My First Earthquake

In 2006 I took a geology class (part of my undergrad) that in depth discussed Utah's "long overdue earthquake". Living near a fault, I panicked. No, I prepared. I knew I needed a 72 hour kit, and food storage... but how? You see, I was a student and trying to put all of that together seemed daunting (and costly). "Baby steps", I told myself. And that's when I came up with the most ingenious "food storage starter kit": snickers bars and water bottles. I'd read somewhere that snickers are great energy boosters...plus they have protein. Oh, and chocolate. Anyway, I knew if I had a stash of snickers bars I'd be fine should that earthquake finally attack. So I ran to the store, purchased a handful of snickers, a bunch of water, hid them in my apartment so no one would eat them, and deemed myself "prepared". Bring it on earthquake. Beat that! …and you can even ask my roommates about it.

Right, so since that time I have been adamant about always being prepared and having a supply of food storage. With time, I even graduated beyond snickers bars and now have myself a gluten free 72 hour kit and a stockpile of food storage...or at least I did. Then we decided to move. With our move fast approaching, Bryan and I just recently started eating our food storage so not to have to move that across the country as well. We were trying to be economical, you see. So naturally—the one time I wasn’t prepared—there was an earthquake. Yes, here in Manhattan. Well... really it was in Virginia, but we felt it all the way up here! Now, before you get all concerned know that we are fine. In fact, we hardly felt it. New Yorkers are just overly dramatic...makes life fun. Still, I have to document it for a number of reasons.
  1. This was my first earthquake…no matter how small.
  2. It’s comical that though I’ve been fearing the Utah earthquake, I experienced my first and only earthquake in Manhattan...
  3. And I find it ironic that the one time I don’t have food storage there was, of course, an earthquake. We don't even have any snickers bars! Lesson learned: always be prepared.
My account: It’s actually rather pathetic. Pathetic in the sense that I didn't feel it enough to just know that it was an earthquake. Ha. I actually just thought I was crazy... Anyway, I was pushing the little girl I nanny in her stroller on our way back from Central Park. I was cutting across the front of FAO Schwartz when I felt a bit dizzy. That or it felt like a large truck was passing by, or a subway beneath my feet was having serious issues... only that wasn't the case. I must be ill, I thought. I should probably go lie down. I then looked about and made eye contact with a few others. Funny thing was, they were all looking around for the same kind of validation I was: the that the ground just shook. Not much. But a little. Or did it...? I still wasn't sure what (or if it) had happened, so I called my mom. "Can there be earthquakes in NYC?" I asked. "Because I think I may have just felt one. Just a baby one..." She looked it up online. Nothing. It had been sometime since an earthquake had been reported in NYC. I really am crazy, I thought. Just then I received texts from Bryan and friends asking, "Are you ok?" "Did you feel the earthquake!" Alas, I knew I wasn't alone. At this point, people who had been in the skyscrapers—who had obviously felt it worse—all began to evacuate onto the sidewalks and streets. (Like I said, we’re a bit dramatic here.) But, an earthquake there had been. I called my mom back who refreshed her browser. By then the news had caught wind of it; an earthquake in Virginia was confirmed with people feeling it all over the East Coast. I wasn’t crazy! And as for the sweet toddler, she didn't feel a thing.

...you see all that "damage"

As for Bryan, well his building was evacuated. He was at a training on a lower floor so he just barely felt it too. Apparently those on his regular floor, however, felt it a lot more intensely. Glad he survived.

And that’s the tale of my first earthquake (if you can call it that). As for Virginia, reports say they're doing well...so things seem to be swell. Still, I'm sure it must have been pretty scary. My heart goes out to them.

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