Middle of the Night Shakedowns.

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3.2 Middle of Monday Night, 3.5 Middle of Last Night

Not exactly the kind of wake up call I like.

Despite being in the light to moderate category, both were centered about 3 miles from our home so they felt pretty significant. Hate these things and they scare the living daylight out of me.

Flashback to 6.7 Northridge quake in 1994 – I have this huge antique armoire that is adjacent to my bed.  4am and the earth is falling apart.  I can’t see a damn thing and can’t hear anything beyond the tremendously loud rumble until the sound of a massive crash on the side of my bed, that misses me by a hair.  Armoire down. Holy Crap I could have been crushed.  Since that quake, I’ve had it bolted to the wall in most of our places, but in our current home, it’s not secure and if it falls, I’m toast.

What do you think happened last night?

Nope, didn’t fall.

I am so g-darn terrified of that thing that I leapt so high out of my side of the bed that I practically landed on the other side of the Mr., crushing him.  Probably a bit reactive, but I am completely and totally terrified that I am going to lose the battle with that thing next time. Time to pin it to the wall. stat.

The weird thing about earthquakes is that they are one of the few natural disasters that you don’t see coming.  Hurricanes, Floods, Tornadoes, Heatwaves, Blizzards…for the most part, you get a bit of a heads up they’re on their way.  Earthquakes don’t warn you, they shock you {usually out of your sleep}.

A few years ago I decided it was time to prepare for the unknown.  I had one of those moments where I said to myself,  you’re an idiot if you don’t prepare the best way you can for something you don’t see coming — that could, by the way, be pretty destructive. So I put together an earthquake kit that the Mr. and I have gradually added to and refreshed over the years.

 It includes:

  • 2 Gallons of Water
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • 2 Aluminum Water Bottles
  • 2 Dozen Cliff Bars
  • 2 Emergency Blankets
  • Ponchos
  • Light Sticks
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Duct Tape
  • First Aid Kit
  • Work Gloves
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Toilet Paper
  • Flashlight
  • Radio
  • Batteries
  • Extra Clothes
  • (100+) $1 bills

One of my friends gave me the brilliant idea to break our cash into the lowest common bill.  In the event of an emergency, it is highly unlikely that someone is going to make change for us…and it is likely we’d concede to paying above and beyond for something if we didn’t have smaller bills.   We didn’t have 100 $1 bills lying around, and who has time to actually go inside the bank these days, so we made a pact to put all of our $1 bills in a jar at the end of each day and within a matter of probably two weeks, we quickly made it to $100 for our earthquake pack.

The other thing we’ve done is establish a meeting place in the event that phone lines shut down and we don’t have the means to connect with one another.  The Mr. and I work on two opposite sides of town and my Dad and his wife live and work in the middle.  We all wanted to ensure that if anything were to happen, we’d know where to go (no matter how many hours it took us to get there) to reconnect with one another.

As hard as it is to imagine and plan for a disaster, I have a sense of relief in knowing that we have a plan. The reality is that for all of our best efforts to prepare, we may not be really prepared for something, but at least I can say that we tried.

For those of you who have an earthquake or disaster plan, what are we missing? How can we better prepare?

{MF Dre}

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