. If at home, look at your dogs and wonder "shouldn't they have predicted this and warned me?"
6. Realize your dogs can only predict sunrise, because that means breakfast.
7. If at the office, take a perverse delight in watching your office mates LOSE ALL CONTROL because we are on the 9th floor and the building is swaying.
8. Be amazed that a building this big sways like it is engineered to do . . .


Blogger Auburn Kat said...

I'm happy that I've never been through a major earthquake! I would like to keep it that way too!

4:41 PM  
Blogger D.O.M. Dan said...

They don't bother me much either. We live about 10 miles from Chino Hills, and my wife and kids were at or near home at the time of the quake. Today's quake really scared my 14-year old. He was only 6 months old when the Northridge quake hit. My 7-year old didn't even know we had one today. She was in a vehicle at the time. I was at work in Vernon, and it shook pretty good.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

kat - on the other hand, we do have good weather!

dan - oh man, you guys were close. That would be scary for your son.

9:13 PM  
Blogger LA said...

That's a good set of procedures.

I was home working, and it was shaking pretty hard. I was fairly frightened when it didn't let up in a few seconds, but I had the presence of mind to move away from my window and bookshelves to a safer place in my house. I picked up Alfie on my way, and he gave me a nice puncture wound on the arm for my trouble.

My cat Solo very deliberately woke me up about 30 seconds before the Northridge quake.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Tiffany Norris said...

Scary! Of course, after growing up in Alabama, tornadoes don't bother me at all. :)

6:53 AM  
Blogger D.O.M. Dan said...

Whether by cat or by quake, a 4:17 a.m. wake up call is a rude awakening.

7:38 PM  
Blogger sage said...

I've only been through small quakes--My parents moved to Japan when I was in college and were given instruction on what to do (everything including cutting off gas) if the big one hit. I remember seeing in Japan equipment (tools, lights, etc) for earthquakes in a grocery store not far from their house

12:31 PM  

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