Tuesday morning, I was sitting at my desk working away and my coworker—native to Maryland and a new resident of California for the past 7 months—came running over to my office. “Kristina, there was an earthquake on the East Coast!” She’s been nervous and anxious about experiencing her first earthquake in tremor-prone California and of all things, the east coast gets hit with a rare, but not unheard of, earthquake.
We hopped on Google and looked up the news. We jumped on Facebook and saw all of our friends with their status updates. It was true. 5.8 centered in Virginia. Maybe pigs do fly!
Then the reports came out that the earthquake was felt as far away as New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and all over the northeast region. People were fleeing from buildings and phone lines were jammed.
As a native Californian, I could only let out a bit of a chuckle and think, “Oh east coasters, welcome to the club.” Maybe now the rest of the country could lay off the jokes about California falling into the Pacific Ocean? It seems that no region of any country is safe or free from the risks of the unpredictability of Mother Nature.
That being said, looking at the images of the damage caused by Tuesday’s earthquake, it is clear that nobody was prepared—from building structures to preparing people on what to do during an earthquake. Growing up in California, we practiced earthquake drills as often as we practiced fire drills. Thinking about other regions of the country, it made sense that others had no idea what to do when the ground started shaking. You know, get under a desk or door jam. Not running outside of your large office building or home, that’s for sure.
Hopefully, Tuesday’s earthquake is the wake up call this whole country needs to start realizing that you don’t have to be scared of living life and you don’t have to live your life in fear, but nobody will ever say that it’s ever too late to start preparing yourself and learning what you need to do during these kinds of situations.
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