When the house is a rockin’

by Ginger on April 5, 2010

in Day in the Life

  1. Look at your spouse
  2. Ask: “…is that…?”
  3. Panic a little when you realize that yes, it is an earthquake
  4. Sit for a second to see if it stops
  5. Panic a little when you realize it’s not only not stopping, it seems to be getting more intense
  6. Jump up, waking up the baby you had been nursing
  7. Head outside and realize, ooh, lots of trees, bad place.
  8. Head back inside (yes, the ground is still shaking at this point)
  9. Realize you don’t know where you should head for safety. First floor? Second floor? Doorway?
  10. Stop in a doorway (sure, why not), clutching baby probably a little too close (luckily he thinks it’s a game!).
  11. Realize the only shaking that’s left is you

Yesterday, a big earthquake hit about 150 miles from my house.  N.C. and I looked at each other, looked around, and the realization that we were all moving hit. It’s weird–it feels like a slow realization, but of course an earthquake happens pretty quickly. This one, though, was pretty long compared to the other few I’ve been in (I’ve probably felt fewer than 15 earthquakes in my life before yesterday), somewhere around 45 seconds-1 minute long. As someone on Twitter said, that was long enough to look around, figure out what was going on, panic, try to figure out where to go, and still have 15 seconds or so of ground shaking before it was over.

Of course, over is a relative term. Aftershocks and other minor quakes have continued in the area since then. You wanna see a graphic representation, check out the USGS site. Or look at the @CAquake Twitter stream–you’ll see what ate up most of my Twitter stream yesterday.  Most of those are so small that they don’t register for us, but a fair amount of them are “feelable”. I’ve noticed at least 10 or so myself, some of them feeling like actual quakes, and others just feeling a little like you’re bobbing in the ocean–just a slight hint of motion, enough to make you feel…something. I always end up feeling jittery and slightly motion sick following an earthquake, so I ended up feeling kind of queasy most of last night and into this morning (when I felt most of the aftershocks).

I get that I live in earthquake country and I should just get used to it. But I would guess that even those hardened to the earthquakes still don’t really get “used” to them.  They maybe don’t talk about it much, but feeling the earth move under your feet? And seeing stuff swaying and moving that shouldn’t be? That’s just not normal!

As always, more lists can be found over at Anna’s at abdpbt!

Hilly April 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I’m a hardened earthquaker who lived through the big one in the bay area in 1989 and I’m still a little bit freaked whenever they happen. Hell, with everyone telling us we are going to fall off the face of the USA, how can we not be? 🙂

Glad you are all okay!

Perpetua April 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Yikes, that’s terrifying. My least favorite thing about earthquakes is the unpredictability. At least you know when a hurricane is coming.

Stupid nature, being all self-directive. 🙁 I’m glad you guys are okay!

Brooke April 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Earthquakes scare me. Give me a hurricane any day. Glad you are all ok.

Katherine April 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Trees, bad idea? I wouldn’t worry about the trees, they don’t have resonance issues. Outside away from the building is the best place.

Doorways are no longer proper protocal; that’s old school. You are supposed to be next to large furniture objects so if something did fall a space is created between the furniture and the thing that fell. Under furniture bad, next to furniture good.

Ginger April 5, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I think the reason I was worried about the trees was more specific to our area–3 have fallen in our block in the last month because they are damaged at the trunk/too big. But good to know that outside is the best place to be.

Ally April 6, 2010 at 10:57 am

Glad to hear you got through it fine. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be in a real earthquake. I felt a rumble once or twice in Vegas, but nothing that lasted anywhere near a minute. Crazy.

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