Wednesday, August 24, 2011

good for a jiggle

I thought about titling this post-earthquake entry "Shaken, Not Stirred," but decided that thousands of bloggers have probably used that title already-- if not now, then certainly in other earthquake-related scenarios.

Yes, we had a nice little earthquake on Tuesday. It apparently had its epicenter near the city of Mineral, Virginia, somewhere north of Richmond. I live and work too far north to have felt much more than a decent shake, but it certainly livened up my work day.

More interesting than the quake was our reaction to it. There was some dissension in the ranks as to whether to clear out of the building to avoid being pancaked, or to remain where we were, taking cover under our flimsy desks if necessary. According to the FEMA website, the protocol boils down to this: if you're outdoors when a quake hits, stay outdoors in a clear area; if you're indoors, then stay indoors and take cover as best you can. While the latter part of this advice seems to defy common sense, the website gamely notes that many deaths occurred during the 1930s Long Beach quake because people were moving from one place to another.

From what I heard, people in DC quickly evacuated their buildings, and I also read that the Pentagon ordered its staff to evacuate (UPDATE: some Pentagon staffers did leave, but there was no general order to evacuate). So is FEMA's wisdom the final word on what to do in a quake? I have to tell you, my first instinct was to get the kids the hell out of the building and into the wide-open parking lot out front. My male coworkers demurred, and in the end, their opinion prevailed. None of us freaked out, but the excitement level in our little tutoring center was elevated for the rest of that particular two-hour session.

Working at my current job has proven more interesting than I would have thought: we've had a gas leak, a car fire, and now an earthquake-- all in recent weeks. Given the increasing seriousness of each incident, I can only wonder what's in store next.

This is my final night of house-sitting at Sean's place. His apartment seems just fine; Maqz the chihuahua greeted me with his usual cheer and didn't seem fazed by the rumbling. I flipped on Sean's TV and, after watching the most recent episode of Season 3 of "Top Shot," caught the final two-thirds of the ultra-stupid disaster flick "2012," which I'd never seen before. It was as asinine as I'd thought it would be, but served as the perfect end to a weird-but-exciting day.

I hope everyone else in the quake zone is OK.



Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I blame the Quakers, as should any who take seriously the efficacy of names!

Somebody should investigate this fanatical religious society for acts of terrorism the world over . . . or, rather, the world under.

(Word Verification is "shalm" -- almost, but not quite, "shalom.")

Jeffery Hodges

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Bratfink said...

I ADORE end of the world disaster flicks, but '2012' is not one of them. I thought it stunk to High Heaven, although there WERE a couple satisfying deaths.