Yes, I know I participated in the fun that we on the west coast poked at you guys yesterday. In my defense, I waited until a few after hours your earthquake and I knew full well that everyone was totally fine. Once that was cleared up, well…some ribbing had to be done! Heck, you guys were doing a fine job making fun of yourselves. It took exactly no time at all for the quintesential earthquake damage photo to circulate on every single social media page:
The funny part being that this is an old photo from some other weather event used to symbolize DISASTER!
There were also some really funny tweets mostly coming straight out of the DC media making fun of spilled lattes and such. It was all very amusing ONLY because, other than some building/property damage, everyone was perfectly OK.
Of course, Fox News distinguished itself from the media hysteria by claiming that the Washington Monument was leaning. There *are* cracks near the top of the tower, but no, it was never tipping over!
But honestly, I know it is scarier over there since buildings are absolutely not built to withstand such shaking. Although, they apparently should be as all the follow up reporting shows that there are plenty of fairly shallow and potentially active faults on the east coast.
So, you know that last year San Diego was hit with a pretty good sized shaking on Easter Sunday. I blogged the details and our household reactions here. A few things you SHOULD remember in all seriousness:
- There WILL be aftershocks. Some of those may be as strong as the original. I was still feeling shakes several months later. It reached a point when I would anticipate them because I would realize it had been several days since a shake and I knew we were ‘due’. Usually within 24 hours we would get one. One even hit while I was in my car which was quite trippy as that has never happened. I felt it since I was at a stop light. It was light someone was shaking my car side to side but then I noticed the car in front of also visibly shaking and the light poles swaying. That was at least two full months after the original quake.
- While it is calm, scan the buildings where you spend the most time. Your house, your office, your gym perhaps. Locate the items that are most likely to shatter/collapse/fall and then look for a clear spot AWAY from those things. My friends rode out the Easter earthquake in a grocery store and the first thing they ALL did after the first wave was run AWAY from the large glass front windows towards the lightest aisle of items – bread!
- If you are in the habit at home of keeping your shoes off (I am), always make sure a pair are handy in case any glass does shatter so that you can slip them on and avoid walking over glass shards.
- Know where your gas shut off valve is and how to turn it off.
- I know it is said all the time, but really – keep bottled water on hand. That’s the first thing you need & often the first thing to be compromised if you happen to be right on top of a fault and the heaviest damage is around you.
- If you are outside, stay there, and if you are inside, stay THERE. The worst thing you can do is panic and run around. Think about it – there is no warning for an earthquake. They last, at the most, maybe a minute with the most violent shake being right there at the start so by the time your brain registers what is happening, the worst is over. You are not going to outrun one. You can scan your surroundings and protect yourself by ducking and covering and at least getting away from any large glass items or potentially heavy falling ones, but that’s about it.
And honestly? Feel completely free to point and laugh mercilessly should even one snowflake DARE to fall in San Diego. I am totally admitting right now that my fair city (and me) would freak the fuck OUT.