Friday, July 16, 2010

Totally Unexpected

Last night, I dreamed about an earthquake that shook the bed.  It wasn't hard, and nothing was falling down around me, it just shook the bed a little.  So today I woke up, and guess what - there WAS an earthquake this morning!  I probably felt it in my sleep and figured I dreamed it.  *B* was awake and eating breakfast when it happened.  We had a 3.6 magnitude earthquake just outside of DC.  It was felt from PA to West Virginia.  There has never been a stronger earthquake in the area since records were first kept by the USGS in 1974.  That being said, I've felt stronger ones (while awake) when I was in Tokyo.  But to have it happen at home - that's cool!
It also makes me think about my preparedness efforts a little more.  When I originally thought about my endeavor, I figured the only problems my area has to deal with are ice storms, blizzards, severe thunderstorms, floods, and the very rare twister.  The biggest tornado that I can recall happened to the south of us by a good bit, and it was a total shock.

This is a before and after comparison of an F4 tornado in Maryland.  The part that looks like an eraser mark was the path of the tornado.

So apparently earthquakes are on my radar now.  While I'm not battening down the hatches for "the big one" like those in California do, I think that I'll watch out for a couple of things.
  1. No pictures or heavy objects above the bed.  We used to have shelves above our bed in our apartment.  I had considered putting them back up, but maybe I'll choose a different wall.  As evidenced by the rather large scar on my dad's forehead, heavy objects can sometimes fall out of the wall on their own, earthquake or no earthquake.
  2. Heavy objects go on the backs of shelves.  This is mostly related to my pantry.  While the shelves are not bolted to the wall (mostly because I need to change the pantry layout), I can make my own setup more stable as it is.
  3. Keep a bag of supplies under the bed.   I had heard of people keeping shoes, a flashlight, water, and a granola bar under their bed in a ziploc.  Maybe that's not such a bad idea after all.
What kinds of natural disasters do you prepare for?

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