I like my natural disasters to be straight forward. To give some sort of warning.
I grew up in a Chicagoland tornado alley, so honestly, those whipping columns of wind hardly even phase me. I'm like a human radar. I look at the sky patterns and color, sniff the wind and then head back inside.
Meh, it's fine. Let's finish dinner.
Most of the time it's a false alarm. Either way, you've had plenty of warning if something is going down.
Hurricane's too. While I do not claim to be an expert on this weather phenom, you can see them coming. There have been days and days of incessant news stories and time to prep. And you'd better prep early because everyone now has the fear of Katrina in them. I never see the downside of buying extra milk and canned goods though. There is never any such thing as too much milk in our house. In fact, I think we will be stocking up for Irene this Friday.
Earthquakes though, those are tricky things. No warning. No odd goings-on in the sky or newscasters instilling panic in us. Just BAM: Shooka-shooka-shooka.
Yesterday's earthquake only lasted 36 seconds. It was 36 seconds of quiet panic though. In the metro DC area a person's mind tends to wander towards man-made causes of a shaking building, not Random Acts of God.
It was 36 seconds of panic and then a few minutes of:
Where are my babies? What do I need to grab to leave? Do I have time to tweet this? Does Matt feel this too? Is this an earthquake? Yes, it is an earthquake. No, I don't know what magnitude it is, I am using my phone to tweet. Make sure you grab your stuff, who knows if we'll be let back in. What if the parking garage collapses? What if this building collapses; lowest bidder you know. No, I don't know the magnitude yet, I'm texting.
After an hour of sitting outside with Clare (relatively) in my arms, solidified with confirmation that we did indeed part of the East Coast earthquake and feeding a miraculously found sleeve of Ritz crackers that were in my purse to hungry children, we were sent home so building assessments could be preformed.
While there has been reports of damage to buildings, including the disheartening indefinite closure of the Washington Monument, our house remained unscathed.
Unless you find shifted books and photographs upsetting.