Friday, August 26, 2011

Natural Disasters 1, 2 and Getting Ready for 3

For those of you who don't live on the East Coast, you may be wondering how we are all surviving over here, or you may just be happy to be oblivious and out of the way of a tropical storm. I know I was the latter when I lived further inland!

First of all, let me tell you how terrifying that first earthquake was. I had been in two other very small earthquakes before- one in Guatemala and one in California. I think they were around a 3 on the Richter scale.  They were nothing more than a rumble and it was expected.  This one was a 5.9 and the epicenter was 43 miles from my home, and I didn't know I lived on a fault line!!! 

I was in my basement, on the phone with a friend who was in the park nearby. All of a sudden, I hear a loud noise like thunder and the whole house is shaking- really shaking. Some people say they thought loud truck was passing by.  I don't remember the last time a truck drove by and my house started shaking from the foundation and things started falling off the walls.  Also, when trucks drive by, it's not the sound of ridiculously loud thunder on a clear, blue day.   I think these people must live in a giant jumpy blow up thing or are on some very strong medication. There's no way I could mistake that 5.9 earthquake for a truck.  I was thinking more along the lines of Armageddon.  The world starts shaking and all of a sudden, Jesus comes down from a cloud in the sky to judge the good from the bad.  Seriously, what's more probable: huge earthquake in the middle of Virginia, or the end of the world.   I was thinking: the end of the world.  At any rate, that quake definitely put the fear of God in me!

My friend on the other end of the phone said, "Is that an earthquake? I think that was an earthquake!" I immediately started grabbing kids. I was just getting Analee out of bed from her nap when my husband comes out the bedroom and yells for us all to get under the door frame.  If it hadn't been for his never failing emergency plan, my plan would have just been to hold the kids and scream.  We just barely got under the door frame and it ended.  15 seconds of loud shaking and it was over.  Somethings broke and some things fell, but we were ok.

Then yesterday, we come back from visiting grandparents, and a huge storm hits. It was storm on fast forward, with the volume cranked up.  I completely underestimated it's potency from my window, and did a very silly thing.  Because we had no food in the house and I didn't feel like grocery shopping after a very long day, I asked my husband to pick up sushi.  The storm only lasted about 30 minutes and by the time we had our order figured out, it was over.  I figured it would be safe for him to run out and come back.  He goes and gets stuck in traffic for 45 minutes because of downed trees, no street lights and crazy, crazy amounts of stopped traffic. The sushi place is three miles down the road.  INSANE. I'm just thankful that we didn't lose any power. Most of our neighbors lost power for about three hours.

Now, after stocking up from two different trips to the store, I think I am ready for hurricane Irene. We didn't even have one flashlight in our house, or a bottle of water.  I don't know what to expect, but from what people have said about the last hurricane,  we're probably going to have power outages. I've never been without power for more than a few hours, so I've been going a little crazy trying to plan out what we'd do if there was no power and no water for a few days or even... a week. gulp. I couldn't survive a week.  I definitely would be checking in to Motel 6 if it were a week.  

So now we have flashlights, lanterns, bottled water, water in large basins (in case we need to flush the toilets manually or wash ourselves), baked goods, and a very stocked fridge and freezer with extra ice.  I'm not getting a generator.  Does anyone even know if those things work in an emergency?? My dad, who sells generators, wired a very big, professional one up to his house. It was able to power a couple things in the house when there was no other source of power. A COUPLE THINGS.   like a stove, and some lights. I don't see how these tiny ones that people buy can actually do anything.  I would like some evidence on this subject...

So that's what going on the East Coast for all you who are watching with popcorn in hand from your couches in my old habitats in Minnesota, California and Colorado and Ohio. I know what it's like to be you, but now I'm finding out what it's like to be on the other side of that news story. Keep us in your prayers!


melody said...

I'm watching wide-eyed from Ohio and patting myself on the back for resisting all urges I've ever had to move anywhere close to hurricane territory.LOL I was surprised that we did feel the earthquake all the way up here. We are just across the lake from Canada and I had things fall off of a basement shelf. I had no idea what the earthquake noise was. I thought someone was trying to get into the house. Prayers coming your way. I have family in North Carolina and am waiting to hear what happens in their areas. God bless you!

Renee said...

you can buy a housewide generator but I believe they cost $10K.
REgular generators are use for a couple of things... like maybe the fridge and extra freezer.

Jamie Jo said...

I know that earthquake feeling, I have been in bad ones in California, so many years ago, but remember things falling off the walls and the horror, (like you said it only lasts like 15 seconds) that feels like a loooong time, no place to hide, like in a tornado in MN!!

We have had birthdays and Valley Fair these past couple days and haven't even watched the news....I will be praying for you.

Katie said...

I thought it was a large truck . . . but we are much further away from the epicenter than you are, so, here, the initial rumbling and sound did sound like a very large truck.

We are ready for Irene too! So far, so good. It will be interesting to see what tonight brings.